Rotary EDM Machine Decreases PCD Tool Cycle Time By 50%

ANCA’s EDG with ANCA Motion SparX Erosion Generator features Intelligent Adaptative Control and Adaptive Spark Control to avoid over-erosion and automatic control of the erosion gap distance.


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ANCA EDG machine.

All photo credit: ANCA Inc.

The ANCA EDG (Electro Discharge Grinding) is a high-performance rotary EDM machine platform has been refined to maintain the optimum spark erosion gap for both simple 2D- and complex 3D-path interpolations via Intelligent Adaptative Control (IAC).

IAC is an in-time, servo-controlled feature that automatically monitors and controls the erosion gap distance, in-process. Utilizing the EtherCAT functionality of the ANCA Motion AMD5x control system, IAC synchronizes the machine with the generator performance. With geometry changing in up to five axes at once, IAC automatically adjusts the gap distance and machine feed rate, and is said to maintain the fastest possible feed rate along the length of any changeable path, resulting in increased feed rates, minimum thermal damage, superior surface finish, increased material removal rate (MRR) and decreased cycle time. Further, because of its in-process adjustments, ANCA says, the chance of wheel collisions—tool breakage—is low, which is critical when eroding tools under 0.5 mm.

Alternately, the Adaptive Spark Control (ASC) feature avoids over-eroding materials. ASC uses the DSP (Digital Signal Processors) and FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Arrays) on the generator itself, which monitors and processes all sparks in real time. Each spark’s waveform is automatically monitored and categorized based on material being eroded, erosion gap distance and other factors. Then, the generator adapts the energy level of each spark (current, voltage, duration and time-off) to suit the material being eroded.

Internal shot of the ANCA EDG machine.

According to ANCA, the ASC feature leads to less cobalt leaching and a reduction in undercut at the PCD-carbide border, ensuring a stronger cutting edge and a finished tool that is less prone to chipping. This, in turn, helps achieve longer tool life, less tool wear and lower tooling costs. ANCA saw an a 100% increase in tool life when testing a tool suited to machining carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFPR). 

This machine also applies the ANCA Motion SparX Erosion Generator, which is said to exhibit high performance over the range of extra-heavy roughing to ultra-fine finishing operations via Pico-pulse technology for high energy-density ablation. This technology is said to increase controllability, for improved feed rates, surface quality and 50% reduced cycle times.