New FOM machine raises bar in aluminium manufacturing

David Green
David Green

BDC Aluminium has become the first fabricator in the UK to invest in what is being described as a ‘revolutionary’ new 4-head Ever Theta frame crimping machine from FOM.

Supplied by Promac Group as FOM’s authorised supplier in the UK, the Ever Theta reportedly cuts full-cycle times to as little as two minutes and 31 seconds – roughly half the time it takes using a traditional single head crimper.

At the same time, it is also said to bring ‘exceptional’ accuracy and new precision to manufacture using profile scanning technology. This includes flagging out of tolerance profiles of as little as 0.4mm out in length or 0.9mm on the diagonal, bringing a very high degree of accuracy to 45 mitre and 90 joints.

The machinery specialist argues that, combined, this delivers a step-change in product quality but also the speed of manufacture with the potential to revolutionise manufacture of aluminium frames.

Purchased by BDC Aluminium as part of a programme of investment in its manufacturing capability, managing director, David Green, said the FOM Ever Theta would support the Smart system fabricator in bringing an ever-higher standard of product quality to its customers.

“Everything we do is driven by quality,” he said. “We manufacture a wide range of aluminium products and to a very high standard. The crimper is faster and we can do more – but it also brings new precision to what we’re doing.

“As a process, crimping is highly reliant on the individual operative. They have to set up, run a test, scrap it if it’s not right, set it up again. On a window you’ve got the frame and sash, so that’s two set ups, two potential errors, and the biggest cost by a mile – time,” he said.

The Ever Theta can be used in the manufacture of frames of as little as 320mm x 400mm and up to maximum frame dimensions of 2,600 x 1,100mm; 2,600 x 2,000mm; 2,600 x 2,900mm; 2,600 x 3,800mm; and 2,600 x 4,700 mm. The maximum crimping height is 160mm.

Automating the crimping process, it operates across 21 CNC axes and has been designed for use in the manufacture of all types of frames, delivering a highly accurate and repeatable crimp.

It delivers this through an in-built profile and panel dimension measuring system. This allows it to scan the profile against maximum tolerances. As the infeed conveyor passes the frame along the line, everything is again measured, guaranteeing quality of joints and squareness of frames.

“If you look at how long it takes to crimp a frame with a single head CNC machine you’re at five or six minutes and a lot of handling and rotation. The Ever Theta does it in less than half that, with little to no handling,” explained Paul Yeo, sales manager, Promac Group.

He continued: “You simply line the frame up on the bed and the machine does the rest. It’s a very impressive piece of kit and a platform which has the potential to revolutionise the manufacture of aluminium frames delivering a host of benefits, not only in time and efficiency but also, accuracy.”