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GF Machining Solutions (Formerly Agie Charmilles) - Lincolnshire, IL

Original Press Release

GF Machining Solutions to Focus on Overcoming Labor Shortages through Technology at IMTS 2014

Press release date: June 27, 2014

Company will demonstrate automated machines and a new wire EDM built for aerospace parts

LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. — Flexible, compact and modular forms of automation and a wire electrical discharge machine (EDM) designed specifically for aerospace work will take center stage in the GF Machining Solutions booth S-8754 at IMTS 2014 in Chicago's McCormick Place, Sept. 8-13. Throughout the show, the company will continue its focus on how manufacturers affected by the skilled labor shortage can maintain growth by using technology to expand their capacity.

The company's automated part-processing systems will include an advanced pallet changing system on a MIKRON HPM 800U high-precision machining center, a standalone robot paired with an Agie Charmilles CUT 2000 S wire EDM and a fully automatic tool/electrode changer with an Agie Charmilles FORM 20 iRTC sinker EDM. And targeting aerospace work, as well as other complex parts, GF Machining Solutions will present the new Agie Charmilles CUT 200 Dedicated wire EDM for aerospace parts. System 3R will also be featured in the booth, with a focus on the new TRANSFORMER modular automation system. Tying everything together will be MTConnect functionality, with GF Machining Solutions showing how this standardized protocol makes it easier to control, monitor and improve production systems.

In addition to a wide variety of new machines, GF Machining Solutions will also feature live presentations in an in-booth Technology Forum, covering a range of topics of interest for today's manufacturer. The full schedule of these presentations can be viewed at

The CUT 200 Dedicated features a built-in, B-C tilt/rotary table to easily cut complex aerospace alloy components such as turbine disks using C-axis rotation and +/- 20-degree B-axis tilt. It also incorporates on-machine, in-process inspection that encompasses a measuring probe and supporting software. The machine delivers some of the industry's highest levels of speed, performance, quality and productivity – in addition to the ability to control production costs for manufacturing in the aerospace industry as well as the mold and die, medical and contract machining industries.

To significantly reduce non-cut times, the CUT 200 Dedicated boasts extremely fast axis speeds, integrated collision protection and quick, smart wire threading. The latest generation of Agie Charmilles spark generators allows the machine to cut up to speeds of 38"2/hour (400 mm2/min) and up to 30-degree tapers in the Z-axis height while also minimizing the heat-affected zone in aerospace alloys. Additionally, energy saving functionality and advanced software help reduce operational costs and provide increased system connectivity.

On the self-contained automation side, GF Machining Solutions will demonstrate the highly efficient performance and productivity of the full five-axis MIKRON HPM 800U through its integrated pallet changer and tool magazine options that accommodate up to 210 tools.

Designed for the production of tools, molds and high-value parts, the HPM 800U features a sturdy and compact design with a large working space. Maximum X-Y traverse paths are 31.5" each, with a Z-axis that provides 27.6" clearance between the table surface and spindle nose. Workpieces of up to 31.5" diameter and 23.6" height can be machined on five sides.

The HPM 800U's Step-Tec spindle provides high performance, even in applications such as large steel drilling with high torque requirements. Inline motor spindle options include a 20,000-rpm version for general machining or 28,000-rpm version for machining with small tools. Both options feature the HSK-A63 interface and are perfectly suited to complex open-die surfaces or machining basic materials. The 28,000-rpm spindle uses CoolCore, a water-cooled rotor shaft, to maintain thermal stability and maximize accuracy.

While typically paired with sinker EDMs, a System 3R WPT1 robot, together with the CUT 2000 S (Swiss high precision) model, will comprise a completely automated wire EDMing cell in the GF Machining Solutions IMTS booth. Available in four configurations, the robot is also compatible with milling and laser equipment. The system gives end users a full range of automation options suited to their applications and provides the capability to address parts and tooling for two machines at once. The robots are affordable, flexible and sleekly designed and accommodate a wide range of part sizes and weights.

Enhancing automated unattended operation and boosting productivity, the CUT 2000 S incorporates the company's new THREADING-EXPERT module for dependable, fully automatic threading under difficult conditions. It also features the second-generation Integrated Vision Unit (IVU Advance) for in-process inspection and the well-known Agie Charmilles Automatic Wire Changer.

The machine raises the bar in the speed arena. It is one of, if not the, industry's fastest wire-EDM solutions on the market, thanks to its Intelligent Power Generator (IPG) technology with Direct Power Supply (DPS) module. The machine has been proven to reduce machining time by 30 percent and produce high-quality surface finishes of Ra 0.08m.

Visitors to the GF Machining Solutions booth will also experience the automated FORM 20 iRTC (integrated Rotary Tool Changer) sinker EDM. The system will allow shops to easily and automatically accommodate jobs that require either multiple electrodes or several workpieces varying in size and geometry.

As the first such truly integrated and compact system of its kind, the iRTC boosts part processing flexibility while it ratchets up uninterrupted unattended production capability. It accommodates electrodes weighing up to 22 pounds and measuring 5.9" x 3.94" or up to 5.9" in diameter as well as in height. And depending on electrode/workpiece size, the changer holds either 8 or 16 electrodes or workpieces.

The Form 20 and iRTC combination forms an ideal solution for manufacturers looking to maximize their die-sinking EDM operations while minimizing their environmental footprint. The highly efficient sinker machine provides exceptional performance, yet consumes less power via what the company considers to be one of the most advanced sinker EDM generators currently available. The company's proprietary Intelligent Power Generator requires just 3.7 kW/h at full power.

The FORM 20's Intelligent Power Generator includes built-in quality-boosting, cost-saving intelligence. With every machine pulse, the 70-amp generator continuously optimizes the EDM process and dramatically reduces electrode wear as well as provides extremely uniform surface finishes. The machine's iQ Technology generates surface finishes of Ra 0.1 micron and radii down to 0.0007".

In addition to its special power generator, the FORM 20 features the recently developed Agie Charmilles AC Form HMI. Revolutionary in its simplicity, this CNC provides the most user-friendly, easiest to learn and most flexible control developed for a die sinking EDM.

The newly unveiled TRANSFORMER modular automation solution from System 3R will also be featured in the booth. This revolutionary product can easily be integrated with a single machine, but can also be seamlessly expanded to include up to twelve machines within a cell. The system accommodates a wide range of machining technologies and simplifies unifying diverse machines into a highly efficient production cell.

About GF Machining Solutions
GF Machining Solutions is the North American leading supplier of Mikron high speed/high performance 3- and 5-axis milling machines, laser texturing solutions and Agie Charmilles wire EDM, CNC and manual diesinking systems. For more information on the company's products and services, contact Gisbert Ledvon at GF Machining Solutions, 560 Bond St., Lincolnshire, IL 60069-4224, Tel: 1-800-282-1336, Fax: 847-913-5340, Email:, or visit


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