How to Improve the Productivity of a Wire EDM

wire-edm-machine-fanuc-robocut

The productivity of your EMD is hinged on proper maintenance, tooling, as well as training. Focusing on these aspects will boost your work and make your mold shop productive, efficient, and effective. Thus, don’t leave your wire EMD machine. Boost its efficiency and productivity with the following tips and tricks.

Regular Maintenance

Any machine, including Industrial EDM machine, requires regular maintenance. With regular maintenance, you can prolong the life of your machine and improve its productivity. Without regular maintenance, some parts will wear out—which can make your EDM machine stall.  Thus, keep the machine’s logbook around. Conduct regular preventative maintenance. Keep a daily of what’s happening. Know how long these machines take to wear. Pay close attention to delicate parts. Keep a history of the condition of every part. There are some EDM machines that have timers. These timers will give you accurate data as far as the wear and tear of that machine are concerned.

Record the weekly cutting hours. It’s important to note that each machine is allowed to run for around 8,760 hours. Stick to these cutting hours. After the cutting hours have lapsed, consider taking your machine for preventative maintenance. Remember, EDM machines come with expensive parts. Leaving the parts to wear out can be costly. The only way to improve your machine’s productivity is to conduct regular maintenance.

OEM Parts and Consumables

Pay close attention to the consumable parts. This is because wrong parts can hugely hurt your machine. So, don’t purchase cheaper parts in the name of saving money. It won’t work. It will only lead to quick wear and tear of your EDM machine. Purchase reliable parts. Choose quality parts. Get your parts from reputable brands. Avoid cheap parts that often include those that are cheaply designed. It’s also important to note that certain parts, as well as materials, are specially designed for certain machine models. So, don’t flout this rule. Each model should be supplied with its corresponding parts. Ask service engineers to help you. Of course, you can save $20 on parts only to end up with a problem.

Maintenance Contracts

Of course, each shop must have technicians who repair machines and ensure that they are running smoothly. However, understanding issues with EDM machines can be tricky. This is because these machines are complex in nature. They require reexperienced people to spot problems and repair them. That’s why you should have an excellent preventative maintenance program in place to keep your machine running efficiently.

 Follow the required maintenance protocols. This will keep your machine in top shape over a long period of time.

Train Your Operators

Train your technicians on how to operate and diagnose the EDM machine. Invest in training. Remember, with the escalating and evolving nature of technology, not investing in training can leave your company disadvantaged. Modern technologies are emerging. Train them on the newest software on the market. Allow them to familiarize themselves with CNC machine programming. Organize training classes on EDM machines. Let your employees attend relevant seminars.

It’s also important to check with the EDM supplier to check whether they offer training. If they do, allow your employees to attend these training sessions. Of course, it may cost you a few dollars. However, it’s worth it. It will boost the productivity of your employees.

Tooling

All WEDM machines come with basic tables featuring left, right, as well as back rails. This means that you should have a few or some tooling holders as well as fixtures. You can use this aspect to boost the productivity of your shop. In particular, practicing standardization plus palletization will hugely boost the productivity of your WEDM machine. This involves making sure that all employees use identical system types. Doing so will significantly reduce setup time.  The benefits of embracing palletization are immense. So, if productivity and efficiency are the things you are looking for, consider embracing palletization.

CAD And CAM Software

Besides standardizing the tooling section, consider designing a single program system that will streamline all the CNC program operations. This means that all stations should have identical programs. Thus, the release level should be identical when it comes to configuring your PCS throughout the shop. Still more, you should heavily invest in the most current postprocessors for each WEDM machine. This will avoid unnecessary time-wasting on edits for post-processing. Adopt a standardized program for all the operations and watch the productivity of your EDM machine grow exponentially.

Removing Slugs

Design a system that automatically removes slug after the EDM process. This system should have a hardware device that knocks off the programmed instructions. All slugs should be ejected from the WEDM machine after the process. This will eliminate the buildup of the slug, which can make the machine inefficient.

Having an automatic slug removing system is not only time-saving but enhances the safety of your machine operations. Remember, you cannot leave the slug to accumulate the whole day. The machine may stall and reduce its efficiency.

Weekend Working

Nowadays, people don’t work on the weekends. Weekends are reserved for family. However, this shouldn’t mean that your EDM machine should rest. There are several ways you can make it deliver during the weekend and improve its productivity. Here are a few options you can pursue:

  • Use an automatic wire threader-based device. This device is effective in moving products from one point to another without the attention of an operator.
  • Invest in automation. Here, consider installing an automatic re-threading-based device. This will come in handy when the wire breaks.
  • Using an automatic restart device to help during instances where the main power shuts down.
  • Twin Wire EDM Machining. Use twin WEDM Machining will allow for the automatic changeover for flawless finishing.

The Bottom-Line

Wire EMD, also known as WEDM, is a special machine for any mold shop. With WEDM, you have modern machines that can give you extraordinary speeds when it comes to molding pieces in a factory. However, if you want the best productivity, consider employing the above tactics.