Farol use new Foley Company Grinders

Farol use new Foley Company Grinders: Farol Golf and Turf Machinery Limited has purchased a Foley Company Accu-Pro 633 with Accu-Touch 3 Control and an Accu-Pro 661AT bedknife grinder to bolster their essential grinding operation.

Grinding is an integral part of the company’s business and is fundamental to what they offer to the golf and leisure industries. Their current relief grinder, an Accu-Master 650, has proved popular with technicians and was one of the reasons they decided to go with Foley again and continue working with ProSport UK Ltd.

Farol use new Foley Company Grinders

When it came time to decide on new grinders, after-sales manager for golf and turf, Oliver Longden, consulted with the technicians and appraised the Foley machines against others on the market.

“We had a look around at what else was available, but there was nothing comparable for what we need to do,” Oliver explained. “Our guys are already familiar with the Foley machines, and we’ve had a good history with our Accu-Master. We’ll continue using it alongside the Accu-Pro 633 during the peak grinding season because it still does exactly what we need it to.

“The most significant benefit with the 633 against other manufacturers is being able to relief grind correctly. We can relief grind any units without having to make massive changes to the machine, whereas with other manufacturers you must take a part off or swap something over and it all takes time.  With the Accu-Pro you can switch from 7 to 11 to whatever number of blades, easily and quickly.

“Once it’s set up everything is automated so the guys can get on with stripping down the next unit while it’s working, because you don’t have to keep coming back to it to make adjustments.

“The training function was another big plus for us. We sometimes get new technicians who haven’t used the machine before. It’s a very good feature because it shows them a step by step set-up and how to work it, so anyone can jump on it straight away and get going.”

The Accu-Pro 633 uses Accu-Touch 3 Control to fully automate spin and relief grinding. It features the automatic reel selector and cylinder height stop which automatically locates the reel for a fast and easy spin and relief grind in one quick set-up. Pre-set relief angles are easily identified on the relief angle adjuster, allowing technicians to effortlessly grind the correct angles and achieve proper clearances for each reel type.

The simplicity of operating the Accu-Pro 633 is mirrored in the Accu-Pro 661 AT bedknife grinder and was another important consideration for Oliver.

He said: “The selling point for us is that it’s a very simple and easy machine to use. We needed a machine that all the technicians with varying skill levels could use. Someone who has little experience of grinding can work just as well as someone with 20-years’ experience, and that ensures consistent quality. And again, once it’s set up and going, you can leave it to do the job and get on with other work, and that’s really the beauty of it.”

Farol recognises that when it comes to cutting, it is ultimately the blade’s that do the job. To achieve the best cut possible, they need to be sharp and restored to how they function best, which is by relief grinding them back to the original manufacturer’s own specification.

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New Grinders At Richmond GC

New Grinders At Richmond GC: The Richmond Golf Club are aiming to improve their cutting performance by relief grinding back to OEM specifications using their new Foley Company Grinders.

Located six miles from central London, The Richmond Golf Club has a well-deserved reputation for its impressive 18-hole course which has undergone significant developments in recent years including extensive re-bunkering and substantial upgrades to other areas of the course.

New Grinders At Richmond GC

Course manager, Les Howkins, has been steering these improvements and is now aiming to enhance his mowers’ cutting performance by relief grinding with the purchase of a Foley company Accu-Pro 633 with Accu-Touch 3 control and a 673 automatic Bed-Knife grinder.

Les explained: “For us, one of the main advantages of choosing the Foley Accu-Pro 633 is that it delivers relief and spin grinding in the one machine and the changeover is very quick – approximately 20 seconds.

“This is important because it gives us greater flexibility; we can easily switch from relief to spin and back again. We can choose what’s needed for each unit rather than having to do all the spin or all the relief grinding in one go as we had previously.

“Another reason is that the Foley grinder removes what is known as coning. This is where the reel wears more at one end than the other.  This occurs through general use or in some occasions over adjustment.   With the built-in electronic gauging system, we can set the units up true and grind them back to parallel.

“Other important factors for us are that the wheel-head and spin motors are electric.  Both are neat and tidy units, easy to operate, unobtrusive and quiet, which is crucial for the  health, safety and general operating welfare of our staff.”

