Easy does it: FASTER takes thickness variations in its stride

The FASTER series, the next generation of horizontal flat edge polishers has launched. The guiding principle behind the development of this range was to make it easier for stone processors to respond to different job requirements without the need for complex and time-consuming manual intervention. Frontal edging and top and bottom bevelling can be efficiently executed on different thicknesses of quartz, granite, ceramic and marble workpieces.

Skilled labour shortage

One of the biggest challenges facing the stone machining industry today is the shortage of skilled labour. Responding to this, Montresor’s design engineers set out to de-skill the flat edge polishing operation. On older generation polishers, a lot of manual adjustment and resetting is needed in order to process different materials and slab thicknesses. Montresor’s strategy of designing out this complexity through automation has resulted in a machine that is flexible, intuitive, and pre-emptive and necessitates minimal operator training to achieve a high quality edge finish.

 

Continuous processing of different thicknesses

In stone fabrication, there is no such thing as a standard job or ‘production run’: one minute the workpiece might be a 30mm thick granite worktop and the next an 8mm ceramic splashback. On previous generation flat edge polishers, switching between pieces of different thicknesses often required manual adjustment, which was both time consuming and complex.

 

On the FASTER, a guide wheel called the Cam Follower traces the edge and follows the variances in the piece to give an even bevel regardless of the thickness of the workpiece. It then feeds this information to the bevelling wheels, which adjust their position accordingly. In this way, the FASTER automatically adapts to different material thicknesses without stopping production.

 

Best bevel consistency

As well as allowing the FASTER to switch seamlessly between workpieces with different edge thicknesses, this clever technology ensures a consistent bevel where there is a variation in thickness within a workpiece. 

 

One of the universal truths of stone fabrication is that the thickness of natural stone slabs will vary - particularly granite. Although the variation isn’t always visible to the human eye, it can cause quality issues when creating a bevelled edge. The bevel will either be too narrow or too wide in areas, as it follows the variations of the slab. Thanks to Montresor’s variable thickness detection technology, this isn’t an issue with the FASTER, as the pneumatic rollers and upper bevelling wheels are continuously self-adjusting to accommodate any changes in edge thickness detected by the Cam Follower. If there is an increase in thickness, the wheels will move up, whereas for a thinner edge, they will drop down, to ensure a consistent bevel is achieved. The bevel size can be either set manually or through the control interface.

 

Independent pressure rollers

One of the reasons this dynamic adjustment of settings is possible with the FASTER is because every single pressure roller is independent rather than the rollers being grouped in banks.

 

The FASTER can accommodate pieces as small as 5cm (width) x 12cm (length) that would otherwise have to be polished by hand.  

 

The pneumatic pressers on the FASTER series also ensure pressure is applied uniformly, which is particularly important in order to achieve precision performance when machining thinner materials such as ceramics.

 

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