Standardizing involves adopting best practices, establishing a standard for every process, aligning everything in its right place and maintaining high standards of workplace organization.
Technology standardization is quite apparent among machinery and tooling companies that support CNC EDM technology. For example, the evolution of electrode holders into reference sizes (50, 100 and 200 mm) allows designers to establish process standards for any size EDM electrode or part requirement. These holders precisely position each tool within an EDM, making them integral to productivity improvement. Automation, toolchangers, robotics, flexible workpiece holding systems and palletization are other forms of standardization that allow precise placement of multiple parts, reducing operator input during electrode milling, EDM or inspection.
CAM systems then integrate the standard workholding and palletization systems with the movement of tooling, electrodes or probes, acting as the “glue” to hold all the pieces together. CAM dramatically reduces design time for EDM processing, enabling the designer to choose preset standards and apply a best-practice solution from a previous effort.
No matter what stage of continuous improvement your mold shop is in, or what lean tools you use, the concepts of sort, set in order and standardize are philosophies to live by in your EDM operations.