Les said “We have “40 cuttings units of varying sizes, the majority of which are John Deere.” His mechanic, Ian Clarke was looking to improve the length of time his units stayed on cut before needing to be re-ground. “Ian is delighted with quality of cut delivered by the Foley. Now that we can relief grind quickly and efficiently and the cutting units stay on cut longer, he will be able to manage our grinding programme much more effectively. As the machines are also very easy to use, we are also planning to improve this further with more of our staff using the grinders.”

It is the 633’s Accu-Touch 3 controls which make this an easy process. It has an automatic computer system that provides a step-by-step tutorial for new technicians and a quicker set-up and spin grind feature for the more experienced operators. You input the make of unit you’re working on and the computer does the rest. Pre-programmed spin speeds, relief torque, and in-feeds are only a few of the new features found in the ACCU-Touch 3.

Complimenting the 633 is the 673 automatic Bed-Knife and the 450 Rotary blade grinders. Automation is an essential feature of Foley grinders because it increases productivity, ensures accurate results and allows operators to carry out other workshop tasks while grinding.

The 673 has an innovative bed-knife mounting system that uses powerful electromagnets to hold the bed bar in place, and positive gauge stops to make set-up fast and straightforward. You can grind any bed bar arrangement without additional tooling and fast angle set-up provides repeatability without recalibration. Set the angle stops once, and the 673 will grind the same angle repeatedly. Changing from grinding the front face to the top face is as simple as pushing a button and watching as the powered Tool Bar rotates into the position.

The 450 rotary blade grinder is a simple pedestal-based machine that can be used to quickly re-face and sharpen our blades, whether there right or left-handed.

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Efficiency A Priority For Foley Grinders

Efficiency A Priority For Foley Grinders: A vital question for a workshop manager is how to maximise efficiency and minimise labour and maintenance equipment costs. One area to achieve excellent savings is to look at how you maintain the sharpness of your cutting units.

As an illustration of this, Foley and UK distributor ProSport UK Ltd are delighted to acknowledge St Andrews Links Trust for choosing Foley Grinders as part of its maintenance programme for its complete range of professional TORO cylinder mowers.

Efficiency A Priority For Foley Grinders

Foley United’s grinders are designed to be ergonomic and deliver on performance and reliability every time. St Andrews Links Trust like so many other clubs large and small are always looking for the latest techniques and will implement new ideas to deliver best practise, but it’s all about having the information to make that judgement. Which is why Foley United is so consistent in getting over the message about the benefits of relief grinding back to OEM specifications; it is a vital tool in achieving best practise in professional mower grinding.

Ian Robson ProSport UK Ltd the UK & Ireland Importer/Distributor for Foley United explains why relief grinding maximises the performance of reels by giving a factory finish every time.

Firstly, why is having sharp cylinders (reels) that are the correct shape so important anyway? The answer is obvious – unhealthy turf brings a whole host of other issues which are costly to correct. Therefore, prevention is a far more economic approach than a cure.

A huge amount of research and development has gone into designing a cutting unit to produce the cleanest cut possible with the least amount of fraying and tissue damage to the plant. The result is that all manufacturers of grass cutting equipment supply new units with relief ground edges.

Efficiency A Priority For Foley Grinders

Why relief grind?

Tests carried out by leading manufacturers have established that relief ground cylinders stay on cut up to 3 times longer than spun ground ones and require less horse power to drive the unit, resulting in greater fuel efficiency and less stress on the hydraulic power systems. In addition, a relief ground cylinder will withstand the abrasive effects of top dressing far better than one spun ground because the relief edge on both the bed-knife and the cylinder allows the top dressing to clear the cutting blades easily, helping to prevent the dulling effect seen on spun only units.

Continual relief grinding also decreases the squeezing and tearing of the grass as the units get dull, and most importantly it allows the cylinder to be returned to a factory specification perfect cylinder as quickly as possible.

The overall cleaner cut achieved by relief grinding gives a better after-cut appearance, increased recovery rate due to the clean cut of the grass and reduces the stress on components because less horsepower is needed to drive the cylinder.

Horse Power Study

As a reel wears flat and loses shape (becomes coned), more stress and strain is put on the cutting systems.

Efficiency A Priority For Foley Grinders

Using the figures from the above study a 5-gang cutting unit with relief can require up to 4.5 HP (5 x 0.88HP = 4.5HP) to drive the cutting units therefore a 35HP engine has 30.5HP remaining to drive the rest of the traction system.  A 5-gang unit which has been spun ground only, can require up to 13Hp (5 x 2.59HP = 13HP) leaving only 22HP to drive the rest of the traction system.

