In November of 2012, Doucet Distributor Mr. Dick Akins of Akins Machinery Inc. received a call from Jonathan Prince Studio looking for a used stroke sander. The details regarding the applications of the customer quickly revealed that the solution to the Studio's needs was not available used, nor would it be an off the shelf, new machine. This customer was asking for something special that Akins Machinery had not sold or seen before. Mr. Dick Akins quotes: "There are many manufacturers out there that can supply a basic stroke sander. But only Doucet Machineries came to mind to us for a specialized solution to fit the customer's specific needs". This is when Mr. Jonathan Prince was introduced to Mr. Pascal Doucet.
Jonathan Prince: "You never have a company where the head of the company gives you his personal number, Pascal Doucet did. I found I was looking for something special so I researched every metal working sander out there I could find, very high end machines from Germany, Austria, Italy, Japan - everywhere. I liked many features out there, but none of them could give me the complete package I wanted and prices exceeded $75,000. I was able to call Pascal to discuss the project at will. My need was the design of a machine where all operating functions offered the maximum flexibility and repeatability possible with features that did not exist all together on any other machine."
Doucet Machineries already manufactures stroke sander/polishers for metal, and had a strong understanding of the needs in this field. Pascal decided he would base this project off of the PMC -312-6 HD stroke sander/polisher, but as Jonathan detailed what he was looking for, it was realized that he had special needs. With Sculpting, the Jonathan Prince Studio would need to fixture special parts of varied shapes and sizes. Work pieces needed a variety of sanding tools to take them to whatever level of finish the sculpture needed from rough sanding to random polishing. Some parts would be curved shaped while other flat, and yet others massive beams. This customer did not need just a sander, but required a custom sanding workstation platform that could handle anything, and could be easily switched over for different applications with independent control of all system features.
- The final product was commissioned in the first quarter 2013 with the following special features:
- Sanding belt drive with variable speed control via VFD from 3300 to 6300 fpm
- Work table with special 6 vacuum cup and t-slot fixturing capability
- Three traveling carriages such as contact wheel, graphite pad, oscillating polishing wheel
- Abrasive belt path deviated into a pitched angle to allow easy access to sanding area for manual graphite hand pads for special curved surfaces
- Custom pedestal control panel with digital HMI interface to manage all functions of unit set up including:
- Table movement and position indication
- Table vacuum generator on/off, vacuum cup valve (open/close) with indication of use
- Vertical movement of table including pre-set positioning
- Sanding belt variable speed control and display, and pre-set speed selection
- Independent carriage activation, speed control, oscillation control
- Florescent work light fixture mounted over table
The end result offering to the customer as mentioned encompasses a very complete sanding work station for the operator with a simple interface for independent control of all the units features. Jonathan.Prince: "Rarely do you receive a machine and are completely delighted. With the Doucet solution every area of the final product fit, function, operation, and customer support, all areas have well exceeded my expectations. This was even at a savings over the others which