Use Case: Automated EDM process management for the Aeronautical sector

At SMARTPM we have automated the management of an EDM process for the aeronautical manufacturing industry. Below, we explain the problems identified and the solution implemented. You will see the impact that the use of the MIC automation system has in the reduction of defective, in the utilization of EDM equipment and in the lead time.

The project has been developed in collaboration with ONA, ABB y Sariki.

Scope of application

The scope of application is a manufacturing company for the aeronautical sector. This implies that its processes and products are subject to:

  • Regulatory framework.
  • Highly demanding technical requirements, with unitary dimensional control of all parts.
  • Customer "certified" processes with repeatability commitment.
  • Pieces with high added value when they arrive at EDM.
  • Medium size series.

Problems identified

Incidents in quality and scrap generation due to manual programming of EDM machines.

  • Errors in manual data entry, programs and tool offset compensation.

Limited machine availability

  • Machine stopped while programming is being done.
  • Problems in the availability of electrodes: no traceability or life cycle management.

Lack of process repeatability

  • Pre-set data is not done on 100% of the electrodes.
  • No pre-setting of parts. It is assumed that all parts are properly positioned on the tooling.

What solution we have implemented:

Automation and management of EDM cell with robotized handling of parts and electrodes by MIC platform.

The ABB robotic system automatically loads and unloads the parts and, depending on the reference, loads the corresponding electrode. 

The measurement is performed to check that the erosion is produced with the required characteristics. If the specifications are not met, the product is sent to a special shelf for further analysis by the operator. In addition, the warehouse is equipped with infeed and outfeed shelves, allowing a continuous and efficient workflow.

The entire process is controlled by the MIC platform, which guarantees high precision and production efficiency.

The ABB robot arm extracts one of the shelves from the SMARTPM magazine before the part is automatically transferred to the EDM ONA IRIS machine.
The ABB robot arm extracts one of the shelves from the SMARTPM magazine before the part is automatically transferred to the EDM ONA IRIS machine.



The fully automated cell consists of the following components:

Service SMARTPM Engineering

Services provided by the engineering team:

  • Engineering to optimize the process
  • Change management
  • Deployment, asset configuration and testing

Implantation in 3 weeks

  • Automatic feeding of parts and tools
  • 100% pre-set of parts and tools (electrodes)
  • 100% inspection of parts and electrodes
  • Tool management: traceability and life cycle
  • Automatic programming and input of pre-set data on the EDM machine
  • Full process traceability
Automated part placement to start the EDM process.
Automated part placement to start the EDM process.

Impact on the EDM process

Defective reduction up to 65% due to optimized electrode management and less manual operation (pre-setting / automatic programming / integrated inspection).

Higher effective utilization of EDM equipment, with a 65% increase in available capacity due to reduced machine setup time and unattended operation.

Improvements in lead time due to increased traceability of parts and electrodes.

Request a demonstration

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