Aerospace parts are in high demand again following a brief lull in production during the first few waves of the pandemic, and Heinz Engineering is committed to maintaining our reputation as a leading aerospace manufacturing supplier.
As the aerospace industry continues to evolve and innovate, part designs are becoming more precise and complex than ever before. Traditional precision machining capabilities like CNC milling and turning—once the go-to manufacturing solutions for aerospace parts—are no longer always sufficient for parts like housings featuring square corners or bolts with hexagonal dimensions.
That’s why Heinz Engineering is proud to add wire EDM to our list of in-house capabilities. This proven manufacturing process is ideal for complex aerospace parts with tight tolerance requirements.
What Is Wire EDM?
Wire Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) is an electrothermal method for cutting metals capable of conducting electricity, like steel, aluminum, brass, bronze, copper, and Inconel. During the wire EDM process, a thin metal wire generates heat, creating an electrical spark that cuts a precise line through a piece of metal without applying physical pressure.
Wire EDM gained popularity during the second half of the 20th century, although it never caught up with traditional precision machining. Today, it’s still considered a somewhat non-conventional manufacturing method.
Benefits of Wire EDM
Let’s look at a few of the specific advantages of wire EDM:
- Lights out manufacturing. Wire EDM isn’t quite as fast as precision machining, but what it lacks in overall speed, it makes up for in shorter setup time (it’s a toolless solution!) and its ability to run lights out. We frequently run wire our EDM machines overnight completely unmanned, allowing us to turn parts around fast.
- Complex features. Because an EDM wire is incredibly fine, it can cut complex shapes like hollowed-out features and sharp corners with a higher degree of precision than milling or turning tools.
- Incredible accuracy. Wire EDM is an excellent solution for parts requiring exceptionally tight tolerances. At Heinz Engineering, wecan hold tolerances up to .0008 using wire EDM.
- Easy to access. Wire EDM is more accessible than other comparable machining methods. Broaching, for example, uses a toothedtool to create complex shapes with a high degree of consistency and accuracy. But fewer and fewer vendors offer this antiquated capability. Wire EDM is a viable alternative to broaching that happens to be readily available at modern machine shops like Heinz Engineering.
Some aerospace parts benefit from wire EDM and precision machining capabilities, and we’re thrilled to now offer both of these services in-house. It’s just one of the ways we help our customers consolidate their supply chains and get their parts faster.
Interested in wire EDM for your aerospace parts? Request a quote from Heinz Engineering today, and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours.