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The Plastek Group updated its EDM capabilities as part of a 5-year plan to improve manufacturing efficiency and precision, particularly in the medical mold sector. The company conducted a comprehensive 32-point comparison across several EDM suppliers, ultimately selecting Sodick Inc. for a five-machine purchase after finding significant performance improvements in speed and accuracy. This strategic upgrade, aimed at enhancing productivity and precision in their moldmaking processes, reflects Plastek’s commitment to leveraging advanced technology to maintain a competitive edge in their core markets.

Read the full case study on Moldmaking Technology’s website.

Schaumburg, IL (09/13/2023) – Sodick welcomes Premier Machine Tool Midwest to their comprehensive network of distributors. Premier Machine Tool Midwest is headquartered in Hartland Wisconsin. They will represent Sodick in Wisconsin effective immediately.

Since 2011 Premier Machine Tool Midwest has been committed to tailored solutions, quality, and their ability to deliver exceptional value paired with innovative solutions. Co-owners A.J. Schweda and Josh Witt have decades of market experience preceding Premier Machine Tool Midwest. Since the formation of their company Josh and A.J. have focused on partnership beyond fulfillment of equipment. Their mission is to create committed partnerships which enable their customers to overcome challenges while maximizing productivity and in effect profitability.

A.J. Schweda said, “We are extremely thrilled about this collaboration with Sodick. It is an opportunity to combine our expertise and their innovative solutions to meet the unique needs of our customers. We have always been committed to delivering the best, and this partnership amplifies that promise. We are eager to bring this exceptional value and quality to the Wisconsin market, setting us apart from our competitors.” Sodick looks forward to the added customer support in which Premier Machine Tool Midwest will provide. Mr. Schweda and Mr. Witt can be reached at info@pmtmidwest.com, or by phone at (414)-254-5150.

Since 1976, Sodick has manufactured over 60,000 EDM Linear Motor Driven Electric Discharge Machines. Our machines are used for the production of dies, molds and other markets including but not limited to aerospace + defense, automotive, medical, energy and micromachining.

Sodick EDMs enable the user to become the envy of their competition. Our commitment to the highest quality standards does not stop at sales but applies equally to providing advice and support for applications, training, parts, service, and consumables.

As EDM and precision machining technology advances, accurate and timely data has become increasingly important. Our latest software, LQ Message, is the newest innovation in machine monitoring and data collection. With the ability to monitor your entire shop floor and save all data on one device, LQ Message can help your team improve productivity, shorten cycle times, and foster organizational growth. 

What is LQ Message?

LQ Message is a machine monitoring software that utilizes Bluetooth technology to connect the Sodick machines on your shop floor, enabling real-time viewing of machine data and machine health. These connections allow you to track the positions of the machines’ axes, the current running program, the machines’ cycle status, and more. 

In addition to live data viewing, LQ Message can save CSV or XML data files directly to your computer. This data can be further expanded in an interactive dashboard through business intelligence software for in-depth analysis and tracking over time. 

For an even greater level of visibility, LQ Message is also compatible with applications such as Slack and LINE, allowing for instant notifications about changes in a machine’s status and any errors that occur. These messages are sent to a specified channel that permissible users can access anytime, anywhere, on any device. 

Optimizing Your Operations with LQ Message

Our newest software makes visualizing and interacting with machine data easier than ever, enhancing user-friendliness by localizing critical machine data. From the shop floor to the top floor, LQ Message machine monitoring software can help you make informed, data-driven decisions in your operation. Beyond data visibility, there are many other ways LQ Message can optimize your processes:

Improved Productivity

Having access to real-time data from all the machines on your shop floor allows you to stay ahead of potential problems. The software’s Slack/LINE message integration will notify all permissible users of any changes or interruptions that occur so you can avoid extended downtime in your production process. 

Shortened Cycle Times

The combination of instant notifications on any device and live machine monitoring enables you to reduce the time between cycles and speed up your process like never before. Any user on your LQ Message software can receive notifications when a machine completes a job, eliminating the accidental downtime that may occur between cycles.

