HS-Rib Z-Axis Sinker EDM Technology

November 01, 2014

Makino announces its new HS-Rib high-speed Z-axis technology for reportedly improved speed, lower electrode wear and more uniform finishes in large sinker EDM processes. When it comes to reducing sinker EDM cycle times, it is not the maximum jump speed that is important, but rather the acceleration speed. Makino's new high-speed Z-axis technology has a jump rate four times faster and Z-axis acceleration rate 30 times faster over previous technologies. This capability produces a more efficient hydraulic effect during machine processing, which helps evacuate debris from the spark gap, even in deep-rib features.

"As with all machining processes, there's an insatiable desire to reduce cycle times while meeting part-quality requirements in sinker EDM processing," said Brian Pfluger, Makino's EDM product manager. "Fulfilling these needs involves a number of considerations, including how to process for best speed and efficiency, minimize electrode manufacturing requirements, and reduce electrode wear to achieve the best possible surface finish quality. Our new high-speed Z-axis technology, combined with Makino's SuperSpark IV, helps support these factors, providing an ideal balance for efficiency in both electrode consumption and cycle times without the need for external auxiliary flushing."

The new high-speed Z-axis technology is available on all Makino EDNC-Series sinker EDM machines, and is designed for use in large workpiece applications requiring high accuracy and fine surface finishes. Its design offers highly flexible processing capabilities, including a jump rate of 20 m per minute with 1.5-G acceleration, Z-axis strokes ranging from 500 to 800mm, and programming of orbital machining patterns with no amperage limitations. The use of direct-drive motor technology and liquid cooling within the Z-axis structure ensures sustained thermal stability and precise depth control, and supports electrode weights of up to 100kg (220 lbs.).

Makino also offers the following four process strategies for optimal performance based on users' unique requirements for speed, surface quality, accuracy and electrode wear:

• Low Wear Settings: Provide a single-electrode rough and finish process

• Advanced Orbit and Jump Settings: Improve machining speeds and surface finish consistency

• High-Speed Z-Axis: Improve machining speeds and accuracy

• Aggressive Power Settings: Optimize machining speed (sacrifices electrode wear)

Makino's EDNC-Series sinker EDM machines combine rigid and precise construction, simple programming and advanced performance features for accurate EDMing of large workpieces. Equipped with the new high-speed Z-axis technology, these large, heavy-duty machines can produce deep ribs as fast as, or faster than, the smallest sinker EDM machines on the market. Automatic tool change and adaptive controls enable high levels of unattended machining without the need for operator intervention, and is further supported with advanced automatic jump machining controls to optimize debris removal without the need for external flushing.

EDNC sinker EDMs are designed with several friendly and efficient features. The machine uses a space-saving design that incorporates the dielectric reservoir into the base casting, which saves on floor space while also improving the thermal stability of the machine. Most EDNC-Series machines have a full three-sided programmable drop tank with unparalleled ergonomic access to the machine for setups and operation. All machines feature fully automatic fire-suppression systems, and use a special UV sensor that affords an excellent first line of defense for added operational safety. Programming can be performed using the menu-driven touch screen advanced model plan or streamlined MPG conversational format systems. Both methods offer simple selection of machining conditions for workpiece and electrode material type, and the desired feature shape and surface finish. The machine also is designed with advanced menu-driven 2-D and 3-D orbital motion techniques that provide high accuracy and uniform surface finish results over the entire workpiece detail regardless of complexity.

All EDNC-series sinker EDMs can be equipped with Makino's proprietary High-Quality Surface Finish (HQSF) technology that yields achievable surface finish capabilities 50 percent better than that of conventional surface finishes, regardless of discharge surface area. Even when machining to standard/conventional surface finishes, the HQSF technology can yield a double-digit saving in cycle time.

Related Glossary Terms

  • 2-D


    Way of displaying real-world objects on a flat surface, showing only height and width. This system uses only the X and Y axes.

  • 3-D


    Way of displaying real-world objects in a natural way by showing depth, height and width. This system uses the X, Y and Z axes.

  • 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.