Moving Forward Pt 1
In what feels a very short period of time, Fast-Form Systems has become a leading hirer and worldwide supplier of its bespoke formwork systems and products, all designed to rapidly speed up concrete construction processes regardless of size and complexity. Another important detail that has assured success in a tough market is the fact Fast-Form Systems’ formwork products were designed from the start to be reused time and time again as part of our long-term commitment to sustainability by reducing the carbon footprint associated with traditional formwork materials.
Because of increased UK and international sales orders, the need for new Fast-Form Systems component stock as part of our next-step supply and development plans has meant costly but necessary internal investment of new manufacturing equipment to enable Fast-Form Systems products to be produced in-house with materials from locally/UK sourced suppliers.
Earlier this year, after much deliberating on machine specification, we took delivery of a Mantech produced Titan Fibre Laser Cutting Machine – in other words a laser that cuts profiled shapes from sheet steel. A very powerful and precise laser. How powerful? Well, the 3.3kW laser of our model (MT-F1530) is capable of precise cuts in 22mm thick carbon steel and 10mm stainless steel.
From our stock of steel sheets, a powered overhead crane carefully places a single sheet (maximum size of 2mt x 4mt) onto the Titan Fibre Laser flatbed, which is then auto-positioned and clamped within the covered protective area that houses the laser cutting head. With all the safety features enabled, only then can the pre-programmed software that controls the laser be activated.
Watching the laser (through tinted eye-safe windows) go about its efficient business of cutting through steel sheet is nearly as impressive as the perfectly finished blanks that it produces. The speed at which the laser head also accurately cuts out bolt holes, guide slots etc is nothing short of mesmerising, too.
Like all machinery, the human touch is still a necessary part of manufacturing. The programmer of the laser software that enables it to produce flat silhouettes of Fast-Form Systems products prior to fabrication is Fast-Form Systems’ very own Mateusz Janjkowski. Now we are not saying ‘Mat’ enjoys working at FFS, but before being trained to programme and operate the laser system, his main roles were designer and estimator. He is now known as “multi-role Mat!”