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Neve Engineering, a manufacturer of gears for vintage vehicles, has upgraded its in-house EDM facility by installing a Sodick A320D wire EDM from Sodi-Tech.

The high-specification second-user machine has been extensively refurbished and, according to Neve, is at least four times faster than the machine it replaced.

‘We now use the machine to produce a variety of features such as internal splines and serrations, as well as irregular shapes and bores for shafts,’ said Mr Neve.

‘Basically, any intricate shapes that are too difficult to profile using conventional milling techniques,’ he said.

‘We also use it to skim-cut gear splines after hardening to remove any distortion, an operation that is very important in this line of work,’ he added.

The surface finish means that most of the surfaces that previously required grinding can now be left wired.

All of the gears and transmission parts produced at Neve Engineering are manufactured from alloy steels and most, if not all, are case- or through-hardened, or are subject to nitride coating.

Occasionally the company will handle aerospace-specification materials if the gears are for racing purposes.

Tolerances range typically between 0.01mm and 0.025mm, which can be easilt handled by the refurbished Sodick A320D with its 0.005mm accuracy.

Most parts are one-offs, although sometimes sets of up to 10-off are required for specialist dealers.

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