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CLM Presentation at Makino

On September 16-17th we showcased our CLM technology at the Makino technology expo in Auburn Hills, Michigan. CEO Mark Raleigh was on site to demonstrate its advantages including: resource savings of 25%, automated quality control, and better deployment of personnel. Closed Loop manufacturing or CLM is an innovative technology developed through the collaboration of EDM Department Inc and Alicona Imaging. By combining EDM’s micro manufacturing know-how with Alicona’s 3D metrology expertise, we can offer customers an entirely new manufacturing experience with limitless possibilities and applications. For more details on CLM, visit our Robotics page at: http://www.edmisolutions.com/ and the Alicona Manufacturing website: http://www.aliconamanufacturing.com/home/closed-loop-manufacturing.html


Meet the Newest Additions to EDM Department

EDM Department, Inc., a world leader of advanced flexible manufacturing, announces that it has expanded its presence in the Mid-Atlantic region. Centralized in Greenville SC, this expansion gives EDM Department a central location between Charlotte NC and Atlanta GA and will allow it to service customers specifically within the NC, SC and GA regions. Newest team members Dr. Andrew Cannon and Mr. March Maguire join EDM Department’s Program Management and Business Development teams respectively and will work to serve the expanding regional client base in the manufacturing, medical, automotive, and aerospace industries. For more information, clients may contact (864) 397-5740 or email acannon@edmdept.com.


With a Ph.D. in in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and more than 10 years’ experience in the field, we are proud to introduce Dr. Andrew Cannon as our newest Program Manager. Mirroring EDM Department’s key competencies, Dr. Cannon has designed, developed and implemented thousands of micro components and tooling throughout the years and we feel that his knowledge and expertise will be a great asset for EDM Department and look forward to having him as a part of our team.


EDM Department is pleased to announce Mr. March Maguire as head of our Business Development team. From problem analysis to DFSS solution development to high volume scale up, Mr. Maguire has 30 years of industrial experience specializing in engineering solutions and implementation for high volume, high quantity, low cost production. With a profound knowledge and extensive experience in the design and use of exotic materials, tight tolerances and complex designs, we feel Mr. Maguire will be a strong addition to EDM Department Inc and will bring EDM to new levels of success.


EDM Signs BPA with NASA

EDM Department is pleased to announce the signing of a blanket procurement agreement with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA). With a long standing relationship having begun back in 2008, EDM has worked with The AEDC White Oak, home of the Hypervelocity Wind Tunnel No. 9, on various occasions and projects. One of the most successful and widely publicized projects was featured by the Ground Testing Technical Committee in the 7th volume 9th edition newsletter. (https://info.aiaa.org/tac/ASG/GTTC/Newsletter/GTTC%20Newsletter%202008b.pdf) In summary, Tunnel 9 engineers partnered with EDM Department to develop a new technique for machining roughness elements directly into metal models. This resulted in complex roughness geometries being machined with extreme accuracy & quality while maintaining efficiency. Stemming from the immense success of this project and others with similar challenges, EDM is highly optimistic about future endeavors with NASA and believes with this new & fully executed BPA truly the “sky’s the limit”.

CLM Machine for Conservation and Maximization of Resources

 Medical Design Technnology Magazine recently featured EDM Department's COO Walter Zic as he answered the question: "The mantra of today's medical device development environment is to "cut costs." What is your suggestion to help achieve this goal?"

"I believe the solution to cutting costs in the development of medical devices lies within the technology of CLM (closed loop manufacturing). Traditional measurement procedures can be both elaborate and error-prone as they necessitate constant clamping and unclamping. Dissimilar to these traditional procedures, the CLM machine does not require measurements to be performed separately from the machine; rather, components are measured optically in situ. The CLM machine corresponds to a specific measured value and if it does not match the desired geometry, the machine adjusts and automatically modifies itself to correct the process or parameters before further production. Measurement of form, position, and surface finish ensure adherence to various tolerances before starting the next production step. Because errors are corrected before they ever occur, the traditionally discarded defective parts avoid production all together, which in turn, saves money and resources. The ability to measure without the need to clamp the components off and on again saves time, increases accuracy four-fold, and eliminates clamping errors. Essentially, CLM allows for conservation and maximization of resources, an increase in yield in a shorter time frame and elimination of traditional errors. All these benefits allow manufacturers, specifically in medical device development, to reduce costs."