Future Growth

Now that you can export and save your machine data, you can analyze data over time to make informed decisions about your operation. You can start to track trends and catch issues before they arise with consistent data collection, helping your team implement changes that can improve your efficiency and repair machines before the problem becomes detrimental.

Start monitoring your machines today.

Never lose sight of the status of your machines with the addition of LQ Message machine monitoring software to your shop floor. You can optimize your operation with software that helps you improve productivity, increase visibility, shorten cycle times, and aid future growth. 

To learn more about how LQ Message can enhance your productivity, connect with a Sodick expert today.

On June 6th and 7th, we hosted our Advanced Technology Show for 2023. The 2-day event took place at our headquarters in Schaumburg, Illinois. EDM Today magazine was there to cover the action, for those who were not able to attend the show.

Read all about it on EDM Today

When Ken Fangman joined Die Makers Manufacturing in 1997, the company had recently bought its first Sodick machine and was looking for operators that could easily onboard to their new technology. Since that first purchase in 1996, Die Makers Manufacturing has been a dedicated Sodick partner and currently runs four Sodick Wire EDMs on their shop floor.

Die Makers Manufacturing began making tools and dies in 1994 and now boasts a state-of-the-art, 30,000-square-foot facility filled with the latest equipment and software. The family-owned business is a complete manufacturing solution provider that is dedicated to providing customers with the highest quality products in line with their exact specifications.

Why Sodick?

“They trained me on Sodick, and that’s all we’ve ever bought since,” Ken said when asked about his history with the company; “We’ve never seriously considered trying other machines.” For Die Makers, reliability and accuracy are key, and since 1996, the market has changed tremendously. Tolerance requirements are getting stricter, and customers are looking for the most cost-effective, time-conscious solution. Die Makers has been able to stay on the leading edge of innovation as Sodick continues to develop new, ground-breaking technologies. However, their primary reason for staying with Sodick after all these years? The reliability of the machines and the experts behind them.

“Customers demand tighter and tighter tolerances all the time, and Sodick machines are able to do what we need them to do. No one questions our precision, the accuracy is always there, the finish is nice, and they are very affordable machines.” But the machine tools are not the only pull for Ken and his team. Throughout the partnership, what has stood out to Die Makers is the reliability and expertise of the Sodick team. “The people at Sodick are friendly and knowledgeable, and they want you to be happy with the machine. If you have an issue, they do everything they can to make it right, whether it be service, applications, or consumables.” 

A History of Problem-Solving

In the competitive industry of tool and die manufacturing, Die Makers Manufacturing is always looking for ways to improve efficiencies and cut costs while maintaining the quality their customers rely on.

“We keep our machines for roughly 7-10 years, and it’s fun buying a new one because the improvements are smart. The threaders get better every generation, the finish gets better year after year, and the accuracy gets better, especially on taller blocks. So we’ve always been satisfied with our Sodick purchases,” Ken explained. Because Sodick is dedicated to consistent advancement and innovation, Die Makers has been able to grow alongside them, creating more efficient processes as the machine tools on their shop floor become more productive.

For Die Makers, the automatic threaders and the improved reliability have been game-changing. With automatic wire threading, production continues overnight, realizing immense cost savings and highly efficient processes; “Let’s say you have a block on with two big openings that will take 7-8 hours to burn, you can do that at night and come back during the day to cut the slugs off.” 

For Sodick, continuing to improve machine tools and software is critical. With consistent enhancements and new technologies, Sodick is able to support manufacturers through industry growth, market changes, and new applications by advancing alongside the competition, not behind it.

Partners Through All Phases

27 years later, Sodick and Die Makers Manufacturing continue to work together to bring the best quality products to market. Sodick’s dedicated service team has helped Die Makers cut down on cost, troubleshoot software, and maintain accuracy in each run, and as Die Makers continues to expand, they continue to purchase Sodick machines. 
By partnering with Sodick, Die Makers transformed their production process and continues to evolve alongside their customers and industry. To optimize your own operation, connect with a Sodick representative and start a partnership that prioritizes your success.

