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By Michelle Mantel

3 Questions to ask when looking for a EDM supplier

As the purchasing manager for a company looking to take advantage of electrical discharge machining, you will consider multiple factors in your search for a supplier. Some of the things you want to take into account are the same as those in other industries. These can include pricing, reputation, reviews from other customers, the level of experience, flexibility or wait time, and materials used. Of course, you also have specific concerns to consider for your electrical discharge machining (EDM) supplier that those in other industries wouldn't have to contemplate. The following are a few recommendations to keep in mind when searching for an EDM provider:

Do they use sinker or wire EDM?

You should always confirm the type of EDM system your potential supplier uses if you have a preference in this regard. Although there are some other options, sinker and wire EDMs are the most common. Sinkers use electrodes, submerging these and the workpiece into a liquid. A power supply is then connected to generate the electrical potential that creates the sparks you need. Wire EDMs will just use one string of metal wire that is thin in nature to cut a thicker metal piece and create a precise incision.

Most industries in search of EDM will not have a preference as to which method is used. If, however, your business does, then you should always confirm that a potential provider uses that particular method.

Customer reviews

You will also want to consider the options other EDM companies are turning to for their supplying solutions. One way to do this is by reading over legitimate reviews from reputable sources such as the Better Business Bureau. You can get a better idea of what to expect from customer reviews who have used the EDM supplier first hand. When it comes to business, reputation and level of experience speak louder than any advertisement.

How their machines are set up

No matter the type of machinery you are in search of, you want to pay attention to how the tools offered by the supplier will fit into your workspace. Ensure that employees can move around the machinery and it works with other existing equipment. Understanding your space is just as important as the time it will take to set up and transport the device. The way in which you can arrange your machine will also impact these factors. You may additionally want to confirm if the supplier has fixtures so parts can be stacked and then worked on at the same time. Alternatively, you could look for a provider with machines set up in a way that allows for multiple EDM operations at the same time, even on the same piece.

It will also be helpful if you find an EDM supplier that can help guide you through the process of selecting a machine and provide basic instructions, as you would with any other type of machinery.

These are a few tips to keep in mind while picking a supplier for your EDM operations.

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