NC Programming Software minimizes potential for human error.

Press Release Summary:

EDCAM Professional(TM) offline programming software assembles and relays critical data between CAD/CAM systems and NC program for controller running sinker EDM machines, bypassing need for manual input that can lead to operator errors. In addition to translating positioning data, software helps operators determine critical burn parameters, such as electrode material and quantity, undersize parameters, desired removal rates, and surface finishes.

Original Press Release:

Makino Edcam Professional(TM) Increases Machine Shop Efficiency

Offline Programming Solutions Software Eliminates Scrap and Reduces Manufacturing Costs and Time to Market

AUBURN HILLS, Mi-September, 2004-The EDCAM Professional(TM) offline programming solutions software from Makino will help reduce human error in burn programs, which in turn will reduce scrapped mold components and increase machine shop efficiency while dramatically reducing overall programming time by 70 percent. The EDCAM software assembles and relays critical data between CAD-CAM systems and the NC program for the controller running the sinker EDM machines, bypassing the need for manual input that often leads to operator errors and mistakes.

This software enhances sinker or Ram EDM capabilities through the direct reception and proper calibration of workpiece data as a critical relay between the machines and CAD-CAM systems. It receives all necessary peripheral information from the CAM systems, such as electrode positioning, and adds the necessary burning technology and tool change data to output a final numerical controlled (NC) program for the EDM machine to utilize.

With EDCAM Professional(TM) software, the information is taken directly from the part drawing or CAD-CAM system and dumped into the burn program without any human intervention. This essentially provides machine shops full offline programming capabilities, making CAD-CAM departments more versatile and operators more efficient.

This Makino technology will be on display at the 2004 International Manufacturing Technology Show (FMTS) at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois, September 8 through 15. Visit the main Makino Booth #8400 in Hall A of the South Building, or the EDM Pavilion Booth #4110 in Hall D.

Reducing Manufacturing Costs and Time to Market
The EDCAM software technology will allow die/mold shops to use machines more cost effectively, drive out operational costs, reduce lead-time and quicken product time to market. In addition, it offers shops a distinct edge over the competitors who are capable of making the same molds at the same tolerances.

EDCAM will input position points from a design system directly into a burn program. In addition to translating positioning data, the software will help operators determine critical burn parameters, such as electrode material and quantity, undersize parameters, desired removal rates and surface finishes. This technological advancement creates burn parameters that in the past could only be determined by an operator with several years of experience.

For example, an operator typically uses the EDM machine to complete a job before using the same machine to pick up all the electrodes and workpieces required for the next burn. This process ties up valuable machine resources and increases cycle time. With this software, an operator can pick up electrode offsets and workpieces offline on a coordinate measuring machine and have the data transferred to the program for use.

An operator can start a burn program on a machine and then prepare future burns on a remote computer and send them directly to the machine with EDCAM. All that is required then is an operator to push the start button.

This Makino software allows shops to plan ahead for the next job while one is being done and manipulates the data in a much more efficient flow. Because the software takes control of the programming process, a highly skilled applications engineer or mold maker is not required to run the EDM machine. In fact, operators who have little or no training on an EDM machine can develop burn programs using EDCAM.

Unmanned Operations
Automation systems for EDM production teamed with advanced software such as EDCAM Professional(TM) do require machines with high rigidity for the best accuracy and performance. Multi-directional burning with identical servo performance, a disappearing drop tank, complex orbit control, interactive automatic programming and an adaptive control system that reduces or eliminates active flushing are critical elements to EDM automation with EDCAM.

Unmanned operations create the optimum system for small-lot, large variety production, which readily accommodates production change priorities. It also helps maintain efficient throughput, utilizing less floor space and allowing the timely transfer of jobs to the next process. The manufacturing process may become more streamlined and efficient, and time-consuming operations like job setup, alignment, positioning, programming, removal and cleanup can all be eliminated with EDCAM Professional(TM).

Makino is a global provider of advanced machining technology and application support for the metalcutting and die/mold industries, dedicated to driving out more costs from your manufacturing operation than any other competitive machine tool manufacturer. Makino manufacturing and service centers are located in the United States, Japan, Germany, Singapore, Italy, France, Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, China, Mexico, Brazil and India, and are supported by a worldwide distributor network. For more information call 1.800.552.3288, or visit Makino on the Web at

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