News

Sodick Technology Assists International Physics Research at St Andrews University

The School of Physics and Astronomy, ranked as one of the top Physics Department in the UK, with 30 permanent academic staff and nearly 200 research staff and students, undertakes a number of significant research programmes in areas including: astrophysics, condensed-matter physics and photonics. Recent highlights include: the theoretical prediciton of invisibility cloaking, the development of diode-based skin cancer phototherapies, the extreme slowing of light in optical waveguides and the discovery of cool earth-like planets through gravitational microlensing.

In support of these activities, the School invests heavily in the equipment in its workshop, including the installation of a Sodick VZ300L, an entry-level wire EDM providing all the benefits of high quality, accuracy and cutting speeds that are expected from Sodick technology.
As Professor Ifor Samuel, Director of Research for the School of Physics and Astronomy, explains; “It is essential that we invest in advanced technology in order to maintain our position at the forefront of research into condensed matter physics; exploring new states of matter, super-conductivity and quantum computing.“

Since its arrival the Sodick machine has been producing bespoke parts for research projects, machining metals such as aluminium and stainless steel, through to more unusual materials including molybdenum foil and oxygen-free copper.

Workshop Manager, David Steven, describes the benefits of the Sodick technology; “Almost all the parts we produce are one-offs, four or five would be a big batch. The EDM machine has provided us with numerous advantages that have enhanced our service to the School of Physics and Astronomy. A number of the physics projects relate to the field of cryogenics, so oxygen-free copper is a preferred material because it won’t gas-off when frozen.”

Having the ability to program offline has provided a significant boost to the workshop. Now, thanks to the introduction of the Sodick VZ300L, professors, doctors and students participating in research programmes produce component designs using CAD software, which are subsequently transferred to FeatureCAM software where the wire EDM program is created.

“Having this kind of technology has made an enormous difference regarding ease of programming, as well as speed and accuracy,” says Mr Steven. “It also means that any misinterpretation of drawings is now eliminated.”

According to Mr Steven, the parts that are wire cut in the workshop are often extremely complex and feature tight tolerances. This is where the Sodick’s VZ300L linear motor axis drives with zero backlash, coupled with glass scales in the X, Y, U and V axes, ensure precision cutting and positioning accuracy.

“Another trend is that many of the components and features are getting increasingly small,” he says. “We recently wire cut some 0.3 mm wide slots, which is about as small as we can get using 0.25 mm diameter brass wire.”

Aside from parts for research projects at the School of Physics and Astronomy, news of the Sodick VZ300L has spread to other Schools in the University, which means the machine is now undertaking work for the School of Geography and GeoSciences, as well as the School of Medicine. Even the University’s Maintenance Department is requesting parts.

“The University celebrated its 600th anniversary in 2013 and some of the door keys here are probably not far off the same age,” says Mr Steven. “We recently had to wire cut a key for the Maintenance Department from a die cast blank we found online. The key was about 150mm long and I’d never seen anything like it in my life. Fortunately, with the Sodick, it was easy.”

More information about Sodick VZ300L

All News

Sodick wire EDM provides 50% speed boost at rapid manufacturing specialist

Laser Prototypes Europe (LPE) is one of the UK and Ireland’s longest-standing specialists in rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing for a plethora of industries. Among its many services is DMLS (direct metal laser sintering) – the 3D printing of metal parts. The ability to print components with complex geometries in short cycle times is a huge competitve advantage for LPE and its customers. The DMLS process requires a lot of heat and energy to sinter the powder, which creates in-built stresses that can lead to distortion of the part. To counter this effect, heatsinks and anchors must be added to the component. After 3D printing, wire EDM is used as a finishing process to remove these and achieve final tolerance. Here, LPE has just added a second machine to its portfolio, a VL600QH from Sodi-Tech EDM, which is performing duties some 50% faster than the existing Sodick machine installed in 2017.

Read more …

EMO 2019 impressions

EMO 2019 in Hannover was a great show for the Sodick team. Around 117,000 experts from all over the world visited the world's leading trade fair for metalworking, where we were delighted to present our innovations and classics again.

Read more …

Sodick Brings Best-of-Breed EDM, Milling and Injection Moulding to EMO

With its largest ever stand at EMO, Sodick is once again bringing best-of-breed technology to the exhibition, with European debuts for the ACL400P super-high accuracy wire EDM, the ALC800G large capacity premium wire machine, the new UH650L high-speed milling machine and the MS100 plastic injection moulding machine. 

These newcomers are accompanied on the stand by two of Sodick’s most advanced EDM “big beasts”, the AG80L die sink and the ALC800G wire machine, while automation options are being demonstrated by the AG60L die sinker with robot and the OPM250L additive manufacturing machine.

Read more …

Sodick Europe new European HQ

Once again Sodick Europe is bringing best-of-breed technology to EMO. This year, as well as market-leading EDM machines, our stand features automation, our pioneering UH650L milling machine and additive manufacturing.

Read more …

UK Location for new Sodick Europe HQ

Continuing sales success has spurred market-leading EDM distributor, Sodick Europe, to create a new, architect-designed HQ in the Midlands.

Read more …

High-speed milling

Additive Manufacturing

Hole Drilling EDM

Injection Moulding Machines