So, it has been established that relief grinding your cutting units saves you money not only by reducing workshop maintenance time with far fewer grinds but also through a reduction in fuel costs and replacement parts.

It is also important to acknowledge what relief grinding does for a reel. By removing metal from the trailing edge of the blade it forms a relief angle, which reduces the contact area of the cutting edges, resulting in less friction, longer wear life.

Efficiency A Priority For Foley Grinders

Typically, when a new mower is delivered the reels will be a perfect cylindrical shape. Over time the blade naturally loses shape, and the sharp edge it arrives with becomes flat and dull, often meaning the reel is no longer a perfect cylinder from end to end. This is referred to as ‘coning’ and a natural point for grinding to take place. The decision then sits between touch-up and spin grinding, or relief grinding.  If there is sufficient relief still on the reel then a quick touch-up is fine but once more than 50% of the relief has gone my advice would be to relief grind again and remove any coning.  Failure to remove the coning will eventually be seen in an uneven cut appearance of your turf.

But, the main question mentioned at the beginning comes back; how to get the most out of your workshop resources by choosing the most effective method to sharpen your cutting units. The answer is to trust the manufacturers judgement and return the reels as close to the original factory standard as possible, and for that, relief grinding is the best option. The bonus is this method also maximises performance and gives the best cut.

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New Grinders At Sandy Lodge GC

New Grinders At Sandy Lodge GC: Sandy Lodge Golf Club in Hertfordshire has reaped the benefits both on and off the course of the Foley United Accu-Master 653 and Accu-Pro 673 grinders.

The club is one of England’s finest golfing establishments and has regularly hosted the Regional Open Qualifying Rounds from 2015 and will do so until 2019, as well as being a recent venue for the English Women’s Senior Open.

New Grinders At Sandy Lodge GC

Head greenkeeper, Richard Elderfield, along with mechanic, Peter Cook, knew their previous grinders were coming to the end of their useable life and both had a strong desire to bring relief grinding to the club because of the overall benefits it has for the plant and the machines. But, Peter quickly realised the Foley models had other features that would streamline his operation and make for a better work environment.

“Although relief grinding was our first priority it wasn’t the only aspect that attracted us to the Accu-Master 653,” Peter explained. “We also like the enclosed cabinet on the cylinder grinder with the noise and dust protection it offered and we found the set-up of both grinders to be quick and easy, especially with the 653’s built in training programmes.

“Grinding is very important to us when it comes to the health of the course and the machinery. The quality and cleanness of cut will determine the smoothness and speed of the playing surface and it helps prevent turf infections and diseases.

“Relief grinding has made a lot of difference and the mower manufacturers also recommend it. We tend to put a lot more top dressing on our greens now and the relief grind allows the excess sand to be cleared away, so it’s not wearing the cylinder down and going off cut as quickly. It also means we have less potential contact between cylinder and bedknife therefore less heat build-up as there’s reduced contact area with the bedknife, so it makes the mower a lot more efficient overall.”

Talking about efficiency Peter adds, “We also see this in the grinders, as both machines are fully automated, with auto-start, traverse, infeed and shut down built in to the grinding programmes alleviating any need for any human input between phases.  We can have both grinders running at the same time allowing us to carry out other tasks therefore saving more time.

“I can now grind far quicker than before. If I’m doing a 5 head fairway machine once you set the 653 for the first unit it will then be set for the remainder.

“It’s easy to access the machine and I have a winch to lift the reels in and out which makes the entire process easier. There is also an option of a lift-table if you prefer.

The automation is a huge benefit and as we are limited for space in my workshop and with the 653 being fully enclosed means there is very little noise coming from the grinder, allowing me to comfortably work close by.

“I thought I would struggle with the relief grinding as I had never done it before, but the training was excellent, and I picked it up very quickly”

Both Peter and Richard have been impressed by the quick and reliable service they have received from Ian Robson of ProSport UK, the Foley United importer both throughout the purchasing phase and the aftercare.

ProSport UK focus strongly on aftercare with an emphasis on supporting their customers and training them how to operate grinders they may not be familiar with. All geared to getting the best out of their new machine as quickly as possible.

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