GF Machining Solutions celebrates 70 years of EDM technology

For 70 years, GF Machining Solutions has been at the forefront of EDM technology, improving energy and resource efficiency, and introducing digital solutions to enhance productivity and precision. (Courtesy: GF Machining Solutions)

Seventy years ago, the invention of Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) revolutionized worldwide manufacturing. AGIE and Charmilles pioneered this technology and remain world market leaders today under the umbrella of GF Machining Solutions, a company constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible.

Since its accidental discovery during the middle of the 20th century, EDM has evolved from an innovative solution to become a cornerstone of modern manufacturing, offering unparalleled precision in the production of molds, dies, and complex geometric parts.

Over the decades, constructive interaction between EDM and electronics has led to significant advancements. Notable milestones such as the integration of the planar transistor, integrated circuits, and the microprocessor all were critical to enhancing EDM’s capabilities.

GF Machining Solutions embodies the heritage and expertise of AGIE and Charmilles, Swiss pioneers in industrialized EDM machines. Since it introduced the first industrial die-sinking machine in 1954 and the first wire-cutting EDM machines three years later, GF Machining Solutions has continued to innovate.

Today, EDM is an integral part of manufacturing processes across industries that rely on precise intricate shapes, including aerospace, automotive, medical, and electronics. GF Machining Solutions has been at the forefront of this technology, improving energy and resource efficiency, and introducing digital solutions to enhance productivity and precision.

On EDM’s 70th anniversary, the pioneers look back on a rich history and promise their customers continuous development in the future. With strong technical expertise and a solid patent history, GF Machining Solutions is a preferred partner for any wire EDM machining project.

One of the challenges of die-sinking EDM is the skill required to produce a perfect part from a drawing, and to maximize the machine’s precision and surface finish. Recently, GF Machining Solutions released FORM eCAM, the first EDM CAM software to support operators in their daily work.

FORM eCAM delivers “first part right” machining and advances the digitalization of the process chain. The software uses CAD geometry to describe the machining process perfectly and can extract the exact volume for erosion. With this increased knowledge, the software can create a perfectly suited set of technological parameters that prevent potential human errors and increase efficiency on the shop floor.

Another major innovation is control of current consumption. Developed and assembled in Switzerland, the IPG (Intelligent Power Generator) forms the heart of GF Machining Solutions die-sinking and wire-cutting machines. This state-of-the-art fully digital and resonant switching generator enables exceptional performance with minimal power consumption.

Since 1802, GF Machining Solutions has been committed to continuous improvement and innovation so customers can manufacture products that improve daily life. Historic involvement in the invention and ongoing refinement of EDM technology has enabled the company to create new approaches to old and new manufacturing challenges. After 70 years of EDM innovation, GF Machining Solutions continues to bring vision and imagination to the historic challenges of production.