Machine Tool & Design Technology to offer Sodick EDM machines

Machine Tool & Design Technology has announced that the company has been appointed to market and distribute Sodick EDM products in South Africa.

Sodick products and technologies wire-cut EDM, die-sinker EDM, hole-drill EDM, injection moulding machines, high-speed milling machines and one-process additive manufacturing machines.

“EDM is no longer non-conventional or non-standard machining. In fact, EDM is now the fourth most popular machining process, selling more than all other processes except milling, turning and grinding,” said Tim Gilbert of Machine Tool & Design Technology.

“Wire EDM started from scratch in the early 1970s and has made steady progress, with the most rapid process improvements occurring from the mid 1980s to the mid 1990s. Progress occurred in six key measures of price/performance – speed, workpiece size, taper, accuracy, unattended operation and price,” explained Gilbert.

In the 20 years since Sodick launched the world’s first linear motor driven EDM the company has shipped more than 50 000 such machines

“When traditional machining methods reach their limit, electric discharge machining can be the answer. The EDM process allows for high accuracy and is applicable for any conductive material,” continued Gilbert.

“Electrical discharge machining, or EDM, is a non-traditional method in which material is removed from a workpiece using thermal energy. Much like processes such as laser cutting, EDM does not need mechanical force in the removal process. This is the reason why it is considered non-traditional contrary to, for example, the processing with cutting tools.”

“In tool and mould making, EDM is very popular due to its applicability especially for hard materials like titanium or for particularly complex shapes that are hard to achieve with milling.”

“There are three different types of electrical discharge machining. The first one is called sinker EDM. It is also known as die-sinking, cavity type EDM, volume EDM, traditional EDM or Ram EDM. This method requires electrodes (often made from graphite or copper) that are pre-machined to have the necessary shape. This electrode is then sunk into the workpiece, creating the negative version of its original shape.”

“The second type of electrical discharge machining is called wire EDM and is also known as wire erosion, wire burning or spark EDM. In Wire EDM a thin wire is used to cut the work piece. In this case, the wire works as the electrode. During the machining, the wire is constantly coming from an automated feed with a spool.”

Recent launches include models AL40G and AL60G, both of which incorporate the latest electrical discharge control technology, together with AI functions and a precision thermal compensation system

“The last type of electrical discharge machining is called hole drilling EDM. As the name suggests, this process is used for drilling holes. Compared with traditional drilling methods, EDM is able to machine extremely small and deep holes. Additionally, EDM drilled holes don’t need any deburring. The electrodes in this process are tubular and the dielectric fluid is fed through the electrode itself.”

Sodick was established in Midori-ku, Yokohama, Japan in August 1976 and has a first-grade listing on the Tokyo Stock Exchange market. In addition to manufacturing facilities in Japan, the company also has two manufacturing plants in Thailand.

Recent launches include models AL40G and AL60G, both of which incorporate the latest electrical discharge control technology, together with AI functions and a precision thermal compensation system.

The new die-sinkers provide improved machining accuracy, speed and quality, from roughing and semi-finishing through to finishing, as a result of a range of new technologies including the latest EDM controls and electrical discharge circuits.

In addition, the machines benefit from a highly rigid structure, with temperature sensors installed throughout the machine body, to minimise the effect of temperature changes during high speed machining.

For further details contact Machine Tool & Design Technology on Cell: 076 867 7845 or email