GF Machining celebrates 70 years of EDM technology

Published
July 09, 2024 - 07:30am
70 years

Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) was invented 70 years ago. AGIE and Charmilles were the pioneers of this technology at the time and are still world market leaders today under the umbrella of GF Machining Solutions, constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible. 

Since its accidental discovery during the mid-20th century, EDM has evolved from an innovative solution to a cornerstone of modern manufacturing, offering unparalleled precision in the production of molds, dies and complex geometric parts.  

Over the decades, the constructive interaction between EDM and electronics has led to significant advancements. Notable milestones include the integration of the planar transistor, integrated circuits and the microprocessor, which have all played a crucial role in enhancing EDM's capabilities. 

EDM Family

GF Machining Solutions embodies the heritage and expertise of AGIE and Charmilles, Swiss pioneers in industrialized EDM machines. Since introducing the first industrial die-sinking machine in 1954 and the first wire-cutting EDM machines three years later, GF Machining Solutions has continued to innovate, pushing the boundaries of what is possible with EDM. 

Today, EDM is an integral part of manufacturing processes across various industries, such as aerospace, automotive, medical, and electronics, where precision and intricate shapes are essential. GF Machining Solutions has been at the forefront of this technology, improving energy and resource efficiency, and introducing digital solutions to enhance productivity and precision. 

On EDM's 70th anniversary, the pioneers not only look back on a rich history but can also promise their customers continuous development in the future. With a strong technical expertise and a solid patent history, GF Machining Solutions is the preferred partner for any wire EDM machining project. 

One of the challenges in die-sinking EDM is the skill needed to realize a perfect part from drawing. Skilled operators are required to maximize the machine’s precision and surface finish. Recently, the company released the first EDM CAM software to support operators in their daily work, delivering ‘first part right’ machining and advancing the digitalization of the process chain. FORM eCAM uses CAD geometry to perfectly describe the machining process and  can extract the exact volume to be eroded by the die-sinking EDM machine. With this increased knowledge, the software can create a perfectly suited set of technological parameters, preventing potential human errors and increasing efficiency on the shop floor. 

Another major innovation is mastering current consumption. The heart of the die-sinking and wire-cutting machines, the IPG (Integrated Power Generator) is developed and assembled in Switzerland. It is a state-of-the-art fully digital and resonant switching generator that enables exceptional performance with minimal power consumption. 

Under the motto "Becoming better every day - since 1802", GF Machining Solutions is committed to continuous improvement and innovation enabling customers to manufacture products that improve our daily lives.

Related Glossary Terms

  • computer-aided design ( CAD)

    computer-aided design ( CAD)

    Product-design functions performed with the help of computers and special software.

  • computer-aided manufacturing ( CAM)

    computer-aided manufacturing ( CAM)

    Use of computers to control machining and manufacturing processes.

  • electrical-discharge machining ( EDM)

    electrical-discharge machining ( EDM)

    Process that vaporizes conductive materials by controlled application of pulsed electrical current that flows between a workpiece and electrode (tool) in a dielectric fluid. Permits machining shapes to tight accuracies without the internal stresses conventional machining often generates. Useful in diemaking.

  • wire EDM

    wire EDM

    Process similar to ram electrical-discharge machining except a small-diameter copper or brass wire is used as a traveling electrode. Usually used in conjunction with a CNC and only works when a part is to be cut completely through. A common analogy is wire electrical-discharge machining is like an ultraprecise, electrical, contour-sawing operation.

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