What's on the wish list of wood products manufacturers with regards to sanding and finishing equipment and supplies? Here's what the experts report.

Sanding Wish List

Advanced design solutions for cross grain scratch removal from cabinet doors and frames. They are also looking more and more at combination machines that include wide belt and orbital sanding in one machine frame. This can also include brush sanding and orbital sanding in one machine. – submitted by Steve Jones, product manager, Stiles Machinery Inc.

The ability to use the same equipment for multiple tasks. If they make the investment in a machine, and are taking up space on their floor with it, they would like to have something that’s multi-functional. We also hear requests for multi-head machines that are able to accomplish more applications in one step to increase productivity. – submitted by Warren Weber, manager, SuperMax Tools

Market demands are trending to wider width working capacity for wide belt sanding. We are seeing a push from the market for affordable solutions in 5-foot capacity machines. - Mike Johnson, North American Brand Manager –Viet, Biesse America

Features on larger machines being available on the smaller ones. Items such as sealer sanding, brushes for de-nibbing etc…. Even larger factories that do a lot of sanding are requesting smaller machine for cell type manufacturing and would like to see narrower width machines with lots of features that previously were not available. – submitted by Mike Fogel, product manager for Sandya products, Scm Group

Greater adaptability and productivity in sanding. Can I get my sander to do more? Can they multi-task? The slowdown in the housing market has forced many woodworkers to do more for less as their customers are asking for value added services and the best value for their dollar. – submitted by John Becker, president, SlipCon USA Inc.

All in one machines like planer/sanders, widebelt heads with orbital heads, widebelt and orbital heads with brushing heads, widebelt heads with veneer segmented heads and orbital heads. Special custom built machines for new applications. Automation linked with set up of the machine. Automation with material handling equipment where only one operator is required to run entire sanding line. – submitted by Gary Besonen, national woodworking equipment manager, Timesavers Inc.

More flexibility, combined with automated set-ups. There is a strong desire to broaden the capabilities of new sanding machines, to justify investment in advanced technology. The applications include: high gloss panels, lacquers, sealers, solid-surface materials, as well as high-quality veneers, in addition to standard wood sanding. They want these often complicated set-ups to be fully programmable, automated and easily performed by the operator. – submitted by Rick Hannigan, vice president-sales, Holz-Her US Inc.

More consistent finish sanding technologies regarding segmented pad sanding solutions. These advancements include using magnetic movement of segments over conventional pneumatic air systems. – submitted by Steve Jones, product manager, Stiles Machinery Inc.

Sanding solutions made in the United States. Sanding solutions that are competitively priced, accurate, easy to use, easy to maintain and will support their operations for the years ahead… keeping the solution simple, easy to understand for flat panel sanding. - submitted by Shawn Larkin, sales manager, Safety Speed Manufacturing

Troublefree abrasive belt tracking not affected by dust accumulation. This technology does exist and is available. – submitted by Steve Jones, product manager, Stiles Machinery Inc.

Finishing Wish List

Spray guns that are more ergonomic and weigh less. They must also reduce blotchiness, eliminate halos, and provide consistent color match. - submitted by Roy Young, account manager, DeVilbiss, Ransburg, BGK, Binks

Smaller batch sizes that enable variety in colors, finishes and designs. Manufacturers are responding by developing equipment that makes it faster to change over colors and materials. We are also building more cost-effective equipment with greater capabilities so that technology that would have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars just a few years ago is now available for a fraction of that cost. You can literally create a “finishing work cell” dedicated to materials and processes if need be. – submitted by Dale Dozeman, national sales manager, Cefla North America

A 2K machine that is simple to use, easy to maintain, and will be repeatable with low ratio acid catalyzed coatings. They also want agitators that require less air to run and more accurate low flow fluid regulators. – submitted by Jack Femmel, DeVilbiss, Ransburg, BGK, Binks

We are always asked “What is new?”; “Do I need to be concerned about being green?”; “What do I need to do to have a green offering?” The key is for coatings manufacturers to provide information to fill that gap by outlining the many options that can help finishers achieve their green goals. Formaldehyde and VOC continue to be limiting factors to the wood finishing industry. Our goal is to provide innovative products and services that provide real solutions for our customers. – submitted by Bill Fiorillo, Global Market Director Kitchen Cabinets and Furniture, Product Finishes Division of Sherwin-Williams

Plural component systems with extremely accurate proportioning at very low mix ratios. The customer was currently having difficultly coating the inside of pipes due to improper mix ratios. – submitted by Skye Stapella, product manager, DeVilbiss, Ransburg, BGK, Binks 

Go green. Our customers, their customers, lawmakers, and the regulatory powers in the industry realize we need to continue to advance in our responsibility to the environment. We are constantly looking for solutions that reduce coatings and energy use. – submitted by Dale Dozeman, national sales manager, Cefla North America

On the wish list of the small mom and pop shops is: less over spray; easy to operate and understand the equipment; easy to understand part lists, maintenance procedures and more training; better quality finish with different coatings; and ducation on tips, nozzles and air caps hence are looking for more combinations to handle different coatings. – submitted by S.T. Rajan, vice president, EXEL North America Inc./Kremlin

On the wish list of medium size shops are: more automation; two component mixing machines, may not be fully automatic; handling large size drums with agitation and pneumatic lifts; and an increased number of pumping stations instead of one or two thus saving on time, contamination and a better finish quality. – submitted by S.T. Rajan, vice president, EXEL North America Inc./Kremlin

•  Large size shops are looking to buy: complete automation which could include buffing, spraying, flash off and ovens; UV coatings; totally automatic two component mixing and pumping systems; big on paint kitchen pumps and pumping stations; solvent recovery units; and equipment suitable for applying water based finishes starting from stains to top coats. – submitted by S.T. Rajan, vice president, EXEL North America Inc./Kremlin

More sophistication, with HVLP turbine spray systems adding more features. – submitted by Bill Boxer, Apollo Sprayers International Inc.

Tighter tolerances on airless/air assist airless tips. – submitted by Elizabeth Lisiecki, market development manager, DeVilbiss, Ransburg, BGK, Binks

Machines that will help make more money. We have to be able to demonstrate how any new technology enhances profit margins for quick payback and additional income down the road. We’ve developed more cost-effective auto-spray machines, single-bulb UV ovens with the same production capacity as two-bulb units, PLC controls for UV bulbs to reduce energy costs and increase bulb life, more efficient methods of roll-coating, digital printing with photographic quality, improved edge processing and better ways of drying water-based finishes. – submitted by Dale Dozeman, national sales manager, Cefla North America

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