Mitsui Seiki Installs First Blue Arc Machine

Mitsui Seiki has installed what it says is the first Blue Arc-using machine tool. Blue Arc uses a multiple-point discharge event for material removal, whereas EDM uses a single-point discharge.


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A photo of Mitsui Seiki and Aerodyn executives in front of the HW63TD BA machine

Mitsui Seiki has produced what it says is the first commercial CNC machine tool incorporating General Electric’s (GE) Blue Arc HSEE (High Speed Electro Erosion) material removal process technology, installing the “HW63TD BA” machine at Aerodyn Engineering. The two companies are partnering on multiple process development applications for their existing and prospective customers in aerospace, outer space, mold and die, power generation, oil and gas and other critical component industries.

Blue Arc HSEE is a non-conventional rough machining process utilizing a controlled thermal metal removal method where an electrical pulse between a tool electrode and a workpiece drives a high-speed beam of electrons to erode and remove metal. Where EDM delivers a single point of material discharge, Blue Arc generates a multiple-point discharge event that results in rapid material removal. Mitsui Seiki says Blue Arc technology eliminates the need for high-powered spindles and highly engineered cutting tools, while reducing wear on the machine kinematics. The company recommends the technology as a roughing metal removal method for hard, difficult-to-machine alloys such as nickel and titanium alloys, as well as for stainless and tool steels. The company also says this process can cut machine-tool capital costs by 30% and cutting tool costs by 70%.

The Mitsui Seiki HW63TD BA machine is a high-performance, five-axis machining center platform featuring a standard CAT50 spindle. Basic specifications include a work envelope of 1000 mm (39.38”) in X and 850 mm (33.46”) in Y and Z, with B and C rotary axes at respective speeds of 60 and 90 rpm. The machine also includes Fanuc drive motors and a Fanuc F30iM-B control system.

Mitsui Seiki is reaching out to companies whose work fits the Blue Arc process spectrum, but also is welcoming inquiries from companies wanting to learn more about the Blue Arc HSEE.