Wire electronic discharge machine (WEDM) process is also referred to as “spark” machining, “burning”, “die sinking” and wire or spark erosion. It is used to achieve a desired shape in material, via sparks (or electrical discharges). Two electrodes are used to form a constant current. One electrode is known as the “tool”, while the other is known as the “workpiece”.
When two conductors separated by a dielectric (a film of non-conducting liquid), a quick succession of discharge (aka: electrical tension) happens. When the voltage reaches a certain point, the dielectric breakdown occurs, and the ionized channel can be created. In turn, the discharge process can begin, because the dielectric now becomes a local conductive.
During the late 1700’s, Joseph Priestly (and English scientist), made the discovery of an erosive effect caused by electrical discharge. In the early 1940’s, Soviet scientists ( B. and N. Lazarenko) came up with (and acted on) the idea that electrical discharge can be controlled, and used, for machining materials that are conductors of electrical currently. Born, from this idea, is the EDM process.
There are many advantages to wire electronic discharge machining. The least of these, being the fact that it has the ability to create complex cuts/shape when other, more conventional cutting types of tools may fall short. Hard surfaces, such as titanium or steel and other exotic/rare materials are not a hindrance when using an EDM.
In addition, because there is no contact between the workpiece and the tool, fragile material can be successfully machined without distortion or damage.
There are also a few disadvantages to using a WEDM which include the extra cost and time involved in using this type of equipment. The power consumption is high which adds to the cost of daily operation. As with any oil-based combustible machines, a fire is possible (proper precautions must be in place to ensure safety).
Top WEDM Manufacturers
Wire electronic discharge machines are the main technology used in today’s tool and mold making industry. Companies that are leading this industry include, but not limited to:
Accutex Technologies not only manufactures EDM machines, but also CNC wire cutting machines. This company serves the entire world with its machines, and boasts annual sales of 2 million dollars.
Oscar EDM Company Ltd, a company that is based in Taiwan, specializes in the manufacturing of electrical discharge machines (EDM), including the wire and drilling EDM machines.
Ocean Technologies Co., Ltd, also based in Taiwan, is another leader in exporting EDM machines across the world. In addition, this company is also known for supplying electrode tubes, ceramic guides and other equipment parts.
Belmont Equipment & Technology has all your EDM needs (including coolant drills, filter systems, wire guides and parts for charmilles edm), in addition to excellent customer service.
This company stays at the top by offering the most up-to-date technology, and offering customers a fresh and proactive approach, in meeting all their EDM needs, including increased productivity and money saving options.
Currently, there are several locations in the United States, including California, Illinois, North Carolina and Massachusetts that also serve Mexico and Canadian customers.
GF Machining Solutions is a Switzerland based company, that offers high performance EDMs (including palletizing and clamping systems) globally.
Midway Machine & Instrument Co., Inc. is a leader in manufacturing Charmilles EDM parts, and other machines parts that are vital for running oil fields, space stations and the medical industry. Based in Texas, this company serves Western Europe, North American and, of course, EDM Houston, TX customers.
Shenzhen Industry Co., Ltd, a company based in China, manufacturers grinders, CNC equipment, milling machines and electrical discharge machines (just to name a few).
Wright EDM Parts Co. Ltd. manufacturers’ parts, that are applicable for name brand wire cutting machines, such as Charmilles EDM, Maxi Art, Mitsubishi, Makino and Hitachi. In addition, they also supply drill chucks, ceramic guides and jigs, for use on EDM drilling machines.