Excel Precision boosts aerospace lead times with new Sodick EDMs

Excel Precision Group has enhanced its wire and spark erosion capabilities by acquiring two new Sodick machines from Sodi-Tech EDM. Installed at the company’s Gloucester facility, which has AS9100 rev D and NADCAP AC7116/3 Rev B approval in place for both spark and wire erosion, the arrival of the Sodick ALC600G wire EDM and AG60L die-sink EDM will underpin a number of important contracts across both the civil and military aerospace markets.

Part of the reason behind the company’s investment in Sodick technology was due to the imminent ramp-up of an existing defence contract that is currently scheduled to run until 2022. An NDA has been signed, so details are scant, but the parts involve the intricate wire erosion of titanium stock.

“We looked at both Sodick and our existing supplier of EDM machines, but the test cuts provided by Sodi-Tech EDM were simply better,” says Steve Batt, Operations Director at the Gloucester facility. “In particular, the surface finish produced by the AG60L spark eroder really caught our attention. Due to the presence of debris, some machines struggle to replicate the surface finish achieved on the sides of parts, on the bottom face. However, this proved no such issue for the AG60L.”

“Compared with our old machines and process, using the ALC600G has transformed our operation for this component. For a start, we previously needed two machines, whereas now the part is completed in its entirety on the ALC600G. Also, our old machine would only achieve a 90% pass rate on an angled face with a 5µm tolerance. With the Sodick machine, the pass rate is 100%. That step-up in quality makes a real difference on high value-added parts such as these.”