Ficep investment maximises factory prefab

Investment in Ficep UK’s automated drilling and profiling lines has helped Wolverhampton-based Advanced Cold-Formed Sections (ACFS) maximise its factory prefabrication, improve quality, and save significantly on material costs.

ACFS, which is part of the Metek group, manufactures light steel frames, stud and tracks as well as floor and mezzanine cassettes and cladding rails, primarily for the residential, hotel and student accommodation markets.

The company has invested in two new Ficep systems – the Excalibur 12 drilling system and Kronos 153 PC plasma profiler.

The new Excalibur and Kronos systems are now installed at ACFS’s 7900m2 facilities in Wolverhampton. Since purchasing the machines, which operate out of two separate units, ACFS owner, Oliver Rogan, reports a 120% increase in output of materials, a significant reduction in welding time and less welders needed.

ACFS’s Excalibur is a CNC drilling system with an 18m bed which allows them to carry out tasks including scribing, ID marks, notches and copes as well as drill all the holes. Its milling out capability has enabled components to be connected with a single bolt, helping with cost reduction.

According to Mr Rogan, the Excalibur alone has enabled ACFS to process a record-breaking 60 tonne job in five days with only five welders. It also allowed the company to process beams that its stockholders were not able to process.

The new Kronos system – a heavy-duty gantry-style thermal cutting system – gives ACFS a reliable and high-quality cutting solution with a superior level of accuracy. This machine also generates plasma marks for the intersecting ‘match marker’ on the fittings to enable the downstream fabricator to simply weld the parts together.

The Excalibur and Kronos CNC system’s software allows for remote diagnosis that allows Ficep’s service team to perform system diagnostics and routine checks.

Mr Rogan added: “The results have far surpassed our expectations. The systems help our welders to speed up production and reduce NCRs, giving us an end result that fits together seamlessly.

“Having the Ficep team on the ground, based in the UK has also been of a huge advantage. The honesty and integrity of the team at Ficep was clear from get-go and we have been very impressed with how fast, willing and capable they have been in providing solutions that help us to be a better, more productive business.”

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