Modern Machine Shop

FEB 2018

Modern Machine Shop is focused on all aspects of metalworking technology - Providing the new product technologies; process solutions; supplier listings; business management; networking; and event information that companies need to be competitive.

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Page 68 of 147

Micromachining Mold Inserts Modern Machine Shop 67 had reached their limits, Managing Director Peter Rapp explains. Many mold inserts are made of hard-to- machine tungsten carbide or special tool steels, and feature intricate micro-geometries. Conventional micro-milling, and even die-sink- ing and wire EDM are not always capable of creating those necessary micro-geometries. One example he cites of con- ventional EDM having reached its limit is in machining molds for the gear wheels the company pro- duces for use in watches, stepper motors in automotive devices and cockpit instruments. The company ruled out wire EDM for machining the mold inserts for these gears because there was no electrode wire material available with a diameter significantly smaller than the required minimum radius of 25 microns for the gearwheel tooth The machine at PKT features a horizontal wire-EDM dressing unit (red), a laser-measuring unit (green), an electrode holder (blue) and a workpiece holder (yellow). Photo: Klaus Vollrath The Sarix SX-100 micro-EDM can drill micro-holes to a diameter of 20 microns. Photo: Klaus Vollrath

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