The AFC in the model number stands for “AccuForm Compact” meaning the machine configuration is compact.
The basic version of the AFC-x line has a feeder module and a bender module. Each module provides its own operation, yet all modules are controlled and synchronized from the same computer system. On the AFC-x line, the computer system mounts with the bender module.
The feeder module feeds the wire through a straightener to the bender module. The bender mechanism bends the wire according to pre-programmed data and “shears” it with an integral pneumatic cutter.
As AIM is on the cutting edge of wire shop work-cell design, AIM Engineering is always developing new methods to increase the production floor flexibility.
To get familiarized with the AIM wire bending concept and to better understand the principals used, following is brief description of a simple step by step right angle, 90-degree wire bend operation:
1) Feeder module feeds the first length of the wire sample
2) Bender positions at –30 degrees position, ready for bending operation
3) Turret positions to the pre-selected tool position
4) Bending pin engages
5) Bender moves to the required 90-degree position bending the wire in the process
6) Feeder feeds the second length of the sample part
7) Cutter cuts the wire
The above steps are simple and very familiar to anyone that has worked with wire bending. In conventional programming, a user would have to enter all of the above steps individually into the CNC controller unit.
How about speeding up the above production?
It would be preferred to perform the first four steps at the same time and not have to worry where to position the bender. Since we are only truly concerned with a part made of 90-degree bends, it would be advantageous not to enter every small machine movement to accomplish this task.
This simple task is indeed complicated machine logic, but AIM’s exclusive SmartEditor® software generates the algorithms needed by the machine controller automatically. AIM has created an algorithm that builds motion algorithms! All of the above steps can be represented with just three numbers and a bend radius (tool selection). The user only programs the actual part shape, not every machine movement!
The AIM user simply enters lengths and angles that comprise the desired part and SmartEditor® does all the rest. Advanced users can also control the exact steps of the equipment when an intricate part operation requires absolute coordinate programming.
In addition to programming simplicity, AIM machine construction is exceptional. AIM machine frames incorporate solid steel plates, minimizing vibrations and providing the greatest possible stability at extreme operating speeds. This design enables AIM machines to deliver the fastest production rates in the market!
Model / Capacity Metric (mm) S.A.E. (inch)
AFC-4 2.0 – 4 0.079” – 0.157”
AFC-6 2.0 – 6.35 0.079” – 0.250”
AFC-8 2.7 – 8.0 0.106” – 0.315”
AFC-10 4.0 – 10.0 0.157” – 0.394”
The AccuForm Compact line consists of components that are interchangeable within the same size. The major components that comprise the AccuForm Modular line are as follows:
5) Optional accessories such as software upgrades, CAD importation and additional warranty.
Each AccuForm compact CNC wire bending machine can currently have up to 3 motion axes, depending on the machine configuration. These machines take wire directly from coil, straighten it, bend it, and cut it to create wire products designed with the use of AIM’s exclusive software package. SmartEditor® provides flexibility and simplicity in setup. Programming is quick and easy. All you need is to enter the lengths and angles of your product, view the design, edit if necessary, and begin production!
AIM uses the world’s predominant servo system. Depending on machine size, feeding speeds may exceed 75 meters per minute (295 feet/minute) and bending speeds may exceed 900 degrees per second. The smallest resolution of the wire feeder is 273 pulses per millimeter (6.93 pulses per thousandth of an inch) and the resolution of the bender is 1450 pulses per degree. The published accuracy of the servo controllers that we use is ±1 pulse, the length accuracy is ±0.1 millimeter (±0.004″) and the angle accuracy is ±0.05 degrees. Accuracy and repeatability of AIM machines are exceptional, so the wireforms produced will only be limited by the quality and consistency of the wire supplied.
Parabolic and S-curve positioning profiles give smoother acceleration and deceleration, minimizing shape distortion while achieving higher speeds at minimum possible power usage. Furthermore, the exclusive AIM Ultra option can in most cases double or triple the production rates from the standard models and grants the AIM equipment the title of the highest working speeds in the market.
