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Integrated Vision Unit Expands Wire EDM Applicability



GF Machining Solutions' Integrated Vision Unit (IVU) is a non-contact, vision-based measurement and scanning system that when integrated into an EDM machine takes the wire EDM process to a new level of productivity, accuracy and cost efficiency. Beyond its on-machine measurement function, the IVU system has the breakthrough capability to scan the contours of a machined part, compare it to the part's DXF CAD file and instruct a machine's CNC to make the appropriate adjustments.

The system employs a "contour modifier" that corrects the EDM contour path to produce a part that is within 0.0001" (2.5 µm) of required dimensions. In addition to ensuring that the part meets dimensional requirements, use of the integrated vision system supports lean manufacturing initiatives because it eliminates the time spent moving the part to a separate contour-scanning CMM.

The IVU provides efficient, automatic and accurate process measurement by locating part edges and scanning contours with a charge coupled device (CCD) camera featuring a light-sensitive pixel array. The camera employs two light sources - an incidental source at the camera lens and a backlight source to enhance contrast - and converts the light intensity value for each pixel into an electronic signal with a corresponding value for each pixel.

The CCD cameras are available with either 56X or 156X magnification. At 56X magnification, the field of view is 0.24" x 0.14" (6 mm x 3.5 mm) and measurement accuracy is +/- 0.00006", or 1.5 µm. The 156X camera has a 0.078" x 0.05" (2 mm x 1.3 mm) field of view and provides measurement accuracy of +/- 0.00004", or 1 micron. With its larger field of view, the 56X magnification camera is appropriate for measurement of larger parts, while the 156X magnification provides accuracy essential for measuring micron-scale parts.

Use of a vision system to locate parts also allows users to avoid the limitations and cost issues associated with on-machine part location done with the EDM wire itself. Those limitations include accuracy issues of wire-based location measurement caused by factors such as contaminants on the part edge. The vision system delivers repeatability and reliability and is a faster measuring process.

GF Machining Solutions' IVU system is often paired with the company's GF AgieCharmilles CUT 1000 and CUT 2000 high-precision wire EDMs.

For more information contact:

GF Machining Solutions LLC

560 Bond St.

Lincolnshire, IL 60069-4224

847-913-5300

www.gfms.com/us

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