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FICEP has launched the Gemini CNC machine designed to improve productivity and material handling times in profile cutting, drilling, machining and scribing applications.

The Gemini is said to be suitable for companies that wish to increase output, reduce material handling time, lower production costs and improve quality.

The machine can drill, machine and cut finished pieces with greater accuracy and one set-up in a fraction of the time, the company claimed.

As the Gemini’s software can generate programs directly from AutoCAD and 3D software packages, this can also reduce the drawing office time and costs.

The Gemini has produced complex structural steel plates and girders in four hours or less, which previously took four days using manual drilling and cutting machines.

The Gemini 25 or 32 has the following features: variable-length cutting bed to suit the requirement; HPR 260 HD plasma capable of cutting up to 64mm; up to 3x gas torches capable of cutting up to 120mm; eight-position tool changer to accept any different type of machining tools, including: drilling, countersink, counterbore, weld preparation, tapping, surface and edge milling, and pocketing; an 11kW motor (capable of achieving 9,000rev/min); fully integrated nesting software; a swarf suction removal device, fume extraction and filtering device; and an additional magnet table to enable machining on both sides of the cut pieces.

An optional bed extension is available to enable different thickness and size of steel plates to be processed in order to produce fittings ‘just in time’.

Various lengths of plate girder sections and workpieces can also be produced without butt joints on both the webs and flanges.

Briton Fabricators was one of the first companies to buy the Gemini.

Carl Powell, operations director at Briton Fabricators, said: ‘Our existing manual drilling machines were creating bottlenecks in our fabrication process.

‘The Gemini machine has improved productivity and material handling times have been reduced.

‘We now have one process from loading to assembly, rather than the six processes previously.

‘Drawing office times have also been reduced as the Gemini’s software enables programs to be generated directly from our AutoCAD package.’

FICEP UK Ltd, is a subsidiary of FICEP S,p,A, based in Varese, Nr Milan, Italy. The company specialises in the manufacture of CNC machinery for the fabrication and steel construction market sectors and has a strong research and development facility. This has resulted in the production of over 65 machine types incorporating many unique design features and options, offering their customers a machine specifically tailored to their production requirements.  

The innovation and development has lead to a significant growth in sales within the last decade, enabling yet more customers to benefit from high speed processing equipment for plasma cutting, copeing, drilling, sawing, punching, shearing and scribing for the processing of plates, angles, flats, H section and channel materials.  

Some of the company’s very latest equipment has been designed for medium to heavy engineering applications making them ideal for many OEM’s involved with shipbuilding, agricultural and earthmoving industries, general fabrication and steel service centres looking for multi-function equipment.  

FICEP is one of the few companies in the industry who have their own software company, enabling workshop machinery to fully integrate with the design and production office, offering the customer a totally integrated solution.  

Today the parent company has over 80,000 sq/m of manufacturing facility while FICEP UK has recently moved to a new 18,000 sq/ft headquarters building centrally located on the M62 in West Yorkshire. The facility includes a new showroom and demonstration area with a service department, spare parts warehousing and a used equipment refurbishment workshop.

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