Read the origional article here: http://www.mdtmag.com/blogs/2014/10/clm-machine-conservation-and-maximization-resources

Download the PDf Here


Cutting Edge Research

Utilizing our micro manufacturing capabilities, EDM Department has been able to work with SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory to develop technologies for future particle accelerators. According to SLAC's website, "Future generations of particle accelerators will use entirely different technologies from those of today, which are widely used not only for research but also in medicine and industry. By making them smaller and more efficient, scientists hope to expand accelerators’ role in society and their contributions to U.S. industrial competitiveness." Photos and additional detials can be found on slides 44 & 45 of the following presentation: https://indico.cern.ch/event/246618/session/0/contribution/7/material/slides/2.pdf


Keep up to date with the latest from EDM Department in our eNews!

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August eNews

Read the latest news from EDM Department in the August edition of our newsletter!

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We're Expanding

Bartlett, IL –  Currently we are in the process of renovating and expanding our facilities to encompass our growing resources and personnel. For the past four months our operations and planning teams have worked tirelessly to ensure that all construction and renovation blueprints transform from abstract designs into concrete realities. With an anticipated completion date of September 1st, everyone at EDM Department is excited to see our plans realized. While our facilities are expanding, they aren’t the only thing; three of our employees also added new family members this year! Kurt Long, James Chandler and Kevin Levy all became first time fathers as they welcomed Kensington, Wyatt & Violet into the world!


Chief Operating Officer

Bartlett, IL –  We are excited to announce Mr. Walter Zic as our Chief Operating Officer. As COO, Zic will oversee all strategic and operational processes at EDM Department. He will provide leadership to the strategic planning process and will implement new programmatic initiatives, both internally and externally. It is our anticipation that Zic will be a strong and influential addition to our team and that his guidance and coordination will lead EDM Department to new levels of success
WZ rounded corners

Engineering Project Manager

Bartlett, IL –  We are pleased to welcome Ms. Katie Lane as the newest member of the EDM Department team. Lane recently graduated from Purdue University with a master’s degree in mechanical engineering. Having worked with EDM part-time throughout college, Lane has exceptional knowledge and understanding of EDM Department’s engineering and operational agendas. As an Engineering Project Manager, Lane will work closely with both internal and external engineers to liaise and coordinate project designs to help improve our overall project strategies and conveyances. 
KL rounded corners

July eNews

Read the latest news from EDM Department in our July Newsletter!

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CLM Technology

Bartlett, IL – EDM Department is proud to announce we now offer CLM services based upon the technology developed by Alicona Manufacturing. Alicona Manufacturing’s CLM machine is composed of a Makino machining center and an integrated optical 3D measurement sensor from Alicona. This technology allows miniaturized EDM components with complex geometries to be manufactured using continuous high resolution measurements for inspection. High measurement speed in conjunction with high vertical resolution enables machine to machine communication while measurements of form, position, and surface finish ensure quality and adherence to various tolerances. Mark Raleigh and Dr. Stefan Scherer, Co-CEOs of Alicona Manufacturing, agree that enabling self-controlled production through this pioneering technology will present worldwide users with a multitude of benefits. A few of the benefits include: up to a fourfold increase in machining accuracy; elimination of clamping errors; automated quality assurance; 25% resource savings; a more efficient deployment of personnel and shorter lead times at a better output ratio. Mark Raleigh is confident about this revolutionary processing method as he explains, “The integrated measurement sensor verifies what the machine is currently doing. As a result, the production accuracy is increased while adverse effects of the environment are reduced.” Through the utilization of CLM, EDM Department can offer customers automated quality assurance, shorter lead times at a better output ratio and elimination of clamping errors.

