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EDM tooling system improves machine-to-machine accuracy.

The production of precision plastic molds calls for (1) mining and turning machines to make the electrodes, and (2) EDM sinking machines that use the electrodes to cut and shape the molds.

Classic Die Inc, Grand Rapids, MI, produces molds primarily for the automotive, medical, furniture, and electrical industries. The 12-yr-old firm has found that the key to continuing success goes beyond the acquisition of machine tools and capable personnel. According to Dan Parmeter, president of Classic Die, that key is an integrated tooling system used throughout the shop.

"Since we started using the Erowa ITS tooling system in all phases of our manufacturing, we began to have confidence in the accuracy we can transfer from machine to machine," says Mr Parmeter. We mill, turn, or grind our graphite electrodes in Erowa electrode holders, then move them to the EDMS with absolute repeatability. The repeatability of the holders makes it easy to move them from machine to machine fitted with Erowa chucks.

"Previously, when we used conventional angle plates or V-blocks, shimming or squaring was always required. Also, with the old system, if you were burning and had a problem that required cleaning the electrode, you were always afraid to remove it because of the constant need to recheck and reset.

With the Erowa system, it's no problem to remove the electrode from the EDM machine, clean it, and re-insert it with no alignment or checking required. What's more, anyone can change the tool; a skilled operator isn't needed, because no special feel is required."

Mr Parrneter also points out, Classic Die's way of working in the shop is off centerline. Because the Erowa system is based on the same principle, it fits our thinking and always works for us. There are no zero corners, the way people used to work. "

Dan Winell, Classic Die's shop foreman, observes, "Most metal - Another payback element is the electrode preparation that takes place before cutout of the electrodes begins. Winell explains, We used to buy relatively small pieces of graphite. Now we can buy larger pieces at a better price and simply bandsaw the graphite as needed. It also takes less than 25 percent of the time we used to spend. In addition, with the new system, we use a minimum amount of graphite.

"Because the graphite can be reused, we can make a totally different electrode from a used one. In the long run, the cost of the electrode holders is not significant compared to all the savings."

Both Classic Die executives cautioned that the Erowa system should be used throughout a shop to get the most out of it. I Partial just doesn't work." They have just received two new Sharnoa CNC mills, which they expect will eventually handle 95 percent of the electrode-making requirements. EDM sinking equipment at Classic consists of two LeBlond Makino EDMS and two Charmilles machines.

For further information on the ITS tooling system, contact Erown Technology Inc, 595 River St, Windsor, CT 06095 or circle 335.
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Title Annotation:electric discharge machining
Publication:Tooling & Production
Date:Jul 1, 1990
Previous Article:400 tons and special tooling, too.
Next Article:Manufacturing's representative.

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