Gervais examines a test piece
"Our focus on quality helped us grow quickly," Gervais explains. So quickly, in fact, that within seven years, the shop went from three EDM machines to 28. Today, Quality EDM is one of the largest EDM shops in Orange County, with 15 employees operating two shifts, seven days per week, and annual sales approaching %5 million. The shop rapidly outgrew is first location, and now occupies a freestanding 8,500 sq .ft. building in Anaheim HIlls, CA.
Gervais has designed his shop to handle a wide production range. Quality EDM produces intricate medical components such as lades used in Lasik eye surgery and stents used in angioplasty. At the other end of the spectrum, the shop produces tooling for oil drilling, parts that often exceed six feet in length.
"We have a wide range of production, from high-tech fuel injection needles and valves for race cars to specializing in hydraulic sleeves and slide work for commercial and military aircraft, molds for plastic injection molding to dental implant drills and hypodermic needles." With such a gamut of experience, Quality EDM is one of the most versatile and capable EDM shops in Southern California.
The aircraft hydraulic systems have several interacting components, which require excellent surface finishing for top performance. They've also produced multi-port manifolds for companies such as Boeing and Parker Hannifin. These manifolds can have 10 to 20 internal ports, which must fully connect to produce accurate pressure readings. Because imperfections often can't be caught by the naked eye, Quality EDM has a 100% inspection policy in the plant. They use video monitors for magnification to check surface finishing and a bore scope to inspect manifold ports."
"Through inspection from the beginning prevents us from giving rejects as test parts and gets us the customer satisfaction we want," Gervais explains "And, it minimizes scrap which is important for cost control." Having built his company around quality, Gervais needs quality machining. "We use wire, sinker and fast-hole EDM together to perform with the best quality." For several production jobs, he is required to hold tolerances up to .0002".
Dedicated to delivering maximum quality to his customers, Gervais needed a wire EDM with the most reliable auto threader available. "We were having problems with wire threading on unattended, high-production jobs," he explains. After a consultation with Jim Nagel, his dealer at North-South Machinery, he decided to purchase his first Mitsubishi wire machine. "Jim was very persistent on the Mitsubishi FA20. I've worked with him in the past, and knew I should trust him, so I gave the machine a shot."
The Mitsubishi has proven to be so reliable, it's now the only machine Gervais trusts to run unattended production overnight and on weekends. "The wire threader works great and the skip feature is great for multiple part fixtures, which we run 80% of the time."
"The machine was up and running without a problem, and it was easy to learn," Gervais explains. And although Quality EDM doesn't currently use automation, he knows it's coming in the near future. The fact that the FA20 is automation-ready will make that an easy transition as well.
"Mitsubishi"s tech service and support are awesome." Because of the positive experience Quality EDM has had with its first Mitsubishi machine, Gervais says, "I plan on looking into Mitsubishi sinker EDM in the future. The FA20 was our first Mitsubishi, but definitely not our last."
Mitsubishi EDM - www.mitsubishi-world.com