“As well as the Sodick AD35L die-sink EDM we bought in December 2020, we had another older Sodick spark eroder on site, a Mold Maker model, which we retained as our back-up machine if we received an influx of sparking work,” explains Business Development Manager Peter Crossen. “We took the decision to replace that machine with a Sodick AD55L and its far newer technology. The machine will not be a back-up, but will run alongside the AD35L to provide a permanent capacity boost.”
“The bigger bed allows us to take advantage of two-vice set-ups, while the machine also has more tool-changing capabilities, so we have more options for the set-up of tools or electrodes,” says Mr Crossen. “We bought the AD35L at the end of 2020 to meet demand for medical mould/press tools, which continues to this day. Word has got out regarding this machine and we are now quoting for more medical projects. However, it was a contract for the renewable energy sector that prompted our investment in the AD55L.”
This work involved the manufacture of a mould tool for a manifold inlet that is part of solar thermal panels made from a proprietary polymer material which represents a real advance for the renewable energy sector. As well as using the Sodick AD55L to make the mould tool set for the manifold inlet, Crossen Engineering also manufactures the parts on site using its repertoire of injection moulding machines, which extend from 30T to 800T in capacity (for parts from 1g to 4.5kg in weight).
“There were specific elements of the manifold inlet mould that needed the larger table, which is why we selected that particular Sodick model in the first place,” says Mr Crossen. “Moving forward we anticipate to continue producing the manifold inlet mouldings, and to get involved with further projects for this client that will undoubtedly require our new AD55L.”
The company has a robust flow of work lined up for the months ahead, where ongoing diversification into new sectors will continue as a core business strategy. Renewable energy is latest success story to emerge from this approach, not just regarding the solar thermal panel project, but in the electric vehicle market, where Crossen Engineering is currently exploring the opportunities for pressings.