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Latest Sodick wire EDMs 20% faster on multi-cut mould insert work
Latest Sodick wire EDMs 20% faster on multi-cut mould insert work
Latest Sodick wire EDMs 20% faster on multi-cut mould insert work

Latest Sodick wire EDMs 20% faster on multi-cut mould insert work

Added to MTDCNC by Sodi-Tech on 26 October 2016

Pickering-based Ryetools, a designer and manufacturer of high-performance plastic injection mould tools for the packaging and medical/pharmaceutical industries, has invested in two Sodick SL series wire erosion machines from Sodi-Tech EDM, a move that has led to an increase in output of 20% for multi-cut work. In addition, the investment means the company can now accommodate taller workpieces and larger spools of wire, while programming is a lot faster and more intuitive.

Established in 1988, Ryetools Ltd has grown to become a market leader in complex plastic injection mould tools of up to 4 tonnes capacity. The company specialises in moulds for the packaging and medical/pharmaceutical industries.  These are either high volume applications, such as caps and closures, or high value/precision for medical and pharmaceutical applications.  Mould types supplied by the 27-employee business include high cavitation, collapsing core, auto-unscrewing, in-mould closing, twin-shot and thin wall, among others.

To help accommodate the company’s growing order book, Ryetools is aware that keeping up with the latest manufacturing technologies can provide genuine competitive gain, which is why it recently sought to upgrade its in-house wire EDM capability.

“We’ve had a couple of Sodick wire EDMs since 2000, and although they were still accurate and reliable, we knew we were missing out on a number of technological advances,” explains Managing Director Darren Hugill. “For example, along with greater productivity, we wanted to accommodate taller workpieces and use more 0.1mm diameter wire [rather than 0.25mm] to achieve smaller radii in the apertures of intricate mould inserts.”

Extremely satisfied with the performance of his existing Sodick machines and the support of Sodi-Tech EDM, Ryetools did not think about going elsewhere for its new investment.  In fact, along with investing in new SLC400G and SLC600G wire EDMs, the company also decided to retain one of its older Sodick machines.

“We have been so busy lately that all three of our Sodick machines have been running at capacity to meet the demand for inserts – we produce moulds with up to 96 impressions,” Mr Hugill says.  “However, the difference between the new machines and our older one is vast.  For instance, the higher generator power means we can cut thicker parts, faster.  I estimate that the new machines are 20% quicker on multi-cut work, while we get an extra 50mm X-axis height with the SLC600G.  Furthermore, the automatic wire feed is vastly improved, which along with the use of 20kg wire spools, means we can run for several days unattended.”

The new Sodick SL series wire EDMs have been set to work at Ryetools’ 21,000 ft² purpose-designed facility producing a host of different mould tool inserts from hardened tool steels, as well as beryllium copper mould alloys such as Moldmax - on which Mr Hugill says performance has been improved by the new machines.

“There is very little, if anything, to do after wiring,” he says. “Both surface finish and accuracy are very impressive.  We typically work to 5µm, which is plain-sailing for the SL machines.  Quality is the key to our success.  If we keep our customers happy from a quality perspective, we will continue to pick-up work through referrals and recommendations.”

Sodick's linear motor technology provides instantaneous servo time, which maximises cutting efficiency. Since there are no ball screws or couplings, backlash is totally eliminated, which offers several advantages, including improved positioning and cutting accuracy while at the same time providing smooth and vibration-free table movement.

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