Announcing our New Technical Director

Bartlett, IL - EDM Department Inc.is pleased to announce Dr. William P. King as our Technical Director. King is the College of Engineering Abel Bliss Professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and is one of the world’s foremost authorities on manufacturing, materials, and nanotechnology.  He has worked as a founder, advisor, or director at more than a dozen technology companies.

Dr. King brings nearly 20 years of experience in industry and academia.  He holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University and completed the Program for Leadership Development at Harvard Business School.  He is the winner of numerous awards including the PECASE award from the White House and the ASME Gustus-Larson Award for accomplishment in Mechanical Engineering.  He was named by Technology Review Magazine as a person whose innovations will change the world. He has published more than 180 journal articles, and is a Fellow of both the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

As Technical Director, King joins EDM’s leadership team and will be responsible for the overall technology portfolio including the development of new manufacturing technologies.

Bill King rounded corners

EDM Department proud part of the DMDI

Bartlett, IL –  On February 25th 2014, President Obama announced UI Labs, a non-profit research and development organization led by the University of Illinois, as the leader of the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute. The institute will be a collaboration of leaders from industry, government, and academia working together to accomplish common goals. The DMDI will work to enable interoperability across the supply chain, develop enhanced digital capabilities to design and test new products and reduce costs of manufacturing processes across multiple inustries. According to dmdi.org, the DMDI “has a national vision for strengthening U.S. manufacturing through applied Research and Development, technology commercialization, education, workforce deployment and a broad range of services to support tomorrow’s connected manufacturing life cycle.” EDM Department Inc. is honored to be a community partner in the DMDI and is excited for the opportunity to work alongside organizations with expertise in all aspects of product development, technology transfer and commercialization processes in order to help advance United States competitiveness. DMDI

Demonstration at Makino Conference

Senior Editor Larry Adams’ article Good Metrology Balances Tolerance Budgets, originally featured in MICROmanufacturing magazine’s November/December 2013 issue, recalled EDM CEO Mark Raleigh’s demonstration at the Makino conference.

Makino Inc., a milling machine and EDM builder, hosted a micromachining conference on September 10, 2013 in Auburn Hills, Michigan. At the conference, Makino not only displayed new equipment for micromachining but also provided information regarding metrology equipment the company uses in its own manufacturing process. John Bradford, Makino’s micromachining R&D team leader, explained that Makino utilizes Alicona’s InfiniteFocus 3-D measurement system to quantify processes at the submicron and nanometer level. According to Brad Etter, US sales manager for Alicona, the InfiniteFocus “combines the ability to characterize surface roughness and form measurement using the same instrument.” EDM Department utilizes this equipment in its own version of closed-loop manufacturing, as demonstrated by Raleigh at the conference. During the demonstration Raleigh showcased the InfiniteFocus technology, specifically the IF-SensorR25, in combination with a sinker from Makino. Adams explains that the sensor inspected electrodes at the event but proves the capability to inspect parts on the machine itself. This ability to examine parts in-situ allows for increased accuracy as verification of parts no longer requires transfer from one machine to another. With this technology EDM Department can optically inspect form, surface, and position of parts all in one process. Raleigh explains that this system is highly advantageous and users can expect to reap benefits such as: reduced cycle time, increased accuracy, and elimination of clamping errors. 

To download the original article in a PDF format click here.

To download the official EDM Department Inc. press release click here.

EDM Department Forms Joint Venture with Alicona Imaging

EDM Department Inc., a corporation focused on the advanced development of flexible manufacturing, recently announced it will embark on a joint venture with Austrian based Alicona Imaging GmbH. This joint venture, referred to as Alicona Manufacturing, is transpiring with the intent of formulating and developing solutions to help meet the ever increasing demands of the manufacturing industry. Within the manufacturing industry, customer requests for projects requiring micro and nano components have dramatically increased in recent years. For manufacturers, this rise in requests has created a need for new technology that will enable optimum production of micro components. Alicona Manufacturing hopes to develop this technology.

