New Manufacturing Facility for Electrochemical Machines Opens in Ufa, Russia
Ufa in the Russian Republic of Bashkortostan is home to a new manufacturing base for high-precision electrochemical machining stations. Opening ceremonies were held today. The technologically advanced equipment produces a range of items, from the common to extremely complex, using nanostructured materials and nanometrically structured surfaces.
Total investments for the project, under which new production is being established, are 285 million rubles. RUSNANO will invest up to 120 million rubles. Co-investors in the project are venture fund RVT Invest and a group of individuals who developed the project’s technology.
General director of the project company ECM, Alexander Zaitsev, DSc Engineering, demonstrated the work of several of the machines to those who had gathered for opening ceremonies. Participants saw how the electrochemical machining stations, which are capable of reworking virtually all current-conducting metals and alloys, including the hardest of them—produce parts.
“Our scientific group has been working in electrochemistry for more than 30 years. It is rewarding for us to see our developments put to practical use. Here in the Republic of Bashkortostan, for example, several thousand people have already had operations with microsurgical instruments manufactured by Optimed with ECM’s equipment. In addition to high-technology medicine, we work in engine construction for the aviation industry, automotive and in manufacturing instruments and fittings. These are just a few areas where our units can be useful,” said Mr. Zaitsev.
“Consider the set of the features —like machining precision, productivity, and the finish surface quality —these electrochemical machines significantly outperform other machinery in the field today. For instance, it takes about half an hour to process a single titanium blade for an aircraft engine using the traditional method. Our machines will prepare several aircraft engine blades in just minutes,” noted RUSNANO managing director, Department for Investments, Konstantin Demetriou.
About the technology
The proprietary technology for pulse electrochemical machining that ECM has introduced surpasses other methods for finish machining in integral tests for precision-roughness-productivity. Resulting surface roughness (up to Ra .002 micrometer) and machining precision (less than one micrometer) eliminate the need for the super finish grinding and polishing required with traditional operations. An automatic process control system and a built-in database of technological modes make it possible to machine parts of various shape and materials without additional research. Special modes of bipolar electrochemical machining provide for adjustment to the ratio of alloying elements in a very thin nanometric surface layer, making it possible to imbue various products with various characteristics. For example, an increase of chrome content in chrome-contained steel amplifies the wear and corrosion resistance qualities of the parts that are produced.
The technology precludes the need for highly qualified operators.
ECM is a manufacturer of precision electrochemical machines for environmentally clean production of parts from a wide variety of metals, alloys, cermets, and nanostructured materials.
The founders of ECM have more than 30 years of experience in electrochemistry. They have created twelve serial models of electrochemical machines, been granted more than 100 patents, and introduced more than one hundred technological processes in Russia and abroad. Their work has been described in seven monographs and 300 articles.