Interview with Mr Jean-Roch DESWARTE, Manager of the companies SETP
and Ateliers du Haut Languedoc
Can you explain your history with Thibaut machines?
We already have around ten Thibaut machines. About forty years ago, we used to have edge polishers at Atelier du Languedoc (ADHL), a company founded by my father. Here is the list of all the machines we installed since then:
- In the late 80's : GB110 manual machine.
- In the 2000s : TC08 sawing machine and T110 multifunction manual machine (SETP).
- 2005 : TC14 sawing machine (SETP).
- 2006 : TC05, one of the very first CNC sawing machines (ADHL).
2014 : a 5 axis sawing and profiling center TC1100 and a large sawing and profiling center TC1350 V1 (SETP). 2015 : TC650 TOPS sawing center with automatic loading table and a TC1350V2 with high torque (SETP) particularly suitable for limestone. 2017 : TC650 TOPS with rubber mat and soon a second TC1350 V2 with high torque (SETP).
What are your sectors of activity?
At SETP and ADHL, we work on various types of projects: urban planning, molding, pavement, stone cutting craft... For urban planning, we do relatively simple work with many series effects. The same type of work is repeated several times, including during the night. We use the TC1350 with high torque which requires power and on which we can pass large thicknesses. Thanks to the 16 meter-long runway, we place the limestone workpieces on the tables and the machine works on each workpiece with great autonomy. The CNC TC05 sawing machine is used for milling. We do exactly the same type of work with the TC1350, with in addition some more complex stone cutting jobs. The capacity of the TC1350 is very interesting. For example, we made a sphere of 130 cm diameter in one piece. Programming is also simple even for complicated workpieces. The two TC650 TOPS machines are used for paving, facade cladding, floor coverings or large sizes. This makes it possible to optimize the cutting by saving material and time. The fact that the head of the machine turns (rather than the table) prevents us from having to do all these manipulations.
Can you explain the difference between your two TC650 TOPS sawing centers?
The first TC650 TOPS works with a rubber mat which allows the realization of heterogeneous pieces, programmed one after another. The other machine is equipped with a loading table, which makes it possible to produce repetitive pieces. This is highly efficient. The advantage of choosing this machine is mainly the loading table. Once the operator has his package of slices, he is completely autonomous on his machine. He programs the first slice, then the machine works on it, after that he unloads the piece and programs the next workpiece to be worked on. This system works really well, we can get maximum performance from these machines.
How did the transition from the old machines to the 5-axis centers go?
Programming on the TC1350 requires about one year of training before taking full advantage of the machine's capabilities. For example, the TC08 had a turning table while the new machines are all automatic. But the adaptation is very fast. Having several machines of the same model (TC1350) is an advantage. Operators can easily switch from one machine to another.
Why did you choose to invest exclusively in Thibaut machines in recent years?
We are satisfied with Thibaut machines because of their reliability compared to other brands and also because of Thibaut’s responsiveness. Thibaut customer service is also very satisfying. We started on Thibaut machines because we were satisfied with the first TC05 and TC14. Moreover, machines from other suppliers seemed more complicated than Thibaut which has a more user friendly machine interface. In terms of machine maintenance, it is simpler to have a single supplier for the whole machine park. The uniformity between the machines facilitates our organization. The second TC1350V2 will soon be installed next to the first one. We will have the same operator on the two machines. You have to choose your operator well, but if you take a well-trained person, it is a real advantage for the company. The high torque of the machine enables to cut blocks in one pass, which enhances the cut quality on the edges. Article published in Pierreactual number 964 - October 2017