As one will read on the Alicona Imaging website, Alicona manufactures optical 3D surface metrology equipment. The instruments capture the micro-geometry of complex parts on a sub-micrometer level and make it possible to measure surface characterization parameters. EDM Department Inc. has already implemented this state-of-the-art imaging technology into its production site and experienced a multitude of benefits as a result. Upon integration, EDM has seen extreme precision and accuracy in component measurement and evaluation, greater customer service ability, as well as profitability for the company. With so many benefits already experienced, EDM hopes to develop this technology further through the venture.

The Alicona Manufacturing venture will attempt to combine the production expertise presented by EDM Department and the technological expertise of Alicona Imaging GmbH to further develop and create integrated high resolution optical measurement solutions for manufacturing. These developments will in-turn benefit both producers and consumers within the industry. In reflection upon the successes already experienced through the implementation of Alicona Imaging technology at EDM, the possibilities of the Alicona Manufacturing venture appear endless.

To download the official EDM Department Inc. press release click here.

EDM Department Featured in Cutting Tools Engineering

EDM Department was recently featured in Cutting Tools Engineering magazine for the utilization of integrated measuring capability. The use of this technology has enabled EDM Department to be more responsive to customer needs and requests. Mark Raleigh, CEO of EDM, states, “The cellular concept allows us to manage our work more efficiently and take advantage of little windows of production opportunity. Sometimes, we can knock some time off the job by burning more aggressively and then maybe squeeze in a new job”. This ability to ‘squeeze in a new job’ means customer orders can be expedited in order to meet demands of the industry. 


The implementation of integrated measuring capability has allowed EDM Department to become increasingly dynamic and with the dynamistic nature of the industry, this is a substantial advantage. Raleigh reasons, “Manufacturing is dynamic in nature. You can plan all you want, but oftentimes you end up executing far differently because the information has evolved. The ability to dynamically measure wear and overburn and then feed this information to a cell controller means you can be more flexible, more efficient and, therefore, more profitable”. Additionally, this technology has allowed EDM Department to conquer the demands of short lead times and small lot sizes as well as be proactive, as opposed to reactive, during production. All these increased capabilities essentially mean two things, satisfaction for customers and profitability for the company.   

For the original article please visit: http://www.ctemag.com/aa_pages/2013/131010-SinkerEDM.html

To download the original article in a PDF format click here.

To download the official EDM Department Inc. press release click here.

CEO Mark Raleigh-Guest Presenter at Makino Conference

Mark Raleigh, founder and CEO of EDM Department Inc., was recently selected as one of six esteemed guest presenters at Makino’s Micromachining Conference. Makino, a world leader in advanced CNC machining centers, hosted the conference in Auburn Hills, MI on September 10, 2013. The marketing for the event included online articles promoting the guest presenters and promising attendees “a high level of exposure to the brightest minds in modern micromachining”.

The Makino conference also featured special guest Dr. William P. King and demonstrators: Jeff Bibee, Brad Etter, Fumi Hirajima, and Mike Schmidt- all of whom are judged as experts in the field. These individuals came from around the world and displayed backgrounds in areas ranging from implementation of manufacturing processes to micro tooling and metrology solutions. In addition to guest presenters, the conference included machine demonstrations and one-on-one consultations with manufacturers to help identify solutions for their unique manufacturing needs. According to Jake Smith, author of Makino Micromachining Conference Delivers Industry-Leading Perspectives and Ultra-Precision Technologies , the conference was essentially an opportunity to “showcase new developments in micro-manufacturing processes and equipment” and a chance for Raleigh, and other presenters “to address theoretical and applied research related to processes, systems and equipment for manufacture and metrology in association with the creation of components and systems with 3-D features and high relative accuracies”.  

For the original article please visit: http://www.makino.com/about/news/makino-micromachining-conference-delivers-industry-leading-perspectives-and-ultra-precision-technologies/559/

To download the original article in a PDF format click here.

To download the official EDM Department Inc. press release click here. 

