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Technology Advances Give Electrical Discharge Machines Edge Over Traditional Machining Processes Print E-mail
Written by Frost & Sullivan   
Saturday, 28 April 2007
Electrical discharge machines (EDMs) are benefiting from the growing needs of various end-user industries - such as medical devices, electronics, automotive, parts manufacturing and metal working - for highly accurate machining of increasingly complex and intricate designs.

“As the need for machining complex and intricate parts grow, the demand for sophisticated EDM is increasing,” remarks Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Arun Kumar J. “Traditional machining processes such as drilling, milling and grinding are giving way to unconventional methods such as electrical discharge machining having the ability to machine complex parts accurately, thus contributing to the increased demand for EDMs.”

Contactless machining and technology such as linear motors allow EDMs to machine tough contours with far greater accuracy than conventional processes. Thus, they provide companies with considerable savings in labor costs and time and increase productivity and quality, making them a preferred option.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (, World Electrical Discharge Machines Market, reveals that this market earned revenues of $2,456.2 million in 2005 and is estimated to reach $3,907.7 million in 2012.

Recent technological developments in EDMs as a result of constant innovation by EDM vendors have further added to the appeal of these machines. For instance, modern EDMs offer advanced facilities such as the ability to directly download computer-aided design (CAD) files from the client’s place to the machine and convert them into machine codes.

This enables a significant reduction in program errors and gives modern EDMs an advantage over conventional EDMs that are prone to such errors. The resulting increase in quality and timesavings is driving demand for EDMs in the quality- and time-conscious aerospace and defense industry.

EDMs are also poised to witness growth in developing markets such as China and India due to the increased outsourcing of components from developed countries. However, penetrating these markets will be a tough task for EDM vendors since local, low-cost machine builders largely dominate them.

Multinational vendors are likely to find it difficult to match the prices offered by such indigenous builders. Thus, the challenge for these vendors is to develop and adopt different strategies to help them penetrate the high-growth and lucrative developing markets.

“EDM vendors should focus on highlighting the advanced technology and the lifetime cost benefits that are associated with these machines rather than the initial cost advantage derived from indigenous manufacturers,” says Kumar. “Marketing campaigns focused on ways in which end users can gain from these machines enhanced with superior technology will help boost revenues and market share in the developing countries.”

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