In the face of supply chain disruptions, labor shortages, rising material costs, and technological advances, it’s crucial to maintain your competitive edge. High-speed milling (HSM) and vertical machining centers (VMCs) can help solve these issues, stay ahead of the competition, and assist with high-volume production and tight tolerance requirements.

High-speed milling is a machining process that involves milling a workpiece at high cutting speeds and feeds using specialized cutting tools and machines. The cutting tools used in HSM are typically made of high-speed steel, carbide, or diamond and are designed to withstand the high cutting speeds and feeds used in the process. This technology offers multiple advantages and benefits to the user, including increased productivity and shorter machining times.

The Advantages of High-Speed Milling

If you’re looking to produce high-quality parts quickly and efficiently, look no further than high-speed milling. This technology provides many advantages, specifically in the form of faster machining times, improved surface finish, and reduced tool wear.

Increased Productivity

With faster machining speeds, HSM can produce parts quicker than traditional machining methods, increasing the overall efficiency of your operation. This improved productivity allows you to meet tight deadlines without sacrificing accuracy and quality, adding to your competitive advantage. Sodick VMCs feature a 6,000 to 40,000 RPM spindle, making it ideal for high-speed, high-precision direct milling of hard surfaces. Additionally, the spindle is high-torque and highly durable and includes micro-oil mist lubrication.

Improved Surface Finish

Unlike traditional machining methods, HSM can produce parts with a fine surface finish. This is critical for applications such as aerospace and medical devices, where the surface finish has a direct impact on the performance and safety of the product. 

Reduced Tool Wear

High-speed milling utilizes specialized tools that are designed to withstand the high speeds and temperatures involved in the machining process. As a result, tooling undergoes less wear and can last longer, achieving more cost-effective machining and minimizing disruption and downtime. 

Higher Accuracy and Precision

With advanced software and tooling, HSM allows you to achieve greater accuracy and precision than you would with traditional machining methods. When working with complex geometries and tight tolerances, this improved precision helps ensure your finished product is of the highest quality possible. Sodick VMCs utilize a symmetrical bridge structure that keeps thermal displacement generated by the spindle within 3 μm. 

Reimagined Competitive Advantage

With reduced downtime, more accurate results, higher quality products, and more cost savings, utilizing HSM allows you to hone your competitive advantage through pricing strategies and product availability. Using HSM on your shop floor gives you the opportunity to reimagine how you measure up against your competitors, ensuring you stay one step ahead.

High-Speed Milling: Best Cases

High-speed milling is best used for applications that require high-precision machining with minimal operator intervention. HSM is particularly well-suited for machining complex parts with intricate geometries, such as aerospace components, medical implants, and automotive parts. Some specific applications where HSM is commonly used include:

Solving Challenges with HSM

With the myriad of challenges facing the manufacturing industry, finding equipment that can help you solve these issues is critical. High-speed milling has many advantages when facing situations such as high-volume production, tight tolerance requirements, hard-to-machine materials, and surface finishing specifications. Ultimately, the choice of machining process depends on a variety of factors, including the desired part geometry, material properties, surface finish requirements, and production volume.

To determine the right high-speed milling machine for your application, explore our solutions and connect with your Sodick representative. We’ll assist you in finding the perfect fit for your operation.

Sodick welcomes Merrifield Machinery Solutions under the Sodick umbrella of Machine Tool Distributors. Merrifield Machinery Solutions is based out of Sterling Heights Michigan. They will represent Sodick sales and service in eastern Michigan effective immediately.

Merrifield Machinery Solutions (MMS) brings over 15 years of experience in Machine Tool Sales and Support. MMS is committed to selling world class machine tools with the service needed to support the most demanding manufacturing market in America. Since 2007 MMS successfully serviced over 25,000 service calls, to over 1,800 customers and has sold over 250 Machine tools.

