Fast Tool Changers for EDM

A new range of ultra-quick FTC (Fast Tool Changers), launched by GF AgieCharmilles, are now available as an optional fit on a number of its advanced EDM spark erosion machines.

The FTC capability means that EDM tool (electrode) change can be completed in just 15 seconds (spark-to-spark), significantly reducing cycle times on high-precision, micro-feature parts. Prior to the introduction of GF AgieCharmilles’ FTC technology –  the best ‘spark-to-spark’ tool change times that could be achieved on die-sink machines were around 40-45 seconds per electrode change-over.

"FTCs really come into their own when machining small, multi-cavity jobs and parts with a number of intricate features, and where erosion times are short," says Martin Spencer, managing director at GF AgieCharmilles. "In these scenarios the FTC changes tools between sparks in less than 15 seconds...and that includes the time to move the correct tool into place, release it, and grasp the next tool.

"In the competitive world of EDM manufacturing, the FTC demonstrates that it really is the case that every second counts."

The FTC is a compact automation solution allows easy the easy loading of pre-set electrodes into the tool magazine. The FTC provides manufacturers with a 20 position magazine with a maximum electrode weight of 7kg per position.

Fast Tool Changers are available as optional fits on GF AgieCharmilles’ FORM 200 and FORM 400 spark erosion machines.

For more information on the FORM 200 and FORM 400 machines visit: www.gfac.com/ch/products/die-sinking-edm/high-speed-machining.html

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