Keeping a wire EDM running at peak performance requires proper maintenance and the appropriate consumables for the job.

 

Consumables and Maintenance

 

In addition to wire, EDM consumables include water filters and resin, and power contacts that deliver the power to the wire.

 

Wire EDM maintenance should be proactive and preventive, according to Makino’s Pfluger. “You don’t want to run the EDM until you have a problem,” he said. “You want to do it at prescribed intervals so you don’t have any surprises—like having the machine stop when you are running overnight. With the wire EDM process, the name of the game is maximizing unattended machining time.” Most new machines notify the operator when maintenance must be performed.

 

With wire EDM filtration systems, wire EDM filters must be replaced at prescribed intervals—typically after 200 to 300 hours of operation. It can vary based on the filtration system capacity, machine operations being performed and material being machined.

 

A new type of filter is available made from poly fleece, a soft, two-sided pile material made from polyester. “Most filters have a paper-type element,” Pfluger said. “When you put a new set of paper filters in the machine, you have a precoat time. Say I have a new 5µm-particle-removal filter. It could be up to 10 machining hours before I am filtering my water dielectric out to a 5µm level. With the new poly fleece filters, there is a zero precoat time. You are at the defined micron rating immediately.”

 

Resin life depends on filter efficiency, materials being machined and quality of water that is added to the machine reservoir. “People tend to stretch their resin life by letting it run longer than it should,” said by Ken Baeszler, a product manager at GF Agie Charmilles, Lincolnshire, Ill. “But the water becomes more conductive and they don’t get the results they want.”

 

The two power contacts, one in the upper head and one in the lower, must be indexed occasionally and eventually replaced. Indexing intervals can vary, depending on the machine manufacturer and machining processing being performed.

 

“Depending on how aggressive the settings are and the wire diameter, the contacts should be indexed after 60 to 80 machining hours on average, taking into account the differences in operations and wire sizes,” Pfluger said. “If those items are not maintained, the EDM will not work at all.”

 

Water cleanliness is also important. The water has to be at the right pH level—from 6.8 to 7.2. “But if sensors on the wire EDM for the water are not cleaned with alcohol every 150 hours, you are going to have a bad resistivity reading,” Top Tool’s Kari said. “Also, it is important to change the water at least once a year.”

 

The EDM itself must also be kept clean, including the rollers that help tension the wire. Over time, dirt and debris accumulate on those rollers, which can cause slippage.

 

“Cleaning is critical for any EDM,” AccuteX’s Intihar said. “We recommend taking 15 minutes every Monday to clean. Remove the wire guides, power contacts and other removable parts and clean them with EDM cleaner along with the upper and lower heads. Put it all back together and you are good for another week.” CTE

 

To get more information of wire EDM filters, I recommend you to visit SUNRISE EDMTECH CO., LTD. – they are the company of specializing in kinds of EDM consumables. Welcome to check out their website and feel free to contact with Sunrise for much more wire EDM parts.

 

Article Source: https://www.ctemag.com/news/articles/tips-getting-most-out-wire-edm

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