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Don’t Make Ugly Parts

Ugly, rusty parts are avoidable on today’s wire electrical discharge machines. “Get your technical people to be smart on paper” is the suggestion I give to companies interested in contributing editorial content.

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Ugly, rusty parts are avoidable on today’s wire electrical discharge machines.

“Get your technical people to be smart on paper” is the suggestion I give to companies interested in contributing editorial content. By “being smart on paper,” I mean jotting down advice, tips, useful tricks of the trade, rules of thumb, handy checklists and so on that might benefit shop managers and shopfloor personnel.

An example is a collection of tips for controlling oxidation and pitting on wire EDM operations. These were put together by Tony Salvado, regional application manager for GF AgieCharmilles. You can read the entire (brief) article at here.

Here is a summary of his main points:

Additives: Products made to be added to the water dielectric fluid used on wire EDM do help, but they must be used correctly and monitored for proper concentration diligently.

Machine Settings: Anti-electrolysis features on today’s EDM-powered generators are a big plus for dealing with this problem. In addition:
• Start with clean parts.
• Demagnetize parts thoroughly.
• Set water conductivity to the correct level.
• Check water pH.
• Keep the workpiece submerged.
• Use micron-level filters.

Mixing Workpiece Materials: Watch out. Incompatibility between workpiece materials can cause surface condition problems.

Latest Technology: Anti-electrolysis generators keep getting better and better, but not all are equally effective. Keep this in mind when acquiring a new wire EDM.

For more information on EDM, visit the EDM Zone at on MMS Online.

If you, or one of your technical people, have been “smart on paper” and want to share this knowledge and wisdom, write to me here.