Sodick wire EDM reduces set-ups at precision machinist

A precision machining subcontractor has invested in its first Sodick wire erosion machine, a VL600Q model supplied by Sodi-Tech EDM. Berkshire-based Duckworth & Kent (Reading) Ltd, is using the machine to advance its wire erosion capabilities, reduce the number of set-ups required, improve quality and repeatability, and introduce unmanned overnight operations.

“Our speciality is low-volume, high-quality precision components, often manufactured from a variety of difficult materials and with complex shapes that few others want to attempt,” explains Sales Director Stuart Gleeson.

The 15-employee business has relied on wire EDM for many years, particularly for the extremely high accuracy cutting of precision parts. However, when one of the company’s three wire EDMs recently required replacement, the company decided to evaluate a range of potential suppliers. Reviewing three wire EDM machines, Mr Gleeson and his team quickly settled on the Sodick VL600Q, which seemed “a natural fit with the type of work” undertaken at the company.

“We sell on quality,” states Mr Gleeson. “For us, investing in the Sodick machine was not about saving time, it was about making parts right first time, every time. However, not only have we further improved our quality, accuracy and repeatability, the rotary axis in particular means we now look at components in a different way. This has increased our capability and reduced set-ups. In addition, the machine has allowed us to introduce unmanned operations overnight, which is hugely beneficial.”