FOCUS ON EQUIPMENT
Redesigned Wire EDM Machines Provide Improved Speed and Accuracy
A line of wire EDM equipment has been redesigned to provide faster, more accurate cutting speeds and surface-finishing capabilities for the production of joint-replacement components, surgical knives, needles, clamps, and other medical device components. The new Fanuc iD machines feature a thermally insulated cast Meehanite base designed to provide 40% more rigidity than previous models. Table travel capacity was increased to eliminate load overhang during table movement and to provide high rigidity for heavy workloads. An added air-jet wire transport system in the upper annealing pipe also helps improve accuracy, reliability, and speed.
Methods EDM, a div. of Methods Machine Tools Inc., Sudbury, MA
Laser Wafer-Scribing Machine Features Optical System for High-Speed Dicing
Featuring a solid-state 266-nm laser, a wafer-scribing and die-singulation machining system uses precision linear motion and part handling to ensure high throughput. The platform of the IX-188 ChromaDice machining center provides flexibility through features such as multiple stages for wafers up to 6 in. and the manufacturer’s Vortex nozzle for debris removal. Its optical system for high-speed wafer dicing includes high-precision optical mounts for stability and ease of adjustment. Granite integrated into the machine’s structural design can eliminate the need for routine and cumbersome realignment of the optical system. The laser, beam-delivery system, and electronics are fully enclosed. Processing up to five wafers per hour, the machine’s noncontact technique provides constant maintenance-free operation, according to the manufacturer.
JP Sercel Associates Inc., Manchester, NH
Abrasive Water-Jet System Machines Medical Device Parts and Prototypes
An abrasive water-jet machining system is used to quickly and accurately cut large or multiple stock parts as large as 5 × 10 ft in a variety of materials. The 60120 JetMachining center can be used for applications such as blanking out surgical instruments from special steel alloys, medical device prototyping, cutting artificial limb components from carbon-fiber composites, and water-only applications such as cutting thin plastic for case dividers that hold medical instruments in place throughout the sterilization process. Employing a movable cutting head, the machining center also features a traction drive that achieves high accuracy by closing a positioning loop with linear encoders in the same manner as a linear motor. Its bridge-style y-axis design improves reliability, requiring little maintenance, according to the manufacturer. The system’s motion control technology can also calculate the velocity of a tool path at more than 2000 points per inch, enabling precise, rapid machining.
Omax Corp., Kent, WA
Precision Machining Center Requires Half the Floor Space of Similar Machines
With a compact footprint of 1.0 × 1.8 m, a precision machining center uses half the floor space of similar machines, according to the manufacturer. To provide high-quality machining of finished surfaces, the Xion-II 5AX features simultaneous five-axis control. High-speed acceleration and deceleration functions minimize downtime, and low electrical consumption results in low operating costs. Designed using 3-D solid modeling, the machining center has no overhanging structures and is approximately 2.0 m tall. Equipped with linear scales, the system creates a fully closed-loop feedback system to achieve positioning accuracy within 0.10 µm. It also features a trunion-style, two-axis rotary table for multisurface processing, and has profile-machining capabilities. Optional accessories include automatic tool and work measurement systems.
Sugino Corp., Itasca, IL