“It has been an incredible year,” confirms UK general manager Fabrizio Barberis. “We have seen unprecedented demand across our whole product range, including our 2D and 3D laser-cutting machines, punch and shear systems, press brakes, panel benders, and our automation solutions. It has also been very encouraging to see that new orders have come from existing customers, who are very happy with both our service and their existing Prima Power machinery, and from new companies working with us for the very first time.”

Although some installations are already complete and operational, Prima Power reports that several, larger system orders will be installed and commissioned during the early part of 2019. One such notable project will see the installation of a fully automated line for punching, shearing and laser cutting sheet steel parts used in domestic boilers. The system comprises two automatic machines from Prima Power, the first being a Shear Genius 1530, and the second a Combi Genius 1530. Both are connected to a common Night Train multi-station, cassette-based storage and loading system, which allows the machines to run lights-out in full automation mode.

Based on a rigid O-frame construction, Prima Power Shear Genius models are designed for the complete processing of parts from input material sheet or blank to the processed component, without the need for secondary operations and costly materials handling. Available with two performance level options and a choice of either 1.5 by 3 m or 1.5 by 4 m sheet capacities, Shear Genius machines are equipped with large capacity, high-speed turret tool systems that can be loaded with up to 384 tools when using multi-tool units. The machines feature a punching force of up to 300 kN and a fast punch rate, with optional abilities for tapping, marking and forming.

After loading to the machine, the material is positioned and controlled beneath the turret head by a high speed, servo-controlled gripper system, which works in synchronisation with the punching unit. The punching unit can be fitted with an optional intelligent ram, allowing even greater use of multi-tool units in the turret and further increasing the machine’s flexibility, efficiency and output. Forms, holes, cut-outs and features can all be produced at high speed, and with no skeleton or material waste.

On completion of the punching process the final pieces are automatically moved to a high-speed shear station which separates the completed pieces from the sheet, ejecting them from the machine to optional collection or automatic unloading systems.

Complementing the Shear Genius 1530 is the Combi Genius 1530, which offers both punching and laser cutting processes in a single solution. Using the same O-frame design concept, the Combi Genius also shares the same punching system, material control and turret design. This configuration again delivers punching forces up to 300 kN, a turret capacity of up to 384 tools and all of the same process capabilities.

On the Combi Genius, complementing the punching unit and in place of the material shearing unit, Prima Power includes a laser-cutting system using a choice of either 3 or 4 kW fibre laser. The laser head expands the processed part designs available from the machine, allowing the cutting of more complex shapes and features without the need for specific tooling.

By combining both punching and laser cutting in a single solution, the machine offers significant process flexibility and low operational cost. Combi Genius machines are available for 1.25 by 2.5 m, 1.5 by 3 m and 1.5 by 4 m sheet sizes, and with a choice of two performance levels. In stand-alone configuration, all models can be optionally equipped with a variety of automation solutions for both the loading and unloading of materials and completed parts. Further downstream options for Shear Genius models include connection to a Prima Power EBe panel bender.

For this particular project, the customer chose to link both machines to a Prima Power Night Train material storage and automatic loading system. Under full automation, materials are picked from their storage positions and brought to the automatic loading elements of each machine, a task that takes place concurrently with machine processes, ensuring uninterrupted operation. Processed workpieces are ejected by the machines to automatic unloading stations.

Prima Power Night Train systems are modular and can be configured to suit each customer’s specific needs, and to serve any number of machines, depending on processing requirements and available factory space.

All Prima Power machines utilise servo-electric drive technology, ensuring consistent, clean performance, with low energy costs. Industry 4.0 is also a standard integral element on all systems, giving the customer data feedback on machine status, utilisation, production performance and part availability.

Both the Prima Power Group and Prima Power UK have also been expanding during the past 12 months. The group has recently completed and started operations at a new plant in Seinäjoki, Finland, while a further new facility dedicated to innovation is currently being constructed alongside the company’s headquarters and technical centre in Turin, Italy.

In the UK, several new members have joined the Coventry-based Prima Power team, in both the sales and service departments, with the trend set to continue into 2019.

Joining as sales manager is Barry Rooney. With more than 25 years’ experience in machine tools, across multiple industry sectors, Rooney will take overall responsibility for sales and marketing in the UK and Ireland.

“It’s a fantastic time to be joining the company,” he says. “We have an amazing range of machines, and a great customer base and industry reputation. This year will see even more developments from Prima Power and we are really excited for the future.”