Machining techniques are widely used in the automotive industry to manufacture different automotive components such as exterior body sheets, internal components, and windshields. Cars are produced on an assembly line that requires the same type of components to produce them in large volumes. The different components are prefabricated through machining processes and transferred to the assembly line for final production.
One of the most common automotive machining techniques in use today is known as electrical discharge wire machining (EDM). Wire Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) uses a wire electrode that travels through the conductive workpiece. The electrically charged cable is monitored by a computer numerically controlled (CNC) system.
Wire EDM removes a material from the workpiece by EDM. During this process, the wire never touches the conductive workpiece. The electrically charged wire leaves a path in the workpiece, which is slightly larger than the wire. Often times 0.010 ‘wire is used creating a 0.013’ to 0.014 ‘gap. The wire electrode can only be passed through the conductive workpiece once and cannot be reused.
The space between the wire and the workpiece generates high voltage electrical pulses. The high voltage and controlled spark melt and vaporize a small part of the workpiece. Each spark produces a temperature of 10,000 ° C, while the energy produced by the power supply decides the size of the spark’s penetration into the material. With the improvement in cutting speed, reliability, unattended operation, and precision, it is also becoming popular in many other industries, such as aerospace, defense, and electronics.
Multiple workpiece setup and unattended operation save the operator a lot of time, which can be used fruitfully in other job functions. The wire EDM system is very cost effective and can be operated at around $ 4 per hour under normal cutting conditions.