AIM “Four Wheel Drive” wire feeders are capable of operating at lower pressure, which means no wire marking. Using V-groove rollers, you can run more than one wire diameter per groove and by using two V-grooves per roller, wire capacity doubles. Power transmission is through high torque, precision drive belts and in some cases, high precision planetary gearboxes; NO adjustments needed. AccuForm machines come with “true wide-range straighteners”. A two-plane straightener with V-groove double row ball bearing rollers is standard on all AIM single head machines. Each plane contains two different roller sizes on two different center distances from each other. For the lower half of the machine wire range, you would typically use only the smaller rollers and for the top half of the wire range only the larger rollers are used. This design allows easy and efficient adjustments and eliminates many difficulties one could have for the lower or upper end of the wire range. It is like having two wire straighteners incorporated into one assembly.
A quick release adjustor bar on each straightener minimizes changeover time. By using these preset adjustor straightener bars, changeover time can be as short as ten minutes allowing for a quick and easy wire diameter change. Wire diameter change is even faster with the AIM optional Automated Indexing Turret System (AITS), which can hold and index up to six straighteners.
Dual acting pneumatic cutter for strong and fast cuts: All of the pneumatic cylinders installed in AIM machines are double acting, providing fast and powerful motion for the extra heavy duties of the machines, such as the cutting of the wire. AIM machines incorporate simple design and easy access plus worldwide available parts. Simplicity, robustness, functionality and speed are AIM’s basic engineering principals. Easy tool changeover makes the setup quick and efficient. Clear drawings are available upon request, so that AIM customers can easily manufacture their own tools such as cutters, rollers, bending pins and all consumables. AIM machines have an excellent reputation of customer support and spare parts delivery.
AIM uses robust engineering for long life and low maintenance. Using enclosed type brushless servomotors along with highest precision planetary gearboxes provides the best machine operation. All critical components have over-temperature, over-current, and over-voltage protection installed. All bearings used are oversized and double-sealed for longer life expectancy and lower maintenance. The design of the AccuForm machines provides for maximum safety standards and life expectancy factors. All AccuForm machines come backed by a one year parts and labor limited warranty, the most comprehensive in the industry. Excluded are the wear parts that “touch” the wire (such us cutters, rollers, etc.), although all of these wear parts are made from the hardest tool steels and heat-treated to Rockwell scale 55°-65° degrees.
Parts purchased from other manufacturers carry their own OEM-warranty. For example, the precision gearboxes made by ALPHA®, the world’s largest high-precision gearbox manufacturer, have a 2-year warranty. AIM always installs the best quality parts available and never sacrifices quality for price. Even after the warranty expires and within common sense rules, AIM provides technical support free of charge to the original owner.
For the AFC line, the newest Windows® XP Pro Version. No extra fees, no contract needed! You can also option the use of video teleconferencing over your existing LAN through the Internet or you can watch your equipment performing from the convenience of your office PC.
The Software Animation utility allows the user to view an animated production simulation of a part before the machine even produces it! This way the user can easily verify the programs for mistakes and errors. A collision detection feature is available, so that the user can prevent program miscalculations and rearrange part flow for optimum production.
Another AIM pioneering feature: “Dial-A-Service™” allows access to any AIM machine worldwide. The customer simply connects the machine to a telephone line or an Internet gateway and the machine’s computer connects to AIM’s Technical Support department. Within minutes, diagnostics can be reviewed and initiated.
SmartEditor® has a optional DXF/XYZ import feature that can import your CAD files directly and convert them into part files on your screen. AIM also provides the original machine buyer one year free software upgrades on the machine software. Since AIM compiles its own software, all suggestions and program change requests are fulfilled regularly and free of charge, taken that the requested change or improvement is beneficial for the majority of the users and falls within AIM’s expertise.
Statistical analysis with the touch of a button – a standard SmartEditor® feature! Let the computer figure it out – production rates, time, shifts, days, wire needed, wire spools required, including spool changeover time. All the factors involved are parametric and are customizable to fit every need. Using the SmartEditor® Office version (available upon customer request), you can use the “EZ-Quote” analysis from your office PC. Production statistics can be saved automatically, locally on the machine or on a network computer for review and analysis frequently needed by ISO 9000 quality analysis programs or the customer’s lean manufacturing system.