EDM and the Precision Parts Industry

Although EDM often is not at the forefront of concern for precision machined parts shops, it can play a big role in the production of tooling that these shops use.

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Many of the typical shops producing precision parts do not have a lot of use for EDM beyond internal applications. Because of this, EDM is not a topic we touch on all that often. But there are certainly places where this technology comes into play that have a direct effect on what we're doing.

The most common application of EDM that I’ve seen has been in cutting custom form tools. This capability allows a shop to have quick access to tooling in the event of breakage or if short turnaround is required. “EDM Enables DIY Form Tools” looks at a manufacturer that is using its EDM unit to make and sharpen form tools for its production equipment. Strategically, learning new skills in-house may lead to future commercialization of a value-added process not previously available. This strategy could be a model for other shops.

Even cutting tool suppliers make good use of EDM in the production of their tooling. Here’s a closer look at how Schwanog LLC incorporates EDM into its production process. While most of the company’s tools made of hard metals, as well as rotary tools, are ground, EDM can provide distinct advantages when cutting PCD tools or when a large amount of material removal is necessary.

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