Poco Graphite Electrode users learn how to mind the gap
Emmanuel Ambrosetto, European Sales Manager at Poco Graphite, outlines some of the major changes in EDM.
Two of the most flagrant changes I’ve observed these last 10-15 years would be on the type of jobs being produced and related gaps today’s European mould makers are using, and the short delivery times they have to deal with.
Indeed, in 2000, a typical job was made out of a wider range of gaps (from 0.5mm/side to 0.1mm/side). Today’s electrodes sizes and shapes demand much smaller gaps, often from 0.2mm/side to 0.05mm/side. In 2000, a mould maker was asked to make a mold in three months; he now has to make it in six weeks.
Those changes in electrode shapes (such as fine ribs), sizes, and gaps added to the need to stay competitive on a worldwide market, drove the customers to look for the right electrode materials, and the right tools. This is where premium graphite fits in the best.
Poco Graphite did handle these market changes well especially thanks to our high quality 5µm range. A copper end user in 2000 that could only get an MRR to about 20 mm3/min when using a 0.15mm/side gap (kind of “standard” gap for copper end users), now can use POCO EDM-1 or EDM-3 with the same gap and reach a 60 mm3/min. This saving allowed many copper end users to offer faster service to their customers and gain new business.
Poco Graphite also contributed to help the transition from large gap electrodes (typically 10-15µm graphite grades) to smaller gap electrodes (less than 5µm) by demonstrating the savings on the wear, the quantity of electrodes and improved speed.
In 15 years time I have seen the European mould making market going through difficult times, where severe savings and optimizations were requested. POCO, especially through his EDM-1 and EDM-3 grades, has been working on supporting the EDM end users in order to make them as competitive as possible.