National Fenestration Awards – Machinery supplier of the year

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Promac Group and its’ global supply chain is at the forefront of innovation in PVC-U,
aluminium and glass machinery. We find out that scale is key to access in a rapidly
changing market.

With supply partners including: FOM-GS Group, parent company of the hugely influential Graf SL4FF
seamless welder; Forel, which has revolutionized IGU manufacture through its decision to switch
production to the vertical; BDM, Mappi, Mistrello, MTL, Pegic, Pertici, Rapid, Soft Solution and Urban
– Promac Group remains firmly at the front of UK machinery supply.

“We’re delighted to have been nominated and then won the Machinery Supplier of the Year category
in this year’s National Fenestration Awards”, says Promac Group Managing Director, Joe Hague.

“There’s significant change taking place within the window and door industry, which makes the new
and highly innovative machinery platforms that are coming onto the market pivotal in defining its
future.

“These include the shift to larger products, in aluminium and following that trend, IGU manufacture
and the other is efficiency – the automation of process to deliver better and a more consistent product
quality and at the same time to do it more efficiently.”

High volume precision PVC-U manufacture

This analysis is reflected in Promac Group’s platform offer. Supplied exclusively in the UK by the
Promac Group, having pre-cleaned to exacting tolerances, the Graf SL4FF and SL4FF EVO, zip
welds the corner joint whilst controlling the flow of sprue, delivering a seamless but incredibly
strong corner joint.

“The SL4FF not only delivers a higher quality product but it can also deliver a twofold increase in
productivity compared to other traditional manufacturing processes because it eliminates any
requirement for cooling tables and corner cleaning, also giving it a space-saving footprint of just 25 sq metres”, says Joe.

He also points to the BDM FTB-100 EVO Cutting & Machining Centre, which brings rapid machining
to PVC-U manufacture with cuts to size in just 9-12 seconds. Pitched as a solution for volume
fabrication (700-800 frames and up), it combines precision manufacture with rapid processing of
profile using a unique eight-axis machining module.

The core platform is built around a 12-position infeed loading magazine, which is capable of handling
bar lengths of up to 6.5m.

It feeds the 8-axis CNC module which automatically adjusts to profile dimensions, using two servo
driven control modules and automatically interchangeable Ø 5mm and 8mm router tools,
guaranteeing optimum performance and high speed precision.

The FTB-100 EVO cutting centre features three 550mm saws, two opposing 45° units and one 90°
unit with automatic waste extraction. Typical cycle times are 11 seconds per cut to size angular
pieces and 25 per second per end milled mullion or transom averaging at 13.5 seconds per piece.

The BDM FTB-100 can also be specified with automatic reinforcement insertion station featuring
single or dual bolt stations and 2 or 3 axis reinforcement processing centre; v-notching and recess
milling modules.

Automated volume aluminium manufacture

This focus on efficiency and volume is also evident in FOM’s LMT65 platform which enshrines many
of the same defining principles of PVC-U manufacture – in this case developed to support high
volume and automated manufacture of aluminium products.

The highly flexible aluminium cutting and routing line features a multi-spindle preparation unit with
360° variable angle access to all four sides of the profile. This is automatically linked to the sawing
unit which features a 650mm diameter blade with electronic tilt control.

A bar feeder and pick up system with adaptive rotating gripper, means that the LMT65 has the in-built
flexibility to handle different profiles with ease. Equipped with the latest FST 3D software, it’s also
user-friendly and requires just a single operative.

This collectively contributes to its exceptionally high output – the LMT65 has the capability to cut and
machine a three-pane bi-fold in less than 12-minutes.

“The LMT, delivers the flexibility to manufacture using more technical processes but to do it as part of a single cycle. It’s geared up to high-precision, highly automated and volume manufacture”, says Joe.

This also rings true with LMX650, which was launched by FOM at Fensterbau in March. The fully
automated machining and cutting centre draws on many of the same design principles as the LMT65
– efficiency and automation of manufacture – but up-scales it to allow aluminium fabricators to meet
demand for ever larger products.

