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4/30/2012 | 2 MINUTE READ

Wire EDM Machines Boost Accuracy, Efficiency in Challenging Materials

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Methods Machine Tools’ Fanuc RoboCut iE wire EDM series features a new power supply to increase accuracy and efficiency when cutting challenging materials.

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Methods Machine Tools’ Fanuc RoboCut iE wire EDM series features a new power supply to increase accuracy and efficiency when cutting challenging materials. Capable of manufacturing the same complex components as the Fanuc iD series, these machines feature redesigned controls and lower arms for improved cutting speeds and energy savings. Optional seven-axis simultaneous machining also is available.

According to the company, the EDMs can produce better finishes, increased geometric accuracy to less than 0.0001" and virtually no recast. They are suited for machining a variety of materials, including cobalt-chrome, high-nickel alloys and titanium often used in aerospace, medical and military applications.

The upgraded Ai Pulse Control II is designed to accurately detect the number of discharge pulses to provide high-speed and accurate cutting for stepped workpieces. It also minimizes the witness line at both the wire approach and step point and improves oval shape and small round-hole accuracy. The redesigned lower arm isolates its power feed contact during final cuts, which improves finishes during skim cutting with fewer passes, cuts straighter parts and improves cutting speeds, the company says.

An energy-saving function displays power consumption in real-time along with cumulative electric power to reduce surplus electric power during idle time and overall electrical consumption, the company says. The machines also use high-efficiency, inverter-style chillers to reduce operating costs and heat output.

In addition, the enhanced Fanuc Auto Wire Feed (AWF) system can thread while submerged through the start hole of a workpiece with a maximum thickness of 8.0" (200 mm). In the event of a wire break, the iE series Ai auto wire repair system can thread through the kerf while submerged to a depth ranging to to 6.0" (150 mm) without returning to the start point.

Software enhancements include high -peed graphic drawing capability that reduces drawing time. Software checks the real-time machining status, sends and receives NC programs and changes cutting conditions.  As an optional feature, NC programs can be generated that include tapers with upper and lower irregular figures or tapers with angle commands. 

The iE series is equipped with a Fanuc 31is-WA control and a 15.1" LCD touchscreen. It is available in three models. The 0iE 10" standard and iMed features X-, Y- and Z-axis travel measuring 14.6" × 10.6" × 10" and U and V travel measuring ± 2.362". The 1iE 12" standard and iMed features X-, Y- and Z-axis travel measuring 23.6" × 15.7" × 12" and U and V travel measuring ± 3.937". The 1iE 16" standard features X-, Y- and Z-axis travel measuring 23.6" × 15.7" × 16" and U and V travel measuring ± 3.937". 

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