Case Study: Mitsubishi Electric Experienced with wire-cut EDM systems for generations

Author / Editor: Sabine Mühlenkamp / Rosemarie Stahl

You don’t often hear of someone claiming to have been surrounded by wire-cut EDM systems as a child. But Andreas Hornung, the managing director of Hornung, fondly remembers the machines of his father’s firm. Today, the company is equipped with several machines from Mitsubishi Electric.

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Hornung has a complete row of Mitsubishi Electric wire-cutting machines, two of them for already 10 years.
Hornung has a complete row of Mitsubishi Electric wire-cutting machines, two of them for already 10 years.
(Source: Mitsubishi Electric)

Hornung says about his first contacts with electrical discharge machining: “Apparently I used to say in pre-school that I was going to work in the company when I grew up. I can't honestly remember this, but I do have a clear image of the first wire EDMs with their punched tape.”

Ten years ago, the big day arrived. Joining his father, Andreas Hornung put the company in Urbach on a new footing. While the firm had previously concentrated solely on mould-making, Hornung coupled his arrival with a shift in emphasis to the production of steel and cemented carbide tools and complete subassemblies.

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Hornung’s very slogan of “Precision meets Perfection” suggests the importance attached to EDM technology. The family-run company has acquired so much skill that it enjoys a reputation as a problem-solver well beyond the immediate region. “We’ve achieved a very high degree of vertical integration, so a batch size of 1 is pretty well standard,” Hornung explains. “We’re appreciated by our customers because we handle tricky components with very complex shapes – and because we deliver the finished parts quickly and often overnight.” This means that the increasing expectations of flexibility and rapid delivery have become part of day-to-day business.

So that time is available for difficult projects, Hornung is dependent upon machines that run smoothly and for which a rapid trouble-shooting service is available in the event of a problem. “The Mitsubishi Electric service is brilliant,” says Hornung, summing up his decade of experience.

Several wire-cutting machines from Mitsubishi Electric stand harmoniously in a row and are in constant operation. While the two FA20s are already ten years old, they were joined in the machine park by the MV Series in only August 2015. Since very few jobs involve production series, this means that each of the three wire-cutting machines is re-tooled three to four times each day. “This is a trouble-free process,” says Hornung. “Our experience, particularly of the after-sales service, has been so positive that we didn’t want to change supplier.”