When we opened Peridot in 1996 we had a lot of opportunities in small sheet metal clips and stampings at prototype quantities. Battery contacts, electrical connectors, EMI shielding etc. For the first few months we developed flat patterns from 3D models and purchased photo-chemically milled flat blanks outside source. Our primary value add was the forming. Very quickly I was signing large checks to photo-etchers each month and knew that our first wire EDM purchase was inevitable. With wire EDM you can shear up many pcs of thin sheet
Sandwich them between 2 pcs of thicker aluminum, bolt together and drill start holes
Load into the machine and burn stacks of many parts. Accuracy is crazy close on the order of +- .0005 inches. No burr and minimal heat affected zone due to the non-contact submerged process.
Since we were a startup operating beyond lean (what was left of Debra’s and my savings account) I first paid cash and bought a benchtop Hansvedt Foreman EDM from Chris Gendusa at North South Machinery.
I had no CAM package so I programmed this machine line by line, so for complex blanks the programs were quite large. I remember to this day trying to go to sleep with lines of G code marching in front of my eyes instead of the proverbial sheep. Soon we were buried in EDM work and we were lucky enough to hire our first programmer Rick K. He very quickly invited (insisted) me to dump the hobby-machine Hansvedt and buy our first production worthy CNC machine, a new Mitsubishi FX10, again purchased from Chris at North South. Fast forward 21 years later and we have 5 shiny Mits EDM’s on the floor but recently the oldest one began showing signs of EDM Alzheimers. Frequent reboots and reloads of software. Had difficulty keeping down fluids and was quite balky in the morning. Seemed the end was near. 20 years of HARD service from a machine tool is not too shabby.
Today the blue truck from Lawsons Drayage pulled up with a brand new Mitsubishi EDM.
The rigger crew are often real characters but are consummate pros when it comes to moving these expensive items. I once dropped a machine tool off of a forklift so I have huge respect for these guys.
I love it when the big blue forklift is heard in our shop because it means another new machine has arrived.
Off to the scrap heap for the retired machine after being stripped of all usable parts. Theterms for this old machine were 5 year lease with a $1 buyout. This machine was fully paid off 15 years ago.
In with the new!
The Peridot team is anxious to get this guy fired up and producing revenue.
And Ms Van Sickle approves!