Sodick Ushers in an Era of Change Across EDM, Milling and Additive
At IMTS 2018, Sodick is showcasing an era of change with new offerings in its EDM, milling and additive technologies.
With a new North American headquarters, a new satellite office in Connecticut dedicated to aerospace, new hiring as well as new product offerings, Sodick Inc. has recently accelerated the pace of change within the company. While both Sodick Inc. (the U.S. division) and the Sodick Group (its publicly-traded entity) have long prided themselves on offering an EDM machine suited to every customer—including the VL600QH, a new high-column economy wire EDM that specifically targets postproduction for additive manufacturing—Sodick is seeking to expand its offerings in both its milling and additive technologies.
These efforts are on full display in its booth, where visitors can see Sodick’s latest hybrid metal 3D printer, the OPM350L. A larger-capacity version of the OPM250L that debuted at IMTS two years ago, the 350L direct metal laser sintering powder-bed printer combines a 500-watt ytterbium laser with a 45,000-rpm linear motor spindle, which can perform milling operations during pauses in the printing process that allow access to internal features that otherwise would be inaccessible when the part is finished. The OPM350L also includes parallel mode technology, a recent addition that optimizes the machine’s 500-watt laser path by allowing it to target four points simultaneously within a build. Available as a recommended option with the 350L is Sodick’s new materials recovery system (MRS). This system automatically delivers powder into the 350L’s’s material feeder for use in the additive manufacturing process. As excess powder is delivered to the powder receptacle, the MRS unit conveys this material back for sieving and return to the material feeder. By continually recycling powder, Sodick says that the MRS unit allows the 350L to run continuously for up to a week using just 30 kg of material.
But Sodick’s ongoing commitment to additive manufacturing via the OPM line doesn’t mean the company is any less committed to its core business. Debuting at IMTS this year are two EDM models: the ALN800G wire EDM, which the company says is the world’s largest drop-tank EDM model, and the VL6000QH wire EDM, a high-column economy EDM specifically targeted at the additive industry.
Sodick has also changed the way these machines and other products are displayed at its booth this year. The company has organized its booth with discrete sections targeting specific industries, including aerospace, carbide machining and additive manufacturing. In its aerospace display section, Sodick is debuting the prototype of its new multi-axis hole drill, which, according to Evan Syverson, additive business development manager, includes high-precision features at a price that will not break the bank. “This all-linear-motor hole drill is based on extensive research into the needs of American aerospace manufacturers,” he says, “in keeping with the customer-first focus that now defines Sodick’s direction as a company.”
Syverson adds that these changes are subtly reflected in Sodick’s new logo, which is displayed prominently throughout its booth. The angled structures mirror the logo itself, adding some cohesiveness to the experience throughout the booth.