Warwickshire-based Sodick Europe
has introduced a new generation of high-precision EDM die sink machines — the AL40G and AL60G. Both machines incorporate the latest electrical discharge control technology, together with Artificial Intelligence (AI) functions and a precision thermal compensation system – as well as Sodick’s own market-leading linear motor technology.
In the 20 years since Sodick launched the world’s first linear motor-driven EDM, the company has shipped more than 50,000 such machines, which have won international recognition for their build quality.
The latest-generation die sinkers provide improved machining accuracy, speed and quality, from roughing and semi-finishing through to finishing, as a result of a range of new technologies including the latest EDM controls and electrical discharge circuits.
In addition, the machines benefit from a highly rigid structure, with temperature sensors installed throughout the machine body, to minimise the effect of temperature changes during high-speed machining.
Large and easy-to-operate 19in touch panels come as standard, while the LN Professional AI program ensures ideal machining conditions at all times, enabling the AL40G and AL60G to be operated optimally by both beginners and experts alike.
Ease-of-access is provided by the three-sided, automated, vertical drop machining tank, which enables the incorporation of a wide variety of automation technologies.
These machines are equipped on the X, Y and Z axes with Sodick’s high-output linear motors, providing excellent machining performance and maintaining high accuracy over long periods of time.
The linear motors are driven by the newly developed SP power supply which enables highly accurate positioning and also doubles servo responsiveness compared to conventional technology.
The extremely rigid machine structure was optimally designed using ‘state of the art’ CAE analysis technology, while the incorporation of a new precision correction function, “TH COM”, minimises the effect of temperature changes within the machine, reducing the amount of thermal displacement by 50% compared to a conventional machine.
The new AL40G/AL60G series is equipped with Sodick’s independently developed lightweight, high rigidity ceramic sliders with low thermal displacement for the slide portion of the main spindle linear motor.
The combined effect of this together with the high-speed, dynamically responsive linear motor results in greatly improved straightness and a smooth drive, contributing to increased speed and the stable machining of deep ribs.
The high-speed jump effectively discharges machined tips, reducing abnormal arcs and the machining shape defects attributed to secondary discharge, which greatly reduces machining time.
The incorporation of Sodick’s “SGF4” advanced electrical discharge control technology in which an "arc never occurs", significantly improves die-sinking performance, increasing speed, reducing electrode wear and enabling an extensive range of machined surface qualities from satin to mirror surfaces to be obtained, by optimising the cutting technologies automatically.
Optimised, high-speed, high-precision machining is achieved by the combination of integrated technologies including; discharge state detection, discharge pulse control and dynamically responsive linear motor technology.
Meanwhile, the new SP power supply more than doubles motor control response speed, while the quality and speed of electrical discharge machining overall have benefitted from the development of new controls and circuits, including: up to 50% more cutting voltage on rough cutting (TMM4 circuit); increased semi-finishing speed (TPC4 control); and improved quality and speed of the finishing cut through accurate pulse control (BSN4 circuit). Automation-ready
In response to the increasing demand for automated systems, the new AL40G/AL60G series has been designed to support a variety of automation solutions.
The new models incorporate a three-sided automated vertical drop machining tank and suspended operation panel, so that automation technology, from a simple automatic tool changer to a full-scale robot automation system, can be installed.
Additional benefits of the new series include Sodick’s “LN Professional AI,” which offers a wide range of applicable cutting patterns to suit various machining requirements.
For each machining pattern, optimum machining conditions and axis motions are available and NC programs are automatically generated by the AI database.
Software, incorporated as standard, enables the SP power supply unit to directly and accurately import 3D solid model data, so positioning information can be input from the machining instruction by simply clicking the mouse on the solid model displayed on the operation screen, preventing human errors and greatly increasing operational efficiency.
One of the prime considerations in the design of the AL40G / AL60G was the development of an energy-saving, recycle/re-use, people-friendly, waste reduction and maintenance free eco-friendly machine tool – in-line with Sodick’s global policy of working to continuously improve its environmental impact ,which is central to the company’s development vision.