Dan Meehan joined MMS in 2020 as Vice President. Mr. Meehan brings 30 years of EDM machine tool sales experience to MMS and will lead Merrifield Machinery’s Sales team efforts. Merrifield Machinery Solutions will serve as an integral part of Sodick’s network of Direct and Distributor Sales. Dan can be reached via email at danm@merrifieldmachinery.com and by phone (248) 494-7335.

While navigating the modern-day business environment we strive to evolve alongside our customers by integrating new technologies, building and optimizing processes and focusing on automation, tooling and more. Our goal is to help our customers reach new milestones in manufacturing.

Since 1976, Sodick has manufactured over 60,000 EDM Linear Motor Driven Electric Discharge Machines. Our machines are used for the production of dies, molds and other markets including but not limited to aerospace + defense, automotive, medical, energy and micromachining. Sodick EDMs enable the user to become the envy of their competition. Our commitment to the highest quality standards does not stop at sales but applies equally to providing advice and support for applications, training, parts, service, and consumables.

Sodick, Inc. recently participated in North America’s largest manufacturing show, IMTS 2022. Even after COVID-19, attendance was high and there was increased traffic in the Sodick booth throughout the week. Many machines were highlighted at the show, including the new AL60G with iGroove+ technology, the AD35L, and the newest 3D printer, the LPM325S. Beyond the machine, the consumables team was set up in the front of the booth, displaying various OEM consumables for a variety of different machine tools. After watching the machines in action, visitors had the ability to see the yielded parts up close throughout the booth, including 3D printed parts. Overall, the consistent crowd and the high number of leads mark IMTS 2022 as one for the books, promising another great year for the company.

Sodick, Inc. recently participated in North America’s Largest Manufacturing show, IMTS 2018. There was plenty of excitement at booth# 134802 with the unveiling of the K6HL Multi-Axis Hole Drill; highlighting capabilities that are certain to attract the aerospace industry, such as breakthrough detection and shaped diffuser drilling. Sodick’s new OPM350L Metal 3D Printer was a topic of conversation for many’ with a live speaker noting the products features such as its capacity to produce up to four parts simultaneously with one laser and the use of automation to reduce labor costs. The crowd also had an opportunity to familiarize themselves with more unique products and a wide range of consumables that Sodick included in the exhibit. With over 1,400 new leads, 2019 will undoubtedly be another year of growth for the company.

A partnership with Sodick, a global EDM manufacturing leader, is supporting Pennsylvania College of Technology’s acquisition of innovative electrical discharge machines for instructional purposes.

Through the collaboration, Sodick, a Japanese company with North American headquarters in Schaumburg, Illinois, is providing four VL400Q High Performance Linear Motor Drive Wire Cut EDM units for use in the college’s Larry A. Ward Machining Technologies Center.

Penn College students and faculty in the machine tool technology, automated manufacturing technology and manufacturing engineering technology majors will benefit from the new high-tech equipment.

Sodick’s products are highly regarded in a wide range of fields including the automotive and electronics industries. The Machine Tools Division provides an extensive lineup that includes electrical discharge machines that are used for applications in which conventional metal removal is either difficult or impossible.

“These new machines are equipped with touch screens, thumb drives and ethernet connectivity that increases productivity and enhances learning opportunities for our students,” said Howard W. Troup, instructor of automated manufacturing and machine tool technology. “Programming and troubleshooting were cumbersome processes, previously influencing students to shy away from EDM operation, but now they are learning in a more effective way, which makes the process fun and more dynamic.”

“Our students are thrilled to design, create and innovate, using this state-of-the-art equipment and technology,” said Loni N. Kline, vice president for college relations. “We are thankful for Sodick’s investment in the manufacturing workforce of tomorrow.”

“Sodick is proud to partner with Pennsylvania College of Technology in providing cutting-edge technology to further the growth of the students and augment their industry knowledge,” said Yuji Akutsu, president of Sodick Inc. “We will continue to support community endeavors and promote academic excellence as it coincides with our companywide philosophy of ‘Create Your Future.’”

For information about automated manufacturing and machining programs at Penn College, visit the School of Engineering Technologies.

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