Acu-Rite's DRO300 Enables Control of Sinker EDMs
The Acu-Rite 300-series digital readout (DRO), available from Heidenhain, now enables users to control sinker EDM machines.
The Acu-Rite 300-series digital readout (DRO), available from Heidenhain, now enables users to control sinker EDM machines in addition to manual milling, turning and grinding machines. The DRO300 can control an EDM by way of Acu-Rite’s EDM software when coupled with an IOB 610 interface box. The software is now included in all multipurpose DRO300s, and existing users can download the software for free from Acu-Rite’s website.
Features of the EDM control include automatic depth programming, which enables the user to configure the ram to automatically retract or dwell at the target depth; a dwell cycle, by which the relay holds the Z depth until spark-out occurs and which also provides control for orbiter cycles; reverse fault detection preventing creep out of the bath during a burn cycle; and an EDM display mode showing the current ram depth, the maximum depth reached and the target depth on the three-axis displays.
A shop specializing in wire EDM for large mold components now offers EDM “turning” of small, intricate parts. Despite the potential risks involved in early adoption of new technologies, the shop believes this practice gives it a leg-up on the competition and lets it gain experience with alternative machining techniques before offering them to customers.
The promise of running a wire EDM for long stretches without much operator attention is enticing, but many shops never manage to pull this off. Here are tips to make it happen, as offered by Mark Cicchetti, EDM technical director for Absolute Machine Tool’s Accutex EDM product line.
In many die and mold shops, the choice between ram EDM and CNC milling is far less clear than it used to be. Changing technology is changing the rules.