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Wire EDM improves form tool quality.

Eversharp Tool Co Inc, Schaumburg, IL, now EDMs its form tools instead of using surface grinding and milling. The new process has increased the consistency of tool quality, and cut costs.

The firm uses Japax LDM-S EDM machines from Mitsui Machine Technology Inc, Japax EDM Div, Glendale Heights, IL. The tool line consists of carbide-tipped, solid-carbide, and high-speed-steel tools, now manufactured almost completely on four CNC wire electrical-discharge machines.

According to Jerry Dunphy, Eversharp VP and general manager, the greatest advantage the EDM method brings to the company's operation is consistency of tool quality. "We can now assure our customers of repeatable dimensions-the same today as eight months later for a reorder. And, turnaround time is much better. We buy raw stock (no blanks) that is heat treated and ready to go; we control the whole process. If a customer has a smashup, he can call us and get a replacement within a couple of days."

All the programming is done at the machines; it's not necessary to wait for off-line programming. The machines make long runs untended, and are supervised by one person.

Other advantages of the system include savings in diamond wheels previously required to grind carbide, as well as the elimination of secondary operations.

Also, if Eversharp receives a customer's print with an error, the machine's control will not take it, and the customer is asked to correct it. With grinding, the incorrect print might not have been detected and the tools would have been made incorrectly.

The Japax machines include features that are useful for form-tool work, such as automatic skim cutting, corner control, and capability for super-fine finish.

Tom Klein, sales engineer at Eversharp Tool, says "Now we can go after jobs we never thought of before and have already won some large new accounts because of the consistent quality we can deliver. One large company eliminated all of its form-tool sources but two, partly because we were able to show our CNC capabilities, along with our design and engineering abilities."
COPYRIGHT 1991 Nelson Publishing
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Tooling & Production
Date:Sep 1, 1991
Words:336
Previous Article:Bending automation: flexibility without tooling.
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