SST partners with SmalTec International to expand micro-EDM capabilities

Single Source Technologies (SST; Auburn Hills, MI), a global distributor of machine tool technology from Makino and other companies along with related consumables, announced its collaboration with SmalTec International to bring the EM203 and GM703 micro-precision electrical discharge machines (EDMs) to SST’s West, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions.

Based in the Chicago area, SmalTec is a machine manufacturer known for high- and ultra-high precision equipment that provides comprehensive, turnkey solutions. SmalTec offers micro-machining equipment for a variety of industries including mold manufacturing. The company is dedicated to improving and advancing the small technology industry.

“This complementary partnership signifies our commitment to offer a range of solutions specifically for extreme precision in micro-sized components,” said Mark Logan, Director of Business Development at SST. “We recognize that many manufacturers consider micro-machining to be difficult, if not impossible, to manufacture commercially. For that reason, we are pleased to bring technologies that deliver on accuracy and surface-finish requirements to these customers through our partnership with SmalTec.”

SmalTec’s EM203 and GM703 micro-machines combine high-precision CNC technology with adaptive EDM sensing and machining. These models create complex 3D designs using a 0.30 micron spark size at a 5-nanosecond frequency, the industry’s smallest and fastest spark size, said SST. Tolerances are held within 10 nm, creating “unrivaled surface quality and feature-size capabilities.”

Polishing can be completed on the inside of micro holes, features, mold cavities or pins. Additionally, micro holes with significant aspect ratios are achievable, from 10:1 at 5 microns to more than 40:1 at 100 microns, said the company.

The EM203 and GM703 have recently been upgraded to use a new in situ metrology process, Electric Flux Measurement (EFM). EFM is a patented process that uses a traditional CMM-style methodology but senses the proximity of a surface before coming in contact with it, making it nondestructive. Micro probes used with EFM can be custom-shaped using the micro-EDM. Today, micro features can be created and measured at nanometer precision during the machining process.

“Working with SST will enhance our market penetration into high-volume production customers and allow us to better serve manufacturers across industries, including medical, aerospace, semiconductor, optics and automotive,” said Jerry Mraz, General Manager and owner of SmalTec International. “We are thrilled to broaden our capabilities and offerings as well as our reach.”

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