An injection molding customer who had been coming to us for many years recently asked us to produce a small quantity of spline-forming dies that they would use in the manufacturing of tubular parts for the auto industry. Our electrical discharge machining (EDM) equipment and expertise provided the perfect solution.
The 3.500" diameter, 1" thick dies were to be made from M2 grade tool steel, a very hard tool steel. The specs required an exceptionally tight tolerance of ±0.0002" and an 8-micron surface finish. Because the customer anticipated needing only 10 to 20 pieces per year, setup costs would have made traditional machining prohibitively expensive.
The tight tolerance would also be difficult to meet, again driving up costs. By taking advantage of our EDM capabilities, we were able to promptly set up and produce the dies.
The 4th axis wire of the EDM equipment was particularly useful in this case because the die geometry requires a spline alignment that is not in the same planes that the other three wires are cutting. The extreme flexibility and precision inherent in the EDM equipment permits our experienced staff to make the fine adjustments and maintain the close control required to produce high precision parts like these spline dies.
We maintained and verified dimensional integrity of the dies throughout production by hard gaging, rigorous dimensional and visual inspection, and through the use of our coordinate measuring machine (CMM). All confirmed that the dies met the customer's specifications and all applicable industry standards.
To find out how we can help you meet you're most demanding challenges, even in low-volume applications, contact us today