Blog: Our EDM Industry view – w/ Andrew McFarlane, Sales Manager Erodex UK

We are now past the halfway mark of 2022, so we thought the time was right to check in with Andrew McFarlane, Erodex UK Sales Manager, to get his latest view of the EDM industry and more specifically, how Erodex are helping customers gain the leading edge.

With multiple new product launches, the development of partnerships with customers to assist with cost per part reduction and even new website launches, there’s lots of ground to cover.

Here, we get Andy’s top five updates:

1 – New website launched for Fast Hole Tubing A dedicated destination for 100% Flow Tested Precision Tubing for Fast Hole Drilling.

  • Brass and Copper tubes manufactured to the highest level of quality
  • 100% flow tested
  • Cleaned and dried before packaging to ensure freedom from oxidation and blockages.
  • Available in any size over 0.1mm/0.00391 Inches OD and up to 900mm/35.433 Inches in length
  • Qualified by aerospace primes and machine tools manufacturers worldwide.

2 – Performance up, costs down with Betterbrass

Erodex stock an unbeatable range of EDM wire, enabling us to provide the perfect solution for your application. Using our experience and expert engineers, we work closely with you to ensure optimum performance is achieved.

Most recently, our customers have been hugely impressed with the performance of Betterbrass, a next generation special alloy brass wire from Bedra (Berkenhoff) Germany.

Customers are experiencing less downtime due to fewer wire breaks, better threading and reduced cycle time – sometimes up to 20% depending on the machine and the operator.

3 – Erodex supporting customers with ‘cost per part reduction’

Erodex have been supporting customers within the Aerospace and Industrial Gas Turbine sectors with a ‘cost per part reduction’ program focused on EDM Die Sink. This has involved partnering with customers who can then leverage the expertise of Erodex Engineers to make EDM processes more efficient, increase productivity, reduce scrap parts and reduce cycle times.

At a time where cost down is all important, we know that we can help customers achieve that goal.

Working in partnership with our customers, we look at the volume, size of parts, the machine, and what the company wants to achieve, and have been able to identify and help to implement bespoke turnkey solutions for each, optimising their end to end process. To date, this has included redesigning fixtures, tooling holders and advising on electrode redesign.

Such solutions have enabled customers to reduce the number of machines required to produce a part, reduce setup times, increase ‘right first time’ and significantly decreasing cycle times by switching from copper to graphite.

4 – Right Graphite choices also leading to reduced energy consumption

Working with customers, we have found that if a company is using a competitors grade of graphite they may need to make 2 or 3 electrodes to sink the part, whereas by switching to Poco for example, they could reduce the number of electrodes that they make and still get the same number of cavities sunk.

If a company can reduce say 2-3 hours off electrode manufacture, they will benefit from lower machining costs and consequently they will reduce energy and other associated costs for that part. During a period where energy prices are at an all-time high, this benefit – whilst secondary to increased productivity – has been met with a positive response.

5 – Additional new products launching

Erodex continues to build on our market leading choice of EDM consumables with more new product introductions.

Keep an eye out soon for new product updates such as clamping rails for wire EDM machines, starter packs for work-holding and electrode holding for Die Sink machines.


World’s fastest brass wire launched by Erodex UK

Betterbrass, the world’s fastest brass wire launched by Erodex UK, has helped users increase cutting speed by up to 10% in early trials since its launch.

Launched into the UK this summer, betterbrass is a next generation special alloy brass wire from bedra (Berkenhoff) Germany.

Thanks to innovative alloy and casting technology, along with a specially developed annealing process, bedra engineers created a brass wire electrode comprised of a completely new alloy that is plug-and-play on all machine types, The new product delivers performance never before seen in a traditional brass wire, with up to 10% faster cutting speeds reported.

“Since its launch earlier in the summer, the new betterbrass wire range has received a positive response from customer trials, meaning that we can now provide EDM subcontractors with a cost-effective step up from standard brass wire” comments Josh Bye, Sales Engineer at Erodex UK.

“As UK industry starts to recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, we were keen to be able to introduce a new, cost-effective wire to the market that also enables increased performance. Users will save money by using the wire, as any increase in wire speed ultimately means less wire usage” continues Bye.

