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GF Agiecharmilles has introduced a range of high-performance spark erosion machines, designed and built for automated manufacturing.

The integrated automation featured on the Form 200 and Form 300 machines extends the unmanned operation potential of EDM manufacturers.

Other machine innovations include GF Agiecharmilles’ IQ Technology (for zero-electrode wear), low power consumption, and ISPG digital generator.

The Form 200/300s feature an electrode changer and workpiece pallet changer integrated within the their small footprint.

Both machines are equipped with a modular-based electrode changer with different ‘rack’ size and capabilities.

At one end of the spectrum a Form 200/300 machine can have one rotating rack, containing up to 20 standard electrodes (30 Combi electrodes), whereas at the other end machines can be equipped with three to seven racks with up to 140 electrodes (210 Combi).

Such electrode capability ensures hours and hours of unmanned operation, including lights-out production.

The productivity and manufacturing flexibility of the Form 200/300 machines is further enhanced by their integrated workpiece pallet changers, which are modular and provide different capabilities – from one pallet per level up to three pallets per level.

Other features include a rigid and thermally stable design.

At the heart of the machines is a mechanical design that is rigid (polymer base) and thermally stable.

Heat-generating machine-tool elements such as electrical cabinets and the dielectric tanks are isolated from the main machine-tool body, which minimises thermal drift and ensures workpiece accuracy.

Workpiece accuracy is also assured via GF Agiecharmilles’ ECO and Accura C-axis, which provide users with five-micron positional accuracy.

The Form 200 and Form 300 machines have fast axis travels (5m/min on X- and Y-axes, 7m/min on Z-axis).

Acceleration/deceleration rates are also impressive (2.5m/s2 on X- and Y-axes, 5m/s2 on Z-axis).

The Form 200/300 machines, with their high-efficiency ball-screw technology and digital generators use less power than competitor EDM machines equipped with linear motors.

In recent tests it was demonstrated that the Form 200/300 EDM machines used 30 per cent less energy than linear-motor EDM machines.

Both machines are equipped with the ISPG generator (Intelligent and Speed Power Generation).

The generator delivers outstanding machining results: higher removal rates, lower wear and reduction/elimination of re-cast layer.

The Form 200/300s are equipped with powerful software modules that increase the application potential of the machines and make them easier to set-up and select required machining technologies, parameters and strategies.

The Tectron program allows operators to automatically select, via icons on the machine’s control, different machining tasks for specific jobs.

These tasks include: machining big dimensions, contouring, drilling and micro-erosion.

The machines are equipped with GF Agiecharmilles’ IQ Technology, which produces zero wear on electrodes (graphite).

IQ Technology enables users to achieve better accuracy and surface finish (because the electrode is not prone to wear).

It also helps customers to reduce machining costs.

As fewer electrodes are required to machine jobs, especially multi-cavity applications, and the electrodes that are required last longer and are less prone to wear, customers can reduce their consumable costs and reduce time and resources spent on electrode manufacture/electrode repair.

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