Sodick Brings Best-of-Breed EDM, Milling and Injection Moulding to EMO
With its largest ever stand at EMO, Sodick is once again bringing best-of-breed technology to the exhibition, with European debuts for the ACL400P super-high accuracy wire EDM, the ALC800G large capacity premium wire machine, the new UH650L high-speed milling machine and the MS100 plastic injection moulding machine.
These newcomers are accompanied on the stand by two of Sodick’s most advanced EDM “big beasts”, the AG80L die sink and the ALC800G wire machine, while automation options are being demonstrated by the AG60L die sinker with robot and the OPM250L additive manufacturing machine.
The EDM line-up
1. NEW - ALC400P Super-accurate Wire EDM
When Sodick set itself the task of improving on the performance and accuracy of its ALC-G series it took on a major challenge – these machines are already technical leaders, incorporating Sodick linear technology and digital Smart Pulse generators. But some sectors have requirements are even more demanding and Sodick was finding that an increasing number of customers were looking for super-high accuracy, for example a pitch accuracy of +/-1 micron – and every element of the AL-P series has been developed to achieve these objectives.
ALC-P machines incorporate as standard an inverter-type dielectric chiller which monitors and maintains the dielectric temperature to within +/-1 degree, minimising the thermal effect inside the work-area. An additional thermal sensor is installed inside the work-tank for even more accurate temperature control.
The CNC controller incorporates 2-dimensional pitch compensating software which automatically compensates pitch error in positioning every square of 10 x 10mm. In addition, cross-type roller guides provide super-high rigidity and accuracy and longer life. Even the door to the machine has been considered and is constructed of Carbon fibre to minimize “weight shift”.
2. NEW - ALC800G Large Capacity Premium Wire EDM
The ALC series is Sodick’s premium wire-cut EDM line, offering advanced cutting speed, accuracy and surface finish - and the ALC800G is the largest standard machine in the range with a 1250 x 1020 mm work-tank and a maximum workpiece weight of 3000 kg.
Incorporating the latest digital innovations in generator technologies and the use of advanced electrode materials, the ALC range provides major advances in cutting speed, accuracy and surface finish - made possible through Sodick’s in-house development and manufacture of all critical technologies, including linear motors, discharge power supply, NC unit, motion controller and ceramics.
The superb performance of these machines is based on Sodick’s “Smart Pulse & Smart Linear” concept in which the Smart Pulse Generator dramatically reduces the number of cuts necessary to achieve the required accuracy and surface finish compared with conventional machines – which translates directly into increased productivity.
The development of the ALC series also demanded the creation of a new machine design, resulting in a more compact and fully enclosed machine tool with the most advanced human interface, including a 19-inch touch screen control.
For customers looking to machine even larger work-pieces, an additional factory-build option of an extended Z axis stroke of 800 mm is available - the ALC800GH.
3. AG80L EDM Large Capacity Die Sink Machine
With a reputation as the fastest high precision die sink EDM for workpieces up to 2000 kg – the AG80L can tackle really large tasks rapidly and with ease.
The incorporation of Sodick’s in-house developed linear motor drive system provides excellent long-term performance - in fact so confident is Sodick in the accuracy of its machines that it offers a 10 year positioning accuracy guarantee on all these machines
Energy efficiency is excellent too, compared with conventional EDMs, AG machines can reduce average energy consumption by up to 60%.
The AG80L offers Improved ease of operation, with extended X and Y axes, as well as a smaller installation footprint, while its automatic three-sided rise and fall tank makes it easy to integrate automation through the positioning of a robot beside the machine.
4. AG60L Precision Die-sink Manufacturing Cell with Erowa Robot Compact 80
The AG60L, one of Sodick’s most popular die sink machines for the precision machining of large components, combines high speed with high cutting accuracy; featuring Sodick’s linear drive technology and simplified control mechanisms to ensure the fastest possible servo response and optimal spark gaps at all times.