This includes movement across four axes and up to 50 NC controlled motorised axes, offering
exceptional flexibility in cutting applications, including end-milling and notching, in a single production
cycle.

It also exploits the same electro welding technologies that define FOM’s machinery offer, which
remove tension from steels during the manufacturing process, delivering core bed stability,
guaranteeing performance regardless of profile weight.

With automatic pick-up and feed, precision manufacture is also guaranteed by two sets of vices
upstream and downstream of the electro-spindles. These exploit pneumatic systems to lock the profile
immovably in place during the machining phases.

Configurable to include up to 18 electro-spindles, the LMX650 also features a swarf-extraction system
and automatic label printer, which applies labels while the bar is in motion, minimising cycle times.
“The LMX delivers the flexibility to manufacture larger products as part of a single cycle. That’s
important because the market is shifting towards larger products. You don’t need to be manufacturing
curtain walling to need to handle larger profiles.

“Aluminium and inline sliding and lift-and-slide doors, in particular are placing increased demand on
fabricators for manufacture at bigger scales.

“The LMX can handle larger profiles but still as part of a single cycle. You’re not compromising on
efficiencies or increasing manual handling, to manufacture larger products”, says Joe.

Bigger and better IGUs

This shift to larger installations has had a knock-on effect on the glass sector, placing new
requirements on glass processors and IGU manufacturers to handle bigger units.

Having turned glass processing on its head (or at the very least on its side) with the launch of its vertical laminate cutting table, the global glass machinery specialist has now brought unparalleled scale to production.

It’s new IGU line draws on Forel’s heritage glass processing and IGU machinery manufacture but again up-scales production to meet increasing demand for bigger and over-sized IGUs.

Unveiled at Vitrum last year, it’s ‘No Limits’ range includes an IGU line with the capability to process
panes of up to 15m long and 3.3m high with a load capacity per linear metre of 350kg for a single
pane and 600kg for the assembled unit.

This features Forel’s newly refined Art VC Laminate Cutting Line which is geared up for large scale
processing and is capable of handling sheets of up to 6000mm x 3300mm.

It also delivers exceptional cut-to-size accuracy to within + – 0.2mm / linear meter, while the square
cut is guaranteed by revolutionary cutting bridges that pivot 15 mm in either direction to adjust
automatically to glass that is out-of-square.

“The important thing to recognize is that these platforms don’t simply deliver increased scale but also
increased efficiency. It’s about identifying and mitigating the longer-term cost increases that have
significant potential to impact on manufacturing overheads, while also driving continuous improvement in quality”, says Joe.

The ATS ECO 4.0 delivers against these objectives through a newly refined multi-zonal and intelligent
heating systems. This delivers significantly increased product quality and efficiency in the tempering
of the latest generation of low-e glass, while also doing it at scale, with the capacity to temper glass of
up to 2700 X 6000mm.

Hitting tempering temperatures within an hour, this includes Mappi’s Multizone Heating System, which
exploits a network of electronically controlled sensors to apply constant and highly focused heat only
where glass is detected. Energy consumption is reduced through its Energy Saving System, which
uses a computerized ventilation system to optimize fuel consumption.

This is further enhanced using a technically advanced 350mm insulation. The ATS Eco 4.0 also uses
a patented roller mechanism, which synchronizes the movement of ceramic rollers providing perfect
glass flow without the requirement for use of sulphur dioxide in the heating process. A smart cooling
system also introduces more precision to the cooling process, reducing iridescence.

Each production cycle is automatically recorded and stored providing an automatic report simplifying the CE Marking compliance process.

“The direction in which the market is moving makes capacity to deliver against these key criteria –
innovation, scale, efficiency and continually improving product quality – exceptionally important.

“As recognized by the National Fenestration Awards, innovation in machinery platforms exerts a
massive influence on the window and door industry, supporting fabricators and glass processors in
developing new and better products but also underpinning its long-term sustainability.”

Promac Group is Forel’s established supply partner in the UK. For more information log on at
www.promac.co.uk email sales@promac.co.uk or call 01788 577 577.

By |2018-11-28T11:43:32+00:00November 26th, 2018|Categories: General, News, Promac|0 Comments