The Smart Technology Event conducted live demonstrations of a new range of rigid linear motor driven Wire EDM machines and other high speed machine tools that offer small to mid-size shops a competitive advantage through improved part accuracy, repeatability, speed and acceleration. Visitors to the Smart Technology Event hosted by Sodick got to inspect and learn about a wide range of machine tools, including a new range of rigid linear motor driven Wire EDM machines.
The rigid linear motor driven SL600G Wire EDM boasts a full security enclosure, SPW (Smart Pulse Wire) control with the Smart Pulse Generator, and technologies that improve cutting speed and precision. The new TT1-400A high speed machining center that was on display is ideal for precision graphite and electrode machining. The linear motor drive technology on the SL Series Wire EDM models contains the same components as a servo motor that uses magnets and copper coils. The linear motor technology on the SL Series Wire EDMs is based on electronic drives with an option that improves accuracy, repeatability, speed and acceleration. Data transmission to linear motors on the SL Series is instantaneous with the use of a motion controller. Users are guaranteed positioning accuracy for ten years on these SL Series Wire EDMs, along with all their other linear motor driven Wire and Sinker EDMs. This technology was on display during the event with the SL600G Wire EDM, which has rigid linear motor axes drives coupled with glass scales on the X, Y, U and V axes to ensure precision cutting and positioning accuracy. The new Sodick Control SPW (Smart Pulse Wire) uses the Windows 7 operating system with an enhanced 19 in FT multi-touch screen that operates like a tablet.

A Smart Pulse Generator reduces the number of cuts and time necessary to achieve the required accuracy and surface finish – a financially competitive advantage for shops. The Sodick Motion Controller (K-SMC) accurately controls the high-speed and precise linear motor drive movements through commands from the NC unit. A fixed jet high speed automatic wire threader (AWT) system is used for submerged and non-submerged threading. Another machine tool on display during the event was the new TT1-400A, a high speed machining center designed for precision graphite and electrode machining that uses a 40,000 rpm high torque high speed HSK-E25 spindle with a maximum tool diameter of .236 in (6 mm). Sodick was established in 1976 and has sold over 55,000 EDMs worldwide for the production of dies and molds and other various applications, with over 30,000 linear motor EDM deliveries.
Mike Riley is the editor of Fabricating & Metalworking magazine and the author of Backfield In Motion (Derek Press, 2007).
It holds positioning accuracy, full stroke repeatability, and circular cutting accuracy within 3?m (0.00012 in) by using THK linear motion guides for high radial load capacity, high speed capacity and rigidity, vibration and shock resistance, and high rotational accuracy. Since linear motors are a direct electronic drive with no mechanical parts, they do not have the backlash and wear problems ball screw drives may have. Over shoot and under shoot does not occur since glass scales are attached to the axis to measure positioning so the exact position is always known.  Linear motors produce virtually no vibration and zero backlash because they are directly driven. This compares to using traditional ball screws, where the motor drives start to lose accuracy after only two years and after five years of constant use the ball screws need to be replaced.

The SL600G also features energy-saving designs and technologies that can reduce average energy consumption by up to 60 percent over traditional Wire EDMs. Combining thermal wire cut for a straighter wire and a new water-jet function improves the reliability of the AWT system. THK linear motion guides are used for high radial load capacity, high speed capacity and rigidity, vibration and shock resistance, and high rotational accuracy. Maintenance screens show the status of the machine and remote access is possible for maintenance and supervision. This automatic programming system also detects the profile of a workpiece for Wire EDM machining and extracts the machining contour to save a significant amount of programming hours. The exclusive closed guides used on the SL600G, combined with the FJ AWT, increases productivity even more.
The machine castings support the linear motor to achieve ideal linear performance for precision machining. The operator can check machining progress even on thin workpieces by stopping the slide tank in intermediate positions while machining.  The stainless steel tank interior allows quick maintenance.

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