Wire EDM Services

Achieving the Impossible with Wire EDM Cutting Services

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.

Wire EDM Cutting Services

Benefits of EDM Wire Cutting at Owens Industries

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:

  • Superior Consistency – throughout the duration of the cutting process, conventional cutting tools can wear down or even break, resulting in tiny inconsistencies in the final product. Wire EDM cycles new wire between spools to produce consistent electrode quality, which lends itself to repeatable wire cuts.
  • Simultaneous Cutting – in some cases, the EDM wire can cut through stacked sheeting materials to produce identical OEM components at the same time; this multiplies productivity, saving you time and money.
  • Material Compatibility – wire EDM can make precise cuts on a wider range of material than conventional milling. Our wire EDM erodes the work piece surface, providing the capability to machine hardened metals like tungsten carbide, or softer materials like copper. Additionally, extremely thin material can be accurately machined, because there is no contact between the piece and the wire. This eliminates distortions found in stressed cuts.  
  • Eliminates Finishing – wire EDM cuts at Owens Industries produces ultra-fine finishes which do not require additional surface treatments. A product coming out of our wire EDM machines is pretty much ready to go.

What is Wire EDM?

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 workpieces up to 16” thick.

Industries served by Owens

Wire EDM is used across a number of industries to produce precision dependent components with fast manufacturing times and repeatable accuracy, including:

Owens Industries serves these industries and more, consistently exceeding industry quality standards and the capabilities of normal CNC machine shops. We are happy to take on prototype or production machining work.

True 5 Axis Wire EDM Capabilities

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.

What is Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM)?

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 workpiece, produces temperatures reaching 8000 to 12000 degrees Celsius. This extreme heat can melt virtually anything. To ensure the surface of the workpiece is the only part affected by the EDM, the spark produced is controlled and localized.

How Does Wire EDM Work?

Wire EDM Cutting ServicesAs 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 workpiece and the wire, which serve as the two electrodes. A precise servo motor ensures a constant gap between the wire and the piece. If the wire were to touch the workpiece, 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 workpiece nearly a million times per second to erode the material. Eroded materials shed from the workpiece 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.

De-Ionized Water: Wire EDM Cutting Medium

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 workpiece, 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.

Wire EDM Machining with CNC Swiss LathesWire EDM Wisconsin

The expert CNC machinists at Owens Industries use the latest technology in Swiss lathes to manufacture parts for a wide variety of industries. The CNC Swiss machined parts from Owens Industries are always made with the tightest tolerances and highest accuracy, ensuring your component is made to your exact specifications.

Since wire EDM machining is used to manufacture the most delicate and complex parts, our CNC Swiss precision lathes are the best machines to use for the most exact components. Our machines are capable of making parts up to 16” thick, but they are ideal for manufacturing tiny components accurate to +/-1 micron. With specially calibrated parts and laser alignment, our wire EDM cutting process is the best you’ll find in the CNC machining industry.

Some of the capabilities of our CNC Swiss machining lathes include:

Our Swiss machining capabilities surpass industry standards for wire EDM services. Contact the professionals at Owens Industries to learn more about our precision part manufacturing.

Medical EDM Parts Manufacturing

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.

Components We've Built Using Wire EDM:

Part Application Industry Material Specific Feature
Spray Nozzle Urethane Application Automotive AISI 316 Stainless Steel Locating Spray Slot within 0.0005"
Inner Diaphragm Hydraulic Flow Energy Research 6Al-4v Grade 5 Titanium 4" Diameter Cylinder with 0.008" Thick Wall
Actuator, Arm Night Vision Goggles Military 17-4PH Stainless Steel Cond A 20 Tooth Ratchet Profile
Torsion Spring Pin Retainer Retention Cap Oil & Gas 13CR-L80 NACE MR0175 EDM Wire Curved Profile
Hex Stop Shaft Control Component Oil & Gas 4330 V MOD Steel Matched Sets of Hexagon Rings
Aperture Plate Laser Alignment Energy Tungsten Nickel Alloy 250 Micron Thru Holes
Flexure Electronic Control Research and Development AISI 303 Stainless Steel EDM Wire 0.015" Wide Slot
Spreader Tweaker Pick and Place Device Circuit Board Manufacturing M2 Tool Steel Fine Wire EDM Cut
Plenum Base Fuel Flow Military 6LA-4v Titanium per AMS 4928 Machine 0.010" Thick Tube Wall
Bottom Clamp Microwave Reader Research and Development Glidcop AL-15 000-120 Threaded Holes

The Role Wire EDM Plays in Precision Micromachining

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.

Contact the Wire EDM experts Wisconsin trusts at Owens Industries today.

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