GF AgieCharmilles new DRILL 300
GF AgieCharmilles, the milling, EDM and Laser Ablation machine tool specialist, has launched a new EDM hole-drilling machine into the market.
The new DRILL 300, designed and built in Switzerland, is a sophisticated EDM drill that takes this technology to a whole new dimension and provides manufacturers (mould and tool makers, and precision part manufacturers) with a high-precision drilling solution that delivers impressive accuracies and repeatability’s, greater productivity and improved manufacturing flexibility.
High-speed EDM hole drill technology is designed specifically for accurate, small- and deep- hole drilling applications found in the aerospace, power generation and medical sectors.
Using the DRILL 300 the hole-making process is made fast and reliable and, because EDM drills can machine their way through virtually any conductive material (e.g. inconels, titanium, steels etc.), the technology is inherently flexible and can achieve end results well beyond the reach of conventional machining methods.
The DRILL 300
The DRILL 300 is a large-capacity EDM drill that can accommodate work-pieces up to 1000 x 700 x 500 mm in size, and up to 1000 kg in weight on its compact fixed table.
The machine is flexible and productive and, as well as standard X- (600mm), Y- (400mm) and Z-axis (450mm) movements, also features a W-axis (450mm) and optional rotary/tilting table (A-/B-axes) and +/- 45 degree tilting head functionality - all of which facilitate the drilling of high-accuracy holes at any angle.
The DRILL 300’s 6-axis machining capability means it can produce round and other-shaped cooling holes (such as those found in aerospace blades and vanes), while its indexing table allows the machining of holes in a circular pattern.
Standard electrode diameters handled by the DRILL 300 are Ø 0.3-3.0 mm but, for micro-machining, electrodes with diameters down to 0.1 mm can be accommodated. For the machining of larger holes the machine can handle electrodes up to 6mm in diameter.
The DRILL 300 has been designed to ensure that the integrity of the surface layer and of the machined holes is maintained.
Using powerful, state-of-the-art electronics (digital IPG generator technology) and a powerful and responsive control system – the pulses created (measured in nanoseconds), are powerful and efficient, resulting in fast drilling speeds, low electrode wear and protection of the affected ‘machined’ layer.
The generator also provides process control strategies such as first spark detection, electrode wear compensation, breakthrough detection and cylindricity control.
The machine is simple and straightforward to use and features a touch screen based on the Windows XP operating system which enables the easy set-up and programming of single and multi- holes, multi work-pieces, electrodes and guides using 5 main pages: Easy Drill, Work Preparation, Work Execution, Service and File Manager.
The DRILL 300 has in-built autonomy. The machine automatically controls its dielectric water temperature and conductivity, and an automatic electrode guide changer combined with an ability to be integrated with/to external handling devices further improve the machine’s productivity and autonomy.
Says Martin Spencer, Agie Charmilles’ managing director:
'In recent years when EDM hole-drilling was in its relative infancy – the technology was mainly used for the creation of start holes for wire EDM applications.
'The launch of the new, sophisticated DRILL 300 demonstrates how far, and how much more widely used and accepted, this technology is amongst precision manufacturers'.