Department of Mechanical Engineering, P.A.College of Engineering and Technology, Pollachi , Coimbatore-642 002
Abstract: In the Global competition, manufacturing organizations are working in the direction of changing processes to improve the quality and performance in the product. In manufacturing processes, the conventional machines were playing a greater role to the product. In the current scenario, non-traditional machining processes are replacing the traditional machining processes. The wire EDM is one of the important machines among the non-traditional processes. This paper presents an experimental investigation to find optimization of machining parameter of wire cut EDM machine using Taguchi‟s design of experiment technique. An attempt is made to optimize the machining parameters of wire cut EDM to achieve maximum surface finish. Wire cut EDM is a machine used to cut complicated shapes with high accuracy. The machining parameters were considered and about seven parameters were identified to be affecting the surface finish and the parameters were optimized to obtain maximum surface finish. The experiments were conducted for steel- OHNS, which are mostly used as tool and die working industry. The results are analyzed using specialized software called QUALITECH-4 and ANOVA analysis is carried out to identify the factors influencing the surface finish. The analysis revealed that about four factors were having more influence on the response. The analysis of variance (ANOVA) and F tests were performed to obtain significant process parameters and the percentage contribution.
Keywords: Wire cut EDM- Taguchi orthogonal array- Machining parameter setting- Quality characteristicsQUALITECH-4 – Optimization.

________________________________________________________________________ 1. Introduction The output of the product is based on process parameters. Hence it is necessary to study the various process parameter and optimize them. The process parameter of WEDM is analyzed using Taguchi‟s Design of Experiment techniques and qualitek-4 Software. The optimization process parameters are implemented and it is found that there is considerable improvement in performance of surface finish. Taguchi introduces his approach, using experimental design for (2) designing products / processes so as to be robust to environmental conditions; designing and developing products / processes so as to be robust to component variation; minimizing variation around a target value.

Taguchi views the design of a product or process as a three-phase program; (1) system design parameter design tolerance design System design is the phase when new concepts, ideas, methods etc. are generated to provide new or improved products to customers. The parameter design phase is crucial to improving the uniformity of a product and can be done at no cost or even at a savings. This means that certain parameters of a product or process design are set to make the performance less sensitive to causes of variation. The tolerance design phase improves quality at a minimal cost. Quality is improved by tightening tolerances on product or process parameters to reduce the performance variation. This is done only after parameter design. Optimizing the machining parameters is an important step in machining. Optimization has various definition, some of the important definitions are : (3) Optimization is improving upon the things we have chosen. Optimization is most economical one of all possible solutions Optimization means how to get more profit with minimum effort. The tool and die working industry has always require increasing demand for precision of accuracy. The necessity to machine hard materials, complex shapes and

contours that are difficult by conventional methods has created many unconventional methods like the wire cut Electro Discharge Machining (WEDM). The ability to perform surface finish and tapers cut makers WEDM especially useful in die manufacture. To achieve the above quality, the machining parameters including Pulse-on time, Pulse-off time, Peak current, Flushing fluid pressure etc are chosen for better finishing. The objective of this paper has been to study the Taguchi method using QUALITEC-4 software and to analyze machining characteristics of the die steel OHNS specimen machined by WEDM process to obtain good surface finish. An orthogonal arrayL9 (3^4) has been taken up considering four important parameters with three levels. The parameters are Pulse-on time(Pon), Pulse-off time (Poff), Peak current (Pc) and die electric fluid pressure( Fp). The experiment is conducted in a random order given by the software. Based on the experimental result, the software generates, the ANOVA table, graph regarding main effects and interaction and it gives the optimum conditions of the parameters. In this experiment, noise factors are not considered since the machine is running under constant temperature of 22 to 24 degree Celsius. 2. Experimental design: equipment and

4-axes CNC wire cut EDM machine electronic SPRINTCUT 734 is used for conducting the experiment. The work material, electrode and the other machining conditions were as follows.

Electrode (Cathode) 0.25 mm brass wire. Work piece ( Anode ) Die steel OHNS Work piece height- 36 mm. Hardness of the work piece material is 50 HRC. Servo reference voltage- 10 v. Specific resistance of the fluid (1-3 mA). Open voltage- 95 v Flushing of the die electric fluid pressure15 kg/cm2 According to the Taguchi quality design concept, a L9 standard array (1) table was chosen for the experiments. Four important parameters such as Pulse on time (ms), Pulse off time (ms), Peak current (Amps) and fluid 2 pressure(Kg/cm ) are considered as controlling factors and each parameter has three levels, namely smaller, nominal and bigger denoted by 1, 2 and 3 as shown in table-1. Table:1

The machining results are evaluated in terms of machining performance such as surface finish. (Ra-μm) 3. Experiment results and data analysis: In this experiment, four important parameters have different influences on the machining performance. To find the significant parameters, ANOVA analysis (1) is carried out to identify the factors influencing the surface finish and F test were performed to obtain the significant process parameters and the percentage contribution. By using specialized software Qualitek-4, the optimal, machining parameters setting is obtained. The characteristics that higher value represents better machining performance, such as surface finish is called „higher is better, HB‟ (4). The assignment of wire cut EDM process parameters are shown in table-2 along with the experimental result of surface finish.

