Gabbett Machinery recently held the first of several open days or “showcases” to (mainly) promote their strong SCM brand. Supplier magazine attended the Melbourne showcase to see what was on offer.
I recently visited SCM in Italy and saw for myself the number of machines in the production line destined for Australia. All custom machines made at SCM are clearly marked with the flag of the destination country so there was no mistake where the orders came from. I also saw for myself the final fine-tuning stages of the new K360 edge-bander designed by Gabbett as a result of feedback from their customers. This machine was the highlight of the Gabbett showcase and with 40 machines “on-the-water” or here already, and half pre-sold, it needed a suitable launch.

However, before the show opened a small ceremony took place. Like all suppliers, sales and service people tend to shift camps from time to time but, in this case, an award for 20-years’ service to Gabbett went to Paul Porkett.

Paul (a Keith Richards lookalike if ever I saw one) is a guy that prefers to get things done rather than talk so the ceremony was over very quickly. Paul comes from IJF in Adelaide (a large interior joinery and furniture manufacturer) so he’s got plenty of workplace experience. He received a Breitling watch from Lee Gabbett, who was obviously grateful for the effort and commitment Paul had provided over the years. Lee said: “It’s people like Paul whose knowledge and experience makes Gabbett the supplier it is today”.

On display and fully operational was the SCM accord 20 fx CNC machining centre. Five-axes CNC machining is getting plenty of attention lately as users seek more flexibility and faster machining times. The accord 20 fx includes a safety system with no floor mats for easier access to the machine by (for example) forklift trucks and other loading equipment. The powerful 5-axes head is able to use the heaviest stacked tools for both longitudinal and end machining in the same cycle and can hold and cut at any angle with tools and sawblades up to 350mm in diameter. A great feature of this machine is the ability to work close to the table when doing horizontal work, eliminating the need to raise the work-piece.

The accord 20 fx is a very cost-effective way of getting into 5-axes machining yet another machine on display proved that you can get into nesting with a SCM gantry machine for not much more than a flatbed router.

The Pratika CNC nesting machine is available stand-alone or with in and outfeed systems and labelling and any size up to six metres by 1.8 metres. It is CE compliant and can be loaded from the front, end or rear (the controls can be placed either side). It’s neat and tidy too, because all the electrics and vacuum pumps are inside the body of the machine.

Area manager Marco Rampichini said: “This machine has the largest gantry in the market and we sell hundreds every year. It’s very low cost, has an excellent vacuum pump and for the performance, takes up very little floor space”.

Gabbett also supplies the excellent FomIndustrie aluminium processing machines. I’ve been to this factory too and have seen the ultimate in automated, computer-controlled aluminium processing machines available anywhere in the world. Not only does Gabbett supply this equipment but is working hand-in-hand with major Australian aluminium suppliers to develop software for our unique Australian product and this will be available early 2016. Additionally; Gabbett is well-placed not only to supply a complete range of machines (there were seven on display in Melbourne) but to also provide professional parts, tools, training and service.

Also on display was the new Xcab software developed to provide an extremely low cost entry level software program that packs quite a punch with features often found on software at twice the price. Developed in conjunction with Spai software (Venice), it can be bundled with your new machine.
Leitz was present to support the machinery with high-performance tooling and Leuco presented its G7 sawblades for excellent burr-free cuts on aluminium profiles.

Tigerstop can now supply an automated crosscut fence for your panel saw; a portable measuring fence for on-site work and the TigerSaw 1000 fully automated crosscut and push-feed saw system available through Gabbett. Dollken (edge bandings) and Cabinet Vision (cabinet software) were also on hand to support the wide range of equipment on display.

But the star of the show was certainly the unveiling of the new Olimpic K360 edge-bander. Not flashy like a 5-axes machine or dazzling like the latest whizz-bang software but a down-to-earth, solid piece of machinery designed by Australians for Australian cabinet makers.

The new machine is available in three versions and can be customised for your needs. Gabbett says it will suit 90% of cabinet makers in Australia and, when the prototype was displayed at the Ligna fair in May, the machine drew plenty of attention from other nesting countries including Great Britain and the USA. Strong praise indeed and a credit to Gabbett’s sales staff, who listen to their customers and provide exactly what they need.

The seven inch (four inch also available) one-touch colour control allows rapid setting of the various units. A quick-release Teflon pot ensures easy glue change in less than two minutes and the machine is capable of both EVA and PUR glue application.

The machine is a metre shorter than others with the same units and this is due to a clever design where the end-cut saws have been inverted to save space. You get a machine with a smaller footprint with the added bonus of quicker machining times and greater accuracy. It will handle 6mm solid edges (up to 64mm high), melamine, 3mm ABS and runs at 11 metres a minute.

The K360 was six months in design and testing and sits neatly between the K230 and K400 models but it’s not just a gap-filler. It’s a completely new machine design made in the Stefani factory so quality and know-how is assured. The end-cutting unit uses two blades to cut and radius in a single stroke – both front and back of the panel. The trimming unit uses a combi tool to trim thin, thick and solid wood edged panels using the one tool. Pre-milling, rounding and scraping units are available and you can even edge nest panels that have already been drilled thanks to the multi-roller copy devices.
The Olimpic K360 is available in three models with a range of options on each one to cater for the needs of every cabinet maker. The most interest was in the K360 TER1 with pre-milling and corner rounding as standard but the basic K360-E machine will suit most cabinet makers building around four kitchens a week.

The high production output due to small panel gaps with a high feed rate makes the K360 an excellent buy for the small to medium cabinet and furniture maker and is a classic example of how Gabbett Machinery strives to give its customers exactly what they ask for.