Small Victory at Makino
By Michael Anderson
The company’s Micromachining Conference and Technology Expo—both held at their Auburn Hills, MI, tech center last week, show the cutting—and burning—edges of micro manufacturing.
Makino showcased new developments in micromanufacturing processes and equipment at the Sept. 10 Micromachining conference. Demonstrations included: automatic wire threading of 0.05-mm wire in a tungsten carbide fiber optic tooling application on the UPN-01 horizontal wire EDM; hale machining of an optical surface using the iQ300 ultra-precision machining center; direct machining of tungsten carbide workpiece materials on the V33i VMC; unattended fine-hole machining on the EDAF3-FH sinker EDM; and oil-based wire EDM machining of carbide to superior accuracy and surface finish using 0.003-inch-diameter wire on the UPV-3 wire EDM.
Guest presenters included:
- William P. King, director of the Center for Nanoscale Chemical-Electrical-Mechanical Manufacturing Systems (NANO-CEMMS) and College of Engineering Abel Bliss Professor in Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). King gave a big-picture look at how the Digital Thread is used by OEMS and suppliers, and what more needs to be done to improve interactions (he calls for a “digital fabric”).
- Mark Raleigh of EDM Department Inc. described and demonstrated the results of a collaboration between his company, Alicona USA (a company he co-founded), and Makino called Closed Loop Manufacturing (CLM), which integrates high precision EDM machining and ultra precision micro metrology in a recursive, closed loop process.
- Werth Inc. VP Jeff Bibee looked at the challenges of dimensional measurement in the micro realm.
“Micromachining technologies are taking on increased importance in a variety of markets, including medical devices, electronics, optics and communications,” noted Mark Rentschler, marketing manager at Makino.
At the Technology Expo, held Sept. 11 and 12, micro manufacturing was just one of the technologies discussed; other presentations on these days included:
- Evolution of Wire EDM Technology: Featuring Makino’s new U3 and U6 wire EDM platform to produce higher accuracy and finer surface finishes with less wire consumption.
- Getting Rid of Rust: How rust affects steel parts left in wire EDM water dielectric for long periods of times and ways to eliminate this problem.
- High-Speed Rib Machining: How to reduce manufacturing costs through using fewer machined electrodes, and reduced or eliminated hand-finishing operations.
- Five-Axis Machining: A new machining method using five-axis continuous motion focuses on increasing tool life and productivity through shorter machining time.
- EDM Hole Machining: The advantages and disadvantages of EDM drilling in oil dielectric and water are compared and benefits analyzed.