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Amada UK, a punch press, laser cutting and press brake machine tool specialist, has invested in two high-performance wire EDM machines from GF Agie Charmilles.

The machines – two FI 440 Cleancuts – were installed at Amada’s modern facility at the beginning of 2009 and are being used to manufacture a range of tooling solutions for the company’s punch press machine tool customers.

Amada UK provides manufacturing systems solutions, new and used machine tools and after-sales and support services.

The after-sales services include technical and applications support, wear and replacement parts stock and supply and machine tool maintenance, repair and servicing.

The company invested in the two new Cleancut EDM machines to enhance this area of its operations.

Chris Lawlor, senior general manager at Amada UK, said: ‘We have created, and rely heavily on, a sophisticated in-house EDM cell to manufacture our tooling solutions.

‘However, during 2008 it became clear that our existing wire-cut machines needed to be upgraded to ensure we could continue to meet the tighter delivery schedules being demanded by our customers – frequent same-day manufacture and dispatch requests are becoming more common – and allow the manufacture of newer tool designs requiring greater accuracy,’ added Lawlor.

Amada required: a fast, reliable and automatic wire-thread/re-thread capability to enable the company to machine multiple jobs and/or machine multiple apertures in a job in one setup; large wire spools to enable the machines to run unattended; and an automatic slug ejection capability to help it move from rough cutting to finishing without operator intervention, thus keeping part cycle times and costs to a minimum.

Lawlor continued: ‘The FI 440 Cleancut machines gave us what we were looking for.

‘In addition to the integrated automation of the machines, the Cleancuts also give us fast removal rates [400mm2/min] and good surface finishes [0.2 micron Ra] and perform well within our part accuracy parameters.

‘Since their installation, we have used one of the machines to manufacture our smaller size dies [A and B range] and the second machine to manufacture our larger dies [C, D and E range].

‘Complex and intricate jobs are machined on the 440 Cleancuts during the day and more routine jobs are set up and left to run on them overnight,’ added Lawlor.

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