Ficep was founded in 1930 in the town of Gazzada close to Milan, and since then the cornerstone has always been the internal production of the company’s products. The main location in Gazzada Schianno (Varese, Italy), which comprises over 100.000 square meters, also contains Corporate Headquarters, Research & Development, Academy of Technology, Showroom and the main after sales service departments. Today, Ficep can count on more than 145.000 square meters in which they carry out the integrated production of their products, such as designing, engineering, mechanical processing, surface treatment, and assembly, as well as supply of spare parts and after sales service globally. Their extensive product range of innovative products and their aggressive penetration of the world market have been achieved by the creation of many subsidiaries all over the world. The company is the world’s leading machine tool manufacturing company with an experience of over 9 decades. Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company? FICEP: We approach the worldwide market, since our export share is more than 90%, with the aim to offer to our clients a complete range of solutions for the steel construction, from the simplest machines addressed to those companies who have moderate production needs and look for higher flexibility, up to fully integrated and automatic systems for extremely demanding production requirements, controlled and managed by our Steel Projects software. Our main market fields are transmission towers, industrial and commercial buildings, bridges, agricultural and earth moving machines, offshore platforms and wind towers. From single lines to more complex systems: we offer technical solutions for your needs. E.E: What’s the news for 2021 about new products? FICEP: For 2021 we have a lot of news for all of our machines families for the processing of plates, profiles and angles/flats. The Gemini are gantry lines for plasma and oxy cutting, drilling, milling, tapping and scribing operations, studied for the production of different plates sizes and variable plates thickness, starting from the raw material to the finished product with the work of just one operator. The Gemini can be equipped with two drilling heads and with an automatic tool changer with up to twenty-four positions. More over the lines can be equipped with two high definition plasma cutting heads with straight or bevel cut. The machine is standardly equipped with the newest Hypertherm XPR300 and as option can be equipped with the HPR400XD, beside the three oxy cutting torches. The double gantry structure and the plate clamping system equipped with high dimension hold-downs allows high precision mechanical jobs that no other machines or cutting pantograph can offer. Gemini can satisfy every plate operation requirement/demand, for the service centres and steel construction companies. The brand new Valiant is equipped with numerous innovations compared to previous models, like an advanced pincher clamping system and a new hold down system with two independent cylinders that allows the best processing of the beam head and end. Another advantage is the enhanced auxiliary axis with 300 mm stroke on each independent drilling unit, which permits a wide variety of operations including special milling features and “rat holes” being made simultaneously on all sides without moving the beam. Valiant can be configured with an automatic tool-changer holding up to 14 positions per head: a significant increase of tools availability that allows completing all necessary operations on the beam without any operator intervention (drilling, milling, four side scribing, threading, etc.). The TIPO D50-F is the final innovative solution for a full complement of miscellaneous shapes. This product line extends our technological solutions to address the fabrication of angles, flats, structural tubes and channels. The TIPO D50-F fabrication line features the integrations of drilling, scribing, marking and miter cutting of diverse miscellaneous shapes. These are just some of the main advantages: Process a wide range of miscellaneous shapes such as flats, angles, channels and structural tubes;Integrated operations of part marking, drilling, scribing, milling and sawing to length;Programmable miter cuts on both the leading and trailing ends of parts;Automated loading, processing and unloading without human intervention;Optional notching capability for flats. E.E: What are the ranges of products? FICEP: We can offer a wide range of machinery which can fully satisfy the always more demanding requests and cover all needs in the structural steel and fabrication industry. Our CNC angle and flat line solutions gives the opportunity to process not only angles but also channels and flats. This type of automation enables a firm to process, in the most efficient manner, there miscellaneous shapes by going from stock length material to finished parts in one automated CNC operation. Our systems typically eliminate the manual layout and automate the production of holes, notches, part marking and cutting the finished part to length and our lines for the processing of angles are predominant throughout the world. In the structural steel industry, instead, the manufacturing of angles bracings, cleats, purlins, trusses and the design of beam and connections, bracings, stiffeners, end plates, base plates requires operations that can all be addressed with our machines. Our wide beam processing range includes: CNC controlled beam drilling machines with one, two, three spindles or more each suitable for the processing of beams and shaped rolled sections with small and large dimensions;A wide variety of beam sawing lines for operations that involve straight or mitered cutting;Robotic beam coping machines to match all activities required in the structural fabricating industry like flange thinning, coping, splitting, weld preparations, etc. All these fabrication cells that include beam drilling and sawing lines, as well as beam drilling and coping lines are equipped with the most advanced automatic handling devices such as roller conveyors and transfer tables to suit any customer requirement with his production schedule base on erection sequences. The production of plates and components that are drilled, punched, marked, scribed, milled and cut in accordance with the required tolerances is recognized as one of the most critical activities in today’s manufacturing environment of steel fabrication. The reduction of the ‘processing dead times’, where no additional value is added, is becoming a ‘must’ in today’s industry to increase a firm’s competitiveness and to achieve the required quality control of the manufacturing process. For these reasons, we have realized the widest range of CNC solutions that goes from single operation drilling and punching working cells, to the complete integrated CNC plasma work cells for plates, having the aim to integrate all the functions which are required in plate fabrication. The ability to start with raw material and end with the finished part after completion of all the necessary operations such as drilling, milling, punching, marking, scribing and cutting the part to the desired size and shape is what makes these range of products truly unique. When smart machines, smart software and smart handling systems come together, the outcome is more than just an automatic system; it’s a system that enables Intelligent Steel Fabrication and is transforming the steel fabrication business. Together with our software company Steel Projects we have developed a sophisticated software to analyse the effective production capacity based on each project’s requirements and different plant layout proposals. This way we can present the optimal plant layout solution for each customer. Intelligent Steel Fabrication using automatic systems brings together the full package of Steel Projects PLM software along with our integrated equipment and handling systems providing a solution that is unrivalled in the industry. With the aim of bringing new innovations to the Structural Steel Fabrication world, together with our industry partner Tekla we’ve recently integrated the best tools for your fabrication workflow: Tekla Power Fab fulfil the dreams of all fabricators. E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active? FICEP: We operate on the worldwide market. With particular reference to Eastern Europe, the market is very dynamic and continuously growing in this period. We have great expectations in the short term for Romania, due to the European financial funds for the purchase of technology linked to the Industry 4.0 requirements, which we can fully satisfy with our equipment and software solutions for product lifecycle management. In Romania, we have a great cooperation with ROM STEEL SOLUTIONS (www.steelsolutions.ro), which represents us from the point of view of promoting the equipment but also by the fact that it offers technical support to all our Romanian customers. E.E: What can you tell us about market trends? FICEP: The latest market trends are focused on the steel construction industry which includes different sectors, from the structural steel for commercial and industrial buildings, up to the mechanical processing of plates, and electric towers for energy distribution. E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed? FICEP: On all our technologies we have applied milling operations, we have increased the overall performance of all our machines, and added the Direct Drive technology in our mechanical processing. These implementations allowed us to develop machines with energy saving in order to satisfy the demands of the green technology industry. Today, our company can offer the most complete and innovative structural steel solution in the world. E.E: What estimations do you have for 2021? FICEP: As already comprehensively described, we have positive estimations for 2021, specially for the Eastern Europe market, whose demand can be fully satisfied by for our full range of innovative and high tech CNC machines for the steel construction industry.