Ficep spa

Ficep technology boosts wind towers and foundations fabricators productivity

The main focus for onshore and offshore wind towers and foundations fabricators is production efficiency: producing, while maintaining high and constant product quality, guaranteeing compliance with very tight tolerances, within certain timescales and realizing necessary margins. FICEP is the technological partner for all the Area 1 processes: from the steel plate storage area to the stages preceding rolling, FICEP provides integrated technological solutions for shotblasting, cutting and beveling by milling.

FICEP is an Italian industrial company with nearly one hundred years of experience, world leader in technologies for the steel construction and forging industries. The company, which manufactures its machines and equipment in-house, operates over an area of 145,000 square meters, directly handling the design, engineering, machining, surface treatments, assembly and installation of its machines. Thanks to a global presence with subsidiaries in 17 countries and more than 100 active agents in the rest of the world, FICEP is able to provide efficient global spare parts supply and after-sales services.

Fabricators worldwide are facing a significant technological challenge to keep up with the construction trends dictated mainly by the offshore market. The trend is toward building increasingly taller towers with ever greater power generation capacities per turbine. The new benchmark in the sector is producing 15.0 MW per tower, which requires rotors with diameters exceeding 230 m (with the likelihood of seeing 20 MW wind turbines and rotor diameters of more than 250 m). As a result, supporting structures like foundations (Monopile, Jacket, TP, and Floating) must be increasingly massive and solid to withstand the enormous forces and tensions generated by the rotating moments of the blades. For example, base diameters for towers can exceed 9 meters, and monopiles are already reaching 12 meters, with the possibility of reaching 14 to 15 meters in diameter and thicknesses of up to 160 mm or more.

Another significant challenge is the streamlined management of production costs and benefits. FICEP machines offer exceptional performance and integration, which results in increased productivity. The integration of machines provides a significant advantage in terms of production efficiency by having only one technological interlocutor to communicate with for all processes in Area 1. This simplifies communication and makes management more efficient.

The ability of machines to interface with each other and constantly provide a comprehensive view of production data is equally important for production efficiency. Continuous monitoring of production is essential to make necessary adjustments that ensure optimal efficiency and maintain the health of the machines. Access to this data in a simple, direct way allows customers to plan preventative maintenance work and avoid any downtime that might result in costly penalties in this sector due to late deliveries.

FICEP, with its RB shotblasting machines, Kronos machines for thermal cutting – plasma and oxyfuel – and Energy machines for beveling (edge preparation by milling) supports fabricators in facing this complex technological challenge.

FICEP wide selection of shotblasting machines, suitable for surface treatment of plates, with varying features and operational speeds, can be offered as stand-alone units or integrated into systems.
The RB shotblasting machines range provides exceptional blasting performance for plates, thanks to the latest ETA-patented turbines that offer excellent durability and performance with the aid of special blasting components made of hardened steel.
RB machines:

  • are available in widths ranging from 3000 to 5000 mm;
  • can have up to 12 super high-performance, durable Roto-Jet TITAN 5.3 ETA turbines from 6 to 45 kW of power;
  • offer plate feed speeds of up to 5 m/min and more on request;
  • have shotblasting cabinet completely made of manganese. Hardness range of 35HRC to more than 50HRC;
  • are equipped with rotating brushes for the removal of shot left after blasting and a screw conveyor to reintroduce it into the process;
  • offer continuous purification of abrasive material during its circular movement within the machine;
  • can be completed with preservation line and shot primer.

Considering the growing need for plates with a thickness of up to 160 millimeters, FICEP offers the ideal solution for both thermal cutting with their Kronos range and beveling by milling with their Energy range.

Kronos is FICEP automatic gantry CNC high-definition plasma & oxy cutting systems range that caters specifically to the wind energy sector and accommodates a range of plate widths, from 3 to 9 meters.
With the latest Hypertherm or Kjellberg power sources, Kronos can be equipped with one or two high-definition plasma torches or up to four high-performance oxy-fuel torches – triple oxy-fuel torches also available – for straight or bevel cuts. Kronos can cut plates into rectangular, trapezoidal, or curved shapes (banana), and create welding preparation bevels thanks to the 3D bevel plasma head, 3D bevel oxyfuel torch, or triple torch oxy-fuel head, available in manual, semi-automatic, or automatic configuration.
Its cutting bench consists of a solid grid that ensures plate stability during processing.

Energy is an advanced CNC gantry working centre for edge milling, drilling, and marking plates, specially designed for wind towers and foundations industry. It is able to process plates up to 3500 or 5000 mm wide, and up to 60000 mm long. This machine has impressive machining capabilities, including beveling, drilling, and marking functions with high precision, speed, and chip removal capacity thanks to the 70 kW or 123 kW spindles. Energy handles 24/7 work cycles with ease, and precision is guaranteed through the touch probe that facilitates control of machining dimensions. Energy is equipped with two special milling heads performing all typical bevels required in preparation before rolling such as Y, K, X, V, or J (or any other type). The machine can import DXF/DWG files or have programming done on board without needing to involve the technical department. Energy’s gantry movement allows for quick and easy tool change, while electro-permanent magnets hold the plate in place during machining and leave no residue. The positioning speed of the machine reaches 30 metres/minute, while the rails are designed with high-quality materials and engineering to ensure rigidity and maintain minimum tolerances, high speeds, and minimum maintenance. To ensure absolute machining precision, Energy also has an automatic compensation system for vertical working height, patented by FICEP, to adjust the height of the milling head according to plate irregularities detected in real-time, ensuring conformity between the program loaded and the actual geometry of the plate to be processed.

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FICEP | The Wind Industry Needs More
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