Electrical Discharge Machines (EDM) Information

Electrical discharge machineElectrical discharge machines (EDM) remove metal from a workpiece by using a series of electric sparks to erode material. An EDM is considered to be the most precision oriented manufacturing process and is widely used for creating simple and complex shapes and geometries. EDM machining is favored in situations where high accuracy of work and low count is required. An EDM consists of a workpiece and a wire electrode. A workpiece is sometimes dipped in a dielectric to develop a potential difference between the workpiece and wire electrode. EDM supply is applied to the workpiece. EDMs work by eroding the material that appears in the electrical discharge path. This material is responsible for generating an arc between the workpiece and the wire electrode. The wire electrode rotates, acts as wire EDM tooling, and rotates a two-three axis and cuts the internal cavities in the workpiece.


There are many types of EDMs. Examples include:

  • a CNC EDM 
  • a wire EDM

A CNC EDM is a computer numerical control machine and is used for removing metal using electrical discharge spark erosion. A wire EDM is designed for precision machining purposes and is used for cutting prismatic metal components. Other EDMs are commonly available.


There are several ways in which EDMs function. EDMs are used where fast turnaround time is required. EDMs work by removing the workpiece that generates an arc with the wire electrode and creating a cavity in the workpiece. The dimensional accuracy required for an EDM is + / - 0.0005 inches per inch. EDMs also require a 0.0003 feature profile accuracy across the workpiece cutting path. EDMs are designed and manufactured to meet most industry specifications.


EDMs are used in many applications. EDMs are widely used in the automobile industry, chemical industry, and the aerospace industry. In addition, EDMs are also used in biological and ecological surveys.


EDMs should adhere to Petrotechnical Open Standards Consortium (POSC) and Professional Petroleum Data Model Association (PPDM) industry standards.

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