Erodex UK are the market leaders in the provision of EDM wire, wear parts and other EDM consumables and have cemented their position as the leading authority in the UK for all things EDM. In addition to their vast experience within the EDM industry, this is also due to their strong working relationship with bedra (Berkenhoff) Germany.

During August 2019, Erodex UK announced the launch of the world’s fastest EDM speed wire, gapstar ONE. Building on the strengths of their cobracut, broncocut and topas ranges, bedra developed a new coating technology called TRIMPAC. gapstar ONE quickly became the wire of choice for those looking for premium performance, but it is a different segment of the market that Erodex UK believe will continue to see the benefit from the betterbrass range.

“Being the fastest EDM speed wire available in the world, our gapstar ONE range is a very high-end wire, which we do advise if people are looking for a significant step up in speeds. However, we know that there is a segment of the market that does not demand premium performance, but still would like to achieve greater performance and reliability than they get from using a standard brass wire. It is these users which are now appreciating the benefit of the new betterbrass range of wire.

“During customer trials since launch, betterbrass has proved to perform up to 10% faster than standard brass wire. Being a stronger wire than standard brass also means improved reliability when auto wire threading. Users have reported less breakages when applying increased power through the wire and better surface finishes too” adds Bye.

Luke Hobbs, Director of HLP Engineering Solutions in Halesowen, West Midlands has experienced firsthand the benefits of using both the gapstar and betterbrass ranges.

“We’ve used both gapstar and betterbrass wires from Erodex. Simply put, gapstar is the best wire we have ever used from a performance and speed perspective on our Sodick machines. We found it ideal for cutting punches and other long-running jobs. We will have no hesitation in using gapstar for this type of work in the future. We found that betterbrass is excellent on threading and for the small increase in the cost of the wire, offers decent speed improvement of around 10-12% over standard brass wire using the same settings. When the job dictates, we will certainly use this wire again”.


Erodex launches the UK’s fastest EDM speed wire gapstar ONE

Erodex UK, market leaders in the provision of EDM wire, wear parts and other EDM consumables, have launched the fastest EDM speed wire available in the UK, gapstar ONE.

Working in partnership with bedra (Berkenhoff) Germany, the revolutionary wire will enable users to achieve unprecedented cutting performance across a broad range of applications, as well as uncompromising precision and surface quality.

Berkenhoff have built on the pioneering technologies of their previous high performance wire generations such as cobracut®, topas® and boline, to develop a new electrode and coating technology in TRIMPAC, featuring a zinc-enhanced coating.

“We are extremely excited about this new wire and how it can benefit the UK market. As well as dramatically increasing speeds by 40% – 60% compared to standard brass wire and typically 10% + compared to our boline H product, users will also see a significant increase in feed rates. This increase is achieved in both in rough and skim cuts, without necessarily adjusting current settings. A further benefit is the reduced wear of wire guides and power contacts, reducing downtime and ultimately cost. Thanks to the newly developed TRIMPAC coating, an accuracy to Ra of 0.25 microns can be expected, as well as increased stiffness and excellent straightness for auto threading” comments Brendan Kelly [Technical Sales Engineer] of Erodex UK.

From stock, gapstar ONE will be available in 900N and 500N tensile strength, is compatible with all brands of machines and is available in most spool sizes. The wire has been received extremely positively in early customer trials.

“As with its predecessors, whilst gapstar ONE is more expensive than brass wire to purchase, dramatically increased wire speeds and its ability to achieve the desired surface finish means more throughput and increased efficiencies. Users can expect savings of up to 40% when compared with the topas® Plus H 2.0 range for example.

“Simply using gapstar ONE will enable these benefits to be realised, but we are also able to work with customers to optimise their machine settings and generate even better results for them too” concludes Brendan.

Erodex UK’s strong working relationship with bedra (Berkenhoff) and vast experience within the EDM industry has cemented the company’s position as the leading authority in the UK for all things EDM wire.

If you are interested in learning more about how gapstar ONE can benefit your EDM performance, contact us.