Based in Wroclaw, Poland, FAT S.A., is a leading European manufacturer of medium and large sized custom-made CNC lathes. The company is a member of HACO Group from Belgium, a world leader in sheet metal working machines.

Based upon long term experience in lathe production, FAT is able to design and build the highest quality lathes at very competitive prices. All machines are manufactured from A to Z in their factory in Wroclaw. More than 90 per cent of their mechanical parts are produced locally. The machines are equipped with high quality devices (electrics, electronics, wiring, bearings, ball screws, tools) delivered by the best world-class suppliers, both from Poland and other countries.

Most of offered machines are built according to the individual requirements of the customer with special, non-standard solutions with lots of options for customization. This applies to all types of lathes manufactured at FAT HACO. Both flat-bed lathes and multitask turn-mill centers.

A great example of the company’s high capabilities is 22 meters long and 3 meters diameter monster lathe (TUR 4MN) with a capacity of 90,000 kg. This huge CNC lathe, which weighs 450 tonnes, was made for the Ellwood City Forge in the US, a major force in the global open-die forging industry.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

FAT HACO: The FAT manufacturing range comprises of four machine series: conventional lathes, CNC lathes with the flat-bed, multi- tasking slant bed lathes FCT and special projects for individual needs of the customers. The most popular is TUR SMN series, which has the widest choice of machines with turning length from 1000mm up to 16000mm and turning diameter between 560mm and 1550mm. While the machines can be tailored to customers’ needs and requirements, they can further be supplemented by the implementation of special, untypical solutions on customer’s demand. With a professional service department, FAT ensures a complete assistance in solving any technical problems and handling spare parts issues. It co-operates closely with reliable foreign companies that provide fast and professional maintenance and repair service to FAT customers.

E.E: What’s the news for 2020 about new products?

FAT HACO: We are moving towards bigger lathes and special projects, toward large machines with advanced technology. Our aim is to provide huge stand-alone machines and to manufacture complete production lines for complicated machining operations to include turning, grinding, boring, milling and other complex operations. Recently we have built and dispatched the 20-meter-long multi-axis lathe with 15 meters turning capacity to Sweden. And now, we are building two more such machines for our customers in Austria and Russia.

Besides these large projects we are working on the continuous improvement of our standard lathes. We introduce the ideas of our customers and partners to make our lathes as far as possible user-friendly, ergonomic and friendly for environment.

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?

FAT HACO: The most technically advanced FAT HACO products have been described in previous sections. Offering special solutions for clients, we cooperate with them at the machine design, construction and testing stages. Thanks to this, innovative products are created that are not offered by other machine manufacturers. Innovation usually means the cooperation of advanced components that create our machines, cooperation and interpolation of many machine axes. Innovative solutions are also created in relatively simple lathes, where it is necessary to tune individual solutions.

In 2019 we saw the introduction of our updated lathe in cooperation with Siemens. As one of the first in the world, we were able to equip our TUR 560 SMN with the Siemens Sinumerik CNC controls. The world premiere of the Sinumerik ONE in one of our machines was a culmination of our partnership with Siemens and another step forward for productivity and efficiency of lathes.

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active? What can you tell us about market trends? What estimations do you have for 2020?

FAT HACO: The situation on the machine tool market is dynamic. It changes quickly depending on global economic fluctuations. The needs of the market strive to create more and more advanced machines that can produce complex elements, also large ones, on one machine. This has been a general trend for several years. Modern CNC solutions, dedicated software and Industry 4.0 are closely related to this. Players who fail to keep up with these trends are marginalized.

At the moment, any predictions about market development are extremely difficult. The COVID-19 pandemic caused a collapse in the machine tool market, as in many other capital goods markets. Most of the trade fair events have been cancelled or moved to a later period. The uncertain economic situation triggers the fear of investing in new machines, even of those companies that have a full order book. We assume that not much will change by the end of 2020. 2021 will depend on the development of the pandemic situation. However, we are expecting a difficult period and are preparing for this situation.