"Smart" Technology

Although knowledge and expertise is just as important as ever, technology continues to advance toward almost thinking on its own.


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Shown here is a series of electrodes for a 32-cavity mold. The EA12D sinker EDM’s 20-position toolchanger enables Moldcraft to burn unattended (photo courtesy of Moldcraft).

It’s easy to see how technology like robots can take tedious tasks out of operators’ hands, thereby freeing them for more value-added activity. And, let’s face it, robots are awesome. That said, I’m more impressed by technology that almost seems to think for itself. As manufacturing processes and equipment continue to advance, we seem to be getting closer than ever to that reality.

Just one recent example is highlighted in this March-issue case study, which covers recent upgrades in the EDM department at Depew, New York-based Moldcraft. One recently purchased sinker, a Mitsubishi EA12D from MC Machinery Systems, adjusts how aggressively it burns according to cutting conditions. That’s the same thing a skilled operator might do, but this is automatic. Another example of the EA12D’s “smart” operation is its ESPER programming system, which prioritizes speed, surface finish or wear according to operator preferences. Read the article to learn more.