ATS UK’s investment in a Sodick AG60L is on course for an impressively short payback period of just 18 months – predominantly as a result of cycle times that have been cut by two-thirds in some instances, as well as reduced electrode requirements.
Advanced Tooling Systems UK is one of the country’s leaders in design, product development, prototyping and manufacturing. The company was formed by the amalgamation of two Kent-based manufacturers: Millaber, based in Maidstone, and Folkestone Precision Engineering, which focuses on injection mould tools and precision engineering projects for a Europe-wide customer base.
“We were witnessing an increase in demand for spark erosion work involving thin, deep ribs,” explains Technical Director Mark Terry. “For instance, we were recently awarded a repeat contract for a number of multi-impression two-shot wheel moulds. Traditionally, each impression required 45 hours of spark erosion and three electrodes. The target cost and lead-time for the package would not have allowed us to complete the project on-time and on-budget, so we began investigating new EDM technologies.”
After obtaining proposals from three EDM vendors, the company chose the Sodick AG60L from Sodi-Tech EDM. “The speed of this machine and its automation means we are on track for an 18-month ROI. If we left our previous die-sink machine to run overnight it would finish at 4pm the next day – the Sodick finishes the same quantity of work by 4am. That’s a great result for ATS UK, which not only vindicates our investment decision but supports our business growth moving forwards.”