EDM Possesses Solution to Micro-EDMing Challenges

Micro Manufacturing’s Kip Hanson recently interviewed Mark Raleigh, CEO of EDM Department, in an attempt to understand EDM Department’s strategy behind its successful micro-EDMing. As Hanson explains, one of the major challenges in micro-EDMing is determining what electrode material to use because the process can sometimes be a guessing game. While the solution to this problem continues to evade many, EDM Department appears to have an answer. Raleigh briefly described EDM procedures saying, “We don’t use just one type [of graphite material] on a job, that’s something that many shops overlook. Different materials work better at certain stages of the process.”

Hanson points out that EDM Department understands the importance of an effective strategy when dealing with the hyper-sensitive micro-electrodes. EDM’s strategy entails analyzing several different parameters in the planning of a job; workpiece material, part quality, geometry, tolerance and even time are taken into account. Specifically, Raleigh stressed that timing is crucial because of the difference in electrode cost ratios between macro and micro-EDMing. Although EDM Department appears to have successfully overcome the challenges presented by micro-EDMing, Raleigh admits, “Sometimes it’s a challenge getting things to behave in the micro world.” Nonetheless, EDM Department Inc. appears to be doing the seemingly impossible. To quote Mark Raleigh, “We’re burning things we didn’t think possible before.”

 To download the original article in a PDF format click here.

To download the official EDM Department Inc. press release click here.

CEO Mark Raleigh Highlighted in InfiniteFocus Magazine

InfiniteFocus Magazine, produced by Alicona, interviewed EDM Department’s CEO, Mark Raleigh, about his firsthand experience with InfiniteFocus. In an article titled: Mark Raleigh Serves a Full Menu of Measurement, Raleigh is quoted repeatedly while he describes the multifaceted advantages experienced as a result of the implementation of InfiniteFocus technology at EDM Department Inc.

The article begins with Raleigh articulating seven specific selling propositions. He presented the following advantages: simplified complaint processing, optimization of production, an influx of new customers, increased innovation, faster product development, enhanced quality assurance and maximum profits for the company. The article continues as it dictates the ineffectiveness of traditional tactile methods in dealing with components below 100μm. Authors argue that as the size of components decrease, so does the probability of accurate and complete measurements. With the use of InfiniteFocus, EDM Department is able to start measuring where other techniques have already reached their limits. Raleigh discusses the in-depth the measurements EDM generates with Infinite Focus as he explains that measuring possibilities have expanded to include: form and roughness, flanks with more than 80 degrees, all sizes of radii and angles, complete form measurement as well as the ability inspect surfaces with a variety of different characteristics. Raleigh sums up these new and improved measurement capabilities stating, “Since we have integrated InfiniteFocus in our manufacturing process we know about details I have never measured or even seen before.”

To download the original article in a PDF format click here.

To download the official EDM Department Inc. press release click here. 

Combination of Technologies Leads to EDM Success

Modern Machine Shop magazine highlighted EDM Department in an article titled EDM, Metrology System Pairing Opens New Doors. The article complimented the company’s inventive use of technologies and ability to evolve to meet industry demands. For precision mold makers, gaining a competitive edge in today’s industry is essential for survival. Customer demands for smaller and more complex applications are increasing and manufactures must meet these demands in order to satisfy customers and sustain business. Manufactures are pressured to meet tighter tolerances, and strict surface requirements.

 EDM Department is one company that has not only survived in this changing industry but thrived. As described in Modern Machine Shop, “Uniting a high-precision EDAC1 ram EDM from Makino with the Infinite Focus optical 3D metrology system from Alicona Imaging has enabled the company [EDM] to reach levels of accuracy and repeatability that outclass anything it had previously achieved.” The combination of these two technologies allows EDM to experience extreme accuracy and stability, from the EDAC1, in conjunction with millions of clearly displayed visual measurements, from the Infinite Focus.

