Owens Industries offers Micron Tolerance Wire EDM services, machining the “impossible” to achieve components most CNC machine shops are not capable of producing. Our very specialized Wire EDM services have high precision .001” wire capabilities allowing a corner radius of .0015”. We also offer micron positional accuracies – though 3µm to 5µm are more common, we have achieved positional accuracies of .05µm.
We can achieve one-micron positional accuracy (0.5 micron was the best we've achieved under a special circumstance but 3 microns (.000118") is more commonly achieved). We use a true 5 Axis indexing system , custom assembled by combining the efforts of a Japanese Control Systems company and a Swiss EDM company.
Our Wire EDM machines have glass scales with 0.1µm resolution. They have been specially calibrated and aligned with laser equipment, and are maintained in a very well controlled temperature and clean room atmosphere, ensuring your components are machined to their exact specifications. Our Wire EDM Machining is done in a room within a room type of arrangement – to ensure perfect temperature, dust and humidity control – this extra step helps us achieve the perfection we seek for Wire EDM.
Wire EDM lends itself to some of the closest machining tolerances available today. At Owens Industries, we witness the benefits of such exact cutting with each work piece produced from our state-of-the-art wire EDM machines. Beyond seemingly impossible cutting tolerances, wire EDM services offer additional benefits like:
Wire EDM machining opens up a whole new world of possibilities for cutting and machining OEM parts. The engineers at Owens Industries are on the leading edge of the EDM wire cutting industry, providing the most precise parts with the tightest tolerances available today. Owens Industries uses this and many other types of EDM and conventional machining processes to produce the exact component you need as efficiently as possible.
In addition to our Wire EDM services, we offer true rotary axis indexing Wire EDM. We teamed up with European and Japanese manufacturers to develop proprietary and highly accurate true 5 Axis Wire EDM systems, setting us apart from other CNC machine shops. Our Sink EDM capabilities complement this “unusual” talent/machine. We also offer close tolerance 5 axis CNC machining and precision lathe work to produce components requiring varied machining processes. Contact our Wire EDM professionals to learn more about our CNC machining services and what makes us your best choice for EDM work.
Electrical Discharge Machining – EDM - is the process of cutting/eroding material with an electric spark, created between an electrode and the metal component being machined. The electric spark, visibly showing the flow of electricity between the machine and work piece, produces temperatures reaching 8000 to 12000 degrees Celsius. This extreme heat can melt virtually anything. To ensure the surface of the work piece is the only part affected by the EDM, the spark produced is controlled and localized.
Wire EDM differs slightly from conventional EDM – the spark produced in Wire EDM always takes place in deionized water (the dielectric used for Wire EDM processes). Deionized water is used in Wire EDM because of its low viscosity, high cooling and material removal rate, and because deionized water is not a fire hazard. In Wire EDM cutting, a metallic wire (typically made of brass or stratified copper) between 0.1 and 0.3 mm in diameter is used to cut or rough/skim the part being machined. The wire used never comes into physical contact with the component being machined. The process used, and the specifics of that process, depend on the accuracy and surface finished required. Owens Industries’ experienced EDM machinists have years, and in some cases, decades of experience properly setting up, programming, and finishing EDM work from start to completion.
Ideal for machining delicate and complex parts, Wire EDM machines can be accurate to +/-1 micron and produce virtually no burrs (eliminating or greatly reducing the finish work required). Wire EDM machines are capable of machining work pieces up to 16” thick.
As with all EDM machining, measured voltages between two electrodes are required to produce a current of electricity. These electrodes create a spark, generating temperatures of over 14,000°F to vaporize and erode the material being machined.
With wire EDM, voltage is sent through the wire and a current path is established between the work piece and the wire, which serve as the two electrodes. A precise servo motor ensures constant gap between the wire and the piece. If the wire were to touch the work piece, a short circuit would occur, stopping the process.
In some ways, it is helpful to compare the wire EDM cutting action to that of a band saw, except the teeth of the band saw are replaced with the spark, which jumps from the wire to the work piece nearly a million times per second to erode the material. Eroded materials shed from the work piece are no larger than specks of dust.
Like a band saw, the thin wire is spooled and constantly fed between two computer assisted guides. This constant spooling action provides a fresh cutting surface throughout the wire cutting process. Because the cutting action produces constant erosion of both electrodes, long lengths of wire must be used – around 11 miles long (19 km) – and spools can weigh about 18 pounds, depending on the wire’s gauge. Once the cutting dimensions are entered into the CNC machine, the process is ready to begin.
Pressurized and de-ionized water, or any dielectric fluid, provides resistance to the spark. This resistance helps to precisely control the level of voltage jumping from the wire to the work piece, providing a consistent cut.
Unfiltered water does not work for this purpose. The minerals present in normal water act as a conductor of electricity which would mean uncontrollable cutting at lower levels of voltage. Resin tanks filter out the minerals, producing pure de-ionized water, which does not conduct electricity under normal circumstances. Only after enough voltage is applied will dielectric fluid ionize to conduct a current.
Dielectric water also serves to flush any shed material from the environment, ensuring a clean cut.
Owens Industries serves companies nationwide with top of the line Wire EDM services, providing micro precision components for a multitude of industries – aircraft, aerospace, military, fiber optics, energy, medical, and more. Among our precision CNC machining processes, Wire EDM stands out as one of the more intricate, with capabilities including long continuous cuts and narrow grooves. The more complex the product demands, the more ideal for Wire EDM. With no cutting force, EDM operates on flawless manufacturing, as the tolerance remains unchanged. There is no down-time for tool changing either, saving time in turn-around. Benefits of Wire EDM give Owens an edge in the CNC machining industry, promising clients ultra-precision micro cutting with measurable results.
The detail-specified capabilities of Wire EDM cutting allows our micromachining facility to go above and beyond client expectations. EDM’s flawless cutting process produces burr-free product outcomes, ensuring repeatable accuracy and optimal application function. When creating miniature parts, Wire EDM is the most reliable form of cutting technology.
Medical technology is advancing by leaps and bounds, requiring the CNC industry to advance right alongside it. Manufacturers producing medical devices, implants, and surgical components of micron sizes or with intricate details choose wire EDM to get the job done right. Capable of cutting a multitude of materials – including titanium, stainless steel, copper, aluminum, Inconel, kovar, carbide, and more – wire EDM is preferred over other machining techniques for its ability to quickly produce medical components with repeatable accuracy and measurable results. If you’re looking for a machine shop offering wire EDM, before wasting money and time, make sure they can actually meet your needs. The proper equipment is important, but qualified, experienced CNC programmers and engineers is a must when working on delicate medical products.