The three-sided automatic rise and fall work-tank makes the machine ideally suited for automation, hence its appearance at EMO with the user-friendly, small footprint Erowa Robot Compact 80, which can transfer loads of up to 80 kg, which can be used for electrodes and workpieces, as well as having an integrated loading station that can supply either one or two machines.
NEW - UH650L Ultra-High-Speed Milling Machine
Making its European debut at EMO, the UH650L represents Sodick’s latest generation of ultra-high-speed vertical machining centres with linear drives in all axes, technology based on the company’s years of experience manufacturing over 53,000 linear machines.
Unlike the traditional machining method of separately executing rough and fine milling, Sodick’s new technology combines both machining passes in the one operating mode, with a rapidly rotating and traversing small diameter tool cutting to fine depths.
The machine has been designed to ensure high repeatability and accuracy with no backlash or friction. Since there is no secular change, stable positioning accuracy of the machining axes can be maintained over a long period and even during high-speed feeds between minute distances, the machine demonstrates superb drive performance without positioning deviation or speed errors.
The UH650L also benefits from Sodick’s patented cooling system in which the coolant fluid runs through the linear motor coils which maintains advanced performance.
This machine is ideal for machining complex super-accuracy mould parts where both high precision and superb surface quality are required, such as multi-core connectors with narrow pitch and low profile, and small optical parts that are difficult to polish.
Standard features include linear motors in X, Y and Z axes and a linear motor temperature controller, spindle temperature controller, tool tip cleaning system, Renishaw touch sensor and a 16-station Automatic Tool Changer.
NEW - MS100 Injection Moulding Machine
Another European debut at EMO is Sodick’s high-accuracy injection moulding machine, the MS100. The launch of the MS Series here marks Sodick Europe’s move into the high-technology plastic injection moulding sector.
The MS range of machines, from the compact MS50 to the larger MS200, all benefit from Sodick’s V-LINE servo motor technology, which provides process advances including stability of the resin melt condition, stability of the resin density and stability of filling volume, which together create excellent moulding conditions
The V-LINE servo motor control comprises a plasticization unit that only performs plasticization and an injection unit that performs measurement and injection. The improved accuracy of each position obtained by controlling the measurement and injection position information by a closed loop system, provides high-precision repeatability.
Flexibility is maximised by the ability to select both screw and plunger diameters to suit the volume of the moulding, as well as the ability to vary plasticization and injection units to suit moulding speed and pressure,
In addition, Sodick’s newly developed high-accuracy clamping unit reduces mould opening/closing cycle times as well as improving energy saving and noise reduction.
OPM250L Additive Manufacturing Solution
The Sodick OPM250L combines metal additive manufacturing with integral linear motor drive milling, alternating between machining and printing within the same workspace. This results in a revolutionary machine tool technology for mould tool manufacture due to the application of metal additive manufacturing for the creation of cooling channels of optimum shape and geometry (which often cannot be machined by conventional means) with the high speed milling necessary for tool finishing.
The optimisation of cooling channels offers major benefits: firstly, by avoiding heat build up in particular areas, it is possible to reduce moulding cycle times, and secondly, by streamlining mould design, the total number of mould components can be significantly reduced.
In addition, the ability to optimise the laser condition enables the creation of superb mould surface quality, a prerequisite for example in plastic moulds where a high gloss finish is required.
Peter Capp, CEO of Sodick Europe Ltd., sums up the company’s vision, “It is our mission to create and deliver machine tools that benefit our clients, helping them achieve their ever-more challenging objectives. Here at EMO Sodick Europe is demonstrating its technical leadership in a broader range of products than ever before, not only in EDM but also in CNC milling, Injection Moulding and Additive Manufacturing. All of this is now supported by staff at our new, purpose-built HQ in Coventry, where we continue to provide technical support, spare parts to customers across the UK and distributors throughout Europe.”