Control Factor Pulse on time Pulse of time Peak current Fluid pressure

Level-1 120 40 230 10

Level-2 125 44 240 12.5

Level-3 130 48 250 15

Unit Microseconds Microseconds Amps Kg /cm2

Table-2:Orthogonal array of experiment for steel plate Ex. No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 3 3 3 2 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 3 1 2 3 2 3 1 3 1 2 4 1 2 3 3 1 2 2 3 1 Result Ra micron 2.5 2.3 2.25 2.4 2.7 2.8 2.3 2.2 2.4

The average values of surface finish for each parameter at level 1-3 of their main effects are given in table-3 and plotted in Table-3:

figure-1 (a)-(d) (main effect graph) and also multiple graphs of main effects are shown in figure-2.

Average values of surface finish at the different levels and main effects: S.No 1 2 3 4 Factor PON POFF PC FP Level 1 2.35 2.399 2.5 2.533 Level 2 2.633 2.399 2.366 2.466 Level 3 2.299 2.483 2.416 2.283 Level2 -level 1 0.282 0 -0.137 -0.067

It is clear from the graph (fig 1 & 2) that parameter 1 (Pulse on Time) is more prominent than other parameters. In order to study the significance of parameters, ANOVA was performed in table-4. By referring the table-4, it is clear that the Pulse on Time of the machine (Parameter1)significantly affect the mean average surface finish of 57.76%.The fluid pressure(Parameter 4) and peak current (parameter 3) also

affect the surface finish of 29.95% and 8.10% respectively .The graph (pie chart) in figure 3 shows the significant factor. Optimum condition and performance are shown in table 5. From the table it is clear the optimum condition of Pulse current on is at level 2, Optimum condition of Pulse current off is at level 3, Optimum condition of Peak current is at level 1 and Optimum condition of fluid pressure at level 1.

Table-4: ANOVA TABLE Factor PON POFF PC FP DOF(f) 2 2 2 2 Sum of sqrs(S) 0.193 0.013 0.027 0.1 Variance(V) 0.096 0.006 0.013 0.5 Pure sum(s1) 0.193 0.013 0.027 0.1 Percentage(P) 57.765 % 4.136 % 8.109 % 29.957 %

The interaction graphs are studied for the factors, which have greater influence on the response. Interacting factor and the order of severity index are shown in Table-6.From the table it is cleared the severity index for the interaction between P ON and P OFF is higher than other factors and it is 41.66. Table – 5 : OPTIMUM CONDITION
Sl.No. AND PERFORMANCE Factors Level Level Contri discription bution

Conclusions: This paper presents an experimental investigation to find optimization of machining parameter. The result obtained from the optimization of the process parameters to achieve maximum surface finish of OHNS steel material using wire cut EDM and the Taguchi experimental design with a four factor and three levels(L9) orthogonal array. The factors considered were Pulse current ON, Pulse current OFF, Peak current, and flushing fluid pressure. Using Qualitek-4 and ANOVA analysis techniques, we are able to identify the factors influencing the surface finish. The severity index between Pon and Poff is 41.66. The average value of the surface finish is 2.427. The significance of the optimization process in maximizing the surface finish of the OHNS steel material is therefore obvious.

1 2 3 4

Pon Poff Pc Fp

125 48 230 10

2 3 1 1

0.205 0.055 0.072 0.105

Sl.No. Interacting Factor Column Severity Index

1 2 3 4 5 6

Pon x Poff Pc x Fp Pon x Fp Pon x Pc Poff x Pc Poff x Fp

1x2 3x4 1x4 1x3 2x3 2x4

41.66 33.33 2.5 16.66 16.66 16.66

References: (1) Philip.J.Ross, “Taguchi Techniques for Quality engineering”, McGraw hill international New York, 1988. (2) Genichi Taguchi, “Introduction to Quality Engineering, Asian Productivity organization, UNIPUB, White plains, NY, 1986. (3) Genichi Taguchi & Elsayed, “Quality Engineering in Production Systems”, McGraw-Hill book Company, 1989. (4) Genichi Taguchi, “Taguchi method explained- practical steps to robust Design”, McGraw-Hill International, New York, 1989.

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