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EDM Using additional finish electrode actually saves time

Editor: Eric Culp

A generator control on die-sinking EDM machines significantly reduces wear on graphite electrodes employed to achieve final workpiece dimensions.

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Moulds can be finished with to their final dimensions with the low-wear EDM process.
Moulds can be finished with to their final dimensions with the low-wear EDM process.
(Source: ZK)

Using graphite for EDM finish-machining means a high degree of electrode wear and tear. That used to be considered something of a “law of nature” in the eroding field. However, with the introduction of its Magic3Pro generator control by Zimmer&Kreim GmbH & Co. KG (ZK), tuning of workpieces with graphite to achieve desired final dimensions involves much less wear and time.

Tool and mould makers would certainly prefer to employ graphite electrodes all the way to the realisation of final dimensions, but there are risks. Such an approach may result in the need for rework, which involves a great deal of wear and time.

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But Zimmer&Kreim has dealt with this issue by offering a strategy of low-wear finishing to final dimensions. This is made possible by two things: specifying the Magic3PRO generator control on ZK’s genius die-sinking EDM machines and using graphite electrodes for finishing as the strategy dictates.

See: Laser use on the rise in materials processing

Although reworking to final dimensions with a graphite electrode has inevitably entailed a great deal of wear, “this was necessary time and again,” according to Günther Wolf, head of technology and process engineering at Zimmer&Kreim. For fear of damage to the workpiece, erosion is usually not carried all the way to the limit of the data by the electrode. Further eroding is necessary in such a case. High wear of the graphite electrode here becomes a production problem, because, often, new electrodes must be made. As tool and mould makers know, this is uneconomical since it slows the processing of the order and increases time pressure.

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