GF Machining Solutions’ Medical Machining

Feb 13, 2015 12:00 PM

Milling machines, and wire and EDM machines, deliver speed, precision, and efficiency for medical device manufacturing.

Lincolnshire, Illinois –  GF Machinine Solutions' Mikron HSM 200U LP (linear performance) milling machine with pallet changer (PCH) as well as the AgieCharmilles CUT 20 P wire and FORM 20iRTC sinker  EDMs address the medical device machining market.

Mikron HSM 200U LP
Available in 3- and 5-axis versions, the Mikron HSM 200U LP brings speed, efficiency, precision and superior surface finishes to the machining of small, complex components, including steel denture bars, medical implants, tiny sinker EDM electrodes and other highly detailed parts. The machine accommodates the medical industry’s increased need for lean manufacturing via small-footprint, high-speed machines. Additionally, the Mikron HSM 200U LP’s compact size allows it to fit into facilities with limited floor space and tight working areas such as dental labs.

The Mikron HSM 200U LP can produce workpieces via true 5-axis simultaneous high-speed machining. Linear motor technology in the main machine axes and optimized direct-drive motors for the B and C axes result in high precision and part surface finishes as fine as Ra 0.05μm. Furthermore, the machine’s powerful 50,000-rpm, 11.4hp Step-Tec spindle also contributes to precise part details and excellent surface finishes.

Enchancing productivity, the Mikron HSM 200U LP possesses the capability for 24/7 unattended machining using its optional Mikron pallet magazines with System 3R and Erowa interfaces. These fully integrated pallet magazines can be loaded without interrupting cutting operations already in progress. The automation of tool or workpiece handling is possible from three sides of the machine.

A Heidenhain iTNC 530 control system and Smart machining modules on the Mikron HSM 200U LP provide advanced levels of monitoring critical to the production of high-value precision medical parts. The system allows the machine to automatically check and evaluate tools and workpieces, inspect tools for breakage and perform measurements of the workpiece.

Additionally, the Smart machine modules automatically monitor spindle vibration, calibrate machine geometry, and transmit process status messages to an operator’s cell phone.

To avoid inconsistent loading of small tools and 3D geometry errors due to the inaccurate measurement of those tools, the Mikron HSM 200U LP features Intelligent Tool Measurement (ITM). ITM records the complete tool tip up to a diameter of 0.47" on image sensors. Special software cleans and measures the recorded tool geometry for repeatability in the micrometer range.

AgieCharmilles CUT 20 P
On the wire EDM side, the AgieCharmilles CUT 20 P delivers speed and increased performance to medical applications such as cannula tube machining. Accommodating wire diameters from 0.006" to 0.12", the machine comes standard with 0.10" wire guides, while 0.006", 0.008", and 0.012" wire guides are also available. Furthermore, the machine’s low-maintenance, highly reliable wire threading system boasts autonomy and reduces operating costs.

Featuring X-, Y- and Z-axis travels of 13.77" x 9.84" x 10", respectively, the CUT 20 P can accommodate maximum workpiece dimensions of 35.4" L x 26.7" W x 9.8" H. When considering the machine’s fluid bath, the CUT 20 P can hold submerged workpieces weighing up to 960 lb. The machine also achieves taper cuts of ±25° over 3.15" in height. The machine’s Integrated Collision Protection on its X-, Y- and Z-axes prevents any breakage of sensitive parts and costly elements, allowing the operator to work with more confidence during job preparation and execution. Furthermore, glass scales on the X- and Y-axes ensure exceptional positioning accuracy and highly repeatable results.

Adding to the smart design of the machine’s control is the inclusion of GF Machining Solutions' "Speed" technology package, which allows the CUT 20 P to achieve competitive results in terms of precision, time, and surface roughness when machining jobs with two to four cuts. The CUT 20 P's low energy consumption combined with the long working life of the wear parts reduces operating costs and helps to ensure profitability.

As one of the first sinker EDMs to sport the GF Machining Solutions recently developed AC Form HMI (human machine interface), FORM 20iRTC centers on user friendliness and intuitiveness to significantly shorten the learning curve for beginner EDM operators. The machine excels in burning deep-cavity ribs into mold cores and significantly reduces overall burn times by hours for such parts.

The FORM 20iRTC provides the industry’s best price-to-performance ratio and boasts consistent connectivity capability, overall enhanced performance, and a new modern compact design. The machine meets the cost-effective part production needs of the medical manufacturing industry.

Additionally, as a Windows-based platform, the FORM 20iRTC seamlessly integrates into workshop management systems. Other productivity enhancing features such as GF Machining Solutions’ eConnect, eSupervision and eTracking further boost machine functionality for process control and outside system connectivity.

Designed with a shop’s valuable floor space in mind, the FORM 20iRTC is the industry’s most compact standard die-sinking EDM, yet provides ample axis travels of 13.78" x 9.84" x 9.84". Within its space-saving footprint, the machine even includes an integrated four-position linear tool changer.

At the heart of the FORM 20 is GF Machining Solutions’ proprietary, high-end Intelligent Power Generator (IPG) with built in quality-boosting and cost-saving intelligence. With every machine pulse, the 70A generator on the FORM 20 continuously optimizes the EDM process and dramatically reduces electrode wear as well as provides uniform surface finishes. The machine reliably generates surface finishes of Ra 0.1 micron and radii down to 0.0007". Also embedded within the FORM 20 machine is GF Machining Solutions’ TECFORM module that eliminates the need for operators to adjust the machine generator parameters.


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