This results in increased productivity, reproducibility, and profitability for the company. EDM Department CEO Mark Raleigh notes, “Although the ram EDM and the 3D optical metrology system each offer benefits of their own, the most significant improvements at EDM Department stem from pairing these two technologies.” The creation and development of these types of technological advances has helped EDM prosper and have high aspirations for the future. “We have a bright future ahead of us with a whole new list of clientele that didn’t exist before, and we have these two technologies to thank for that,” said Raleigh. Even with the recent innovation and success, EDM vows not to remain stagnant in the manufacturing world. To quote Modern Machine Shop, “Looking to the future, the company hopes to push for even tighter tolerances and accuracies.”

For the original article please visit: http://www.mmsonline.com/articles/edm-metrology-system-pairing-opens-new-doors


To download the original article in a PDF format click here.


To download the official EDM Department Inc. press release click here.


EDM Utilizes Alicona’s InfiniteFocus Instrument

After two years of searching, EDM Department Inc. has chosen the FocusVariation technology, used by Alicona in their InfiniteFocus instrument, to create increased accuracy and precision measurements. This technology enables one to visually see clear and precise angles of a micro-managed component through the use of 3D imagery. Mark Raleigh, CEO of EDM Department Inc., says that EDM is taking “small, independent steps forward; offering our customers what the next generation of product development will demand”. Raleigh explains that tremendous advances have occurred since the implementation of the FocusVariation technology; “Now, we can provide solutions, as well as components…we have appreciated 6-7% improvements in process performances. Surface finishes have improved over 7% under identical resource requirements. All of this is because we can now see and measure what we produce”.

The industry demands this type of pioneering technology and as Raleigh and Brian Kyte communicate in Micro measurement for micro-machining, the exceedingly small measurements of micro-machined components have, in the past, produced substantial challenges for accurate measurement and inspection. “The components to be measured generally have steep slopes, complex geometries, multiple forms, and varying reflective properties. Products of this nature, at this size, can be impossible to measure with tactile systems”. These challenges point to an industry-wide need for new and more effective forms of measurement. Focus-Variation, from Alicona, meets this need by enabling micro-machined components to be traced, retraced, and then displayed in high-resolution results.

For the original article please visit: http://www.qmtmag.com/display_eds.cfm?edno=1507668

To download the original article in a PDF format click here.

To download the official EDM Department Inc. press release click here.


EDM Department Meets & Exceeds Changing Industry Standards

Mold Maker Magazine turned the spotlight on EDM Department Inc. as it pointed to the company’s ability to evolve in order to meet the ever increasing difficulty and complexity of industry demands. As the number of requests for micro and nano projects continues to rise within the manufacturing industry, companies like EDM search for the latest technology to help maintain their customers’ satisfaction. 

To meet these challenging new standards, EDM Department Inc. combines technologies from several companies to create the newest and best for their customers. For example, EDM recently purchased Makino’s EDAC1. According to Mark Raleigh, CEO of EDM Department, Makino’s machine “creates precision accuracy with extraordinary repeatability”. EDM couples this innovative machine with the equally impressive Infinite Focus optical 3-D metrology system’s high-resolution capabilities and ability to create repeatable and traceable results. Mold Maker magazine points out that by combining these two technologies, “EDM Department has been able to achieve overall machine performance that continues to surpass expectations. They are now capable of producing speed, wear and surface finishes not found elsewhere, allowing for unbeatable repeatability, reproducibility and precision.”

The combination of all the latest technologies has placed EDM on the cutting edge of electrical discharge machining. Raleigh discusses the advances EDM has made as he compares elements fewer than 50 microns in size. He mentioned, “
“In the past… elements below 50 microns were just not feasible. Now, with these two technologies, we have the ability to make, measure, and see elements well below 20 microns.” With such rapid and successful advancement in technology, there is no doubt that EDM department will one day say, “’Now accepting 1-micron tolerances.’”

For the original article please visit: http://www.moldmakermag.com/articles/micromachining/


To download the original article in a PDF format click here.


To download the official EDM Department Inc. press release click here.

Infinite Possibilities

Competitive Moldmaker Magazine has featured EDM Department Inc. in their October issue (Volume 16, Number 1)

Cam Automation

EDM Department Inc. has been featured in Machinery: The Magazine For Production Engineers