Wire Erosion Project – EDM Drilling with a Sodick K1C

Project: Large Shaft, Imperfections introduced for NDT (Non-Destructive Testing) aid.

Type Of Work: EDM Drilling with a Sodick K1C.

Client Requirements:

Our customer requested that we introduce a variety of imperfections into the Shaft.


Imperfections are introduced and these faults are then used during Non-Destructive Testing (NDT).  They are used to help calibrate the testing machinery.

Work Carried Out:

Ordinarily work takes place in our engineering workshops but due to the size and weight of the Shaft and the safety issues associated with moving it, we decided that we would take our EDM drilling machine to the job to carry out the work instead of transferring it to our workshop.  The EDM drilling machine that we use is a Sodick K1C, this EDM drilling machine is mounted on large casters so can be easily manoeuvred to the location it is required!

The Shaft weighed approx. 1.5 Tonnes, 2.5 Metres in length and ranging between 300 & 600 mm in diameter.  In order to carry out the work we loaded the Shaft onto 2 off large ‘V’ supports. These had built in rollers to enable rotation of the Shaft as this was important to us.

To begin, with varying hole diameters were required to be machined into the large Shaft using the Sodick K1C EDM drilling machine.  These were between 0.3-0.7 mm and Slots of 0.3 x 10 mm.  These holes and slots were also at varying depths, displaced at varying increments and at angular rotational positions to one another.   In addition some were drilled at angles to the diameter rather than radial.  Critical angular and linear tolerances applied.

A variety of Machine, Electrode & Tooling modifications were undertaken to allow us to fit the shaft within the ‘Throat’ of the standard machine.  We also used a variety of manufactured indexing, alignment and tooling aids. In addition a laser aligning kit was employed on the project to complete the work.  This ensured that tolerances were met!


Over 40 imperfections were machined into the Shaft using the Sodick K1C EDM drilling machine.

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