26 April 2012

The Premier Group uses Prima Power laser technology for the 2012 Olympic Torch

Prima Power, the Machinery Division of the Prima Industrie Group specialized in laser and sheet metal processing machines, is proud to announce that the London 2012 Olympic Torch is manufactured using its laser technology. The Premier Group (TPG), a first-class Coventry-based supplier of turnkey engineering and manufacturing solutions for the transport field, uses Prima Power machines to cut the holes and to weld the parts of this beautiful icon of the Olympic Games.

One of the most important element of the Torch, designed by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby working in partnership with The Premier Group and presented on June 8th in London, are the 8,000 holes running the length of the body. These holes are both symbolic and practical. They represent the 8,000 Torchbearers who will carry the Olympic Flame on its journey around the UK from 19 May to 27 July 2012, when the Games will be opened at the Olympic Stadium. The holes have also a practical reason, since they also offer visibility of the internal parts of the Torch and of the burner system which will keep the Olympic Flame alive, as well as reduce weight and ensure heat is quickly dissipated without being conducted down the handle.

“Because of its symbolic meaning, - explains Ezio Basso, Prima Industrie Managing Director, Prima Power Division - the number of holes on the Torch is a must. To cut 8,000 holes fast and with high quality our Syncrono 2D laser machine is probably unbeatable. The parallel kinematic structure of the machine head and its numerical control allow to reach very high speed even with complex trajectories as the pattern of holes on the Torch. We can say that the cutting of these holes was the “Olympic challenge” for Premier, and they won it, thanks to their experience, talent and professionalism and with the help of our technology.”

Another symbolic element of the Torch is its triangular shape, representing the number three with its different meanings linked to the Games: the three Olympic values of respect, excellence and friendship; the three words that make the Olympic motto, faster, higher, stronger; the three times of the Olympic Games in the UK, etc.

The Torch’s unique shape is obtained from Aluminium sheet metal blanks cut by Premier and formed using a special pressing tool. Aluminium is widely used in the Automotive and Aerospace industry because it is lightweight but has a good tensile strength and heat resistance. This makes the Torch light and strong at the same time. The Premier Group uses Prima Power 3D laser technology to weld the parts of the Torch together in a smooth, seamless join, and to cut holes in the welded areas.

Both welding and cutting operations on the Torch after it is formed are performed by Prima Power Optimo 3D laser machine with Vivida technology. This machine can be easily converted from cutting to welding through a quick change of the head attachment, so a single machine is used for different applications.

“It is fascinating – concludes Ezio Basso – how state-of-the-art laser technology, using light in a very modern way, contributes to create the Olympic flame, an ancient form of light representing the most traditional and noble sports competition. We are extremely proud that our technology helps The Premier Group manufacture this outstanding and beautiful object.”

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