The first tests

The very first tests were conducted either in the last months of 1967 or at the beginning of 1968. All this was done in a section of the company Diamond, which at that time produced sapphires for watches and needles for record players. The area was simply fenced in at hip level, no secrecy whatsoever.

The same building also housed the apprentice department of AGIE as well as some areas of general research and the welding and hardening departments. This is where T.D. was a mechanical apprentice, learning the skills the hard way. Nobody obviously cared much about industrial espionage, everybody could look over the wooden fence and see what those guys were doing.

The first machine operator was G.W., a service technician who was recruited from the service department to make the first tests. With do-it-yourself contraptions, such as the horizontally mounted machining head of a tabletop AGIETRON AB machine, on which a simple wire spooling device was attached, were used to make the first erosion tests.

The wires used for this were of the company Dätwyler (Altdorf, Switzerland), which was specializing in copper wires for spools for electromagnets and electrical motors. The wire for EDM had to be requested as specially made, as only wire without insulation could be used for erosion.