Removing Dirt and Wire Residue from EDM Machine

Don Utz, the President of Metalcraft, 55943 Hoosier Avenue, Mishawaka IN 46545, utilizes a Wire Electronic Discharge Machine for machining. Their process uses water to spray the machine during the electrical discharge process.

Problem Area
Brass wire fed through the EDM machine picks up electricity from power feeders, this creates an arc, and the arc explodes the metal off the machined piece. The EDMs use water to flush dirt and metal that is taken off the machined part during the electronic discharge process. Bits of metal and brass fall into the water bath. This water is circulated to a tank where it may be diverted for deionization or refrigeration depending upon what the machine sensors determine is needed, then it is filtered, then is re-circulated back to the operation tank for the jet spray/flushing operation. The cleaner the water bath, the better the finish on the product. The customer was looking for a way to keep the water as clean as possible to promote the best finish on the final product, reduce the maintenance associated with cleaning the solenoids and valves (the sludge generated by the operation destroys the valves), prevent the sludge from solidifying in the bottom of the water tank and reduce the cost of replacing the 3 or 5 micron filter cartridges which cost $100 each and last about 250 hours.

Solution
The solution to the problem involved adding a Filter Specialists, Inc.'s X100C filter vessel with a 10 micron X20 cartridge as a pre-filter before the 3 or 5 micron filter cartridges. The water flows from the X100C, to the larger filters, to the jet spray operation.

Benefits
FSI was able to provide the application and product knowledge necessary to reduce total maintenance and running costs of the Wire EDM machine. Sludge is no longer a problem and does not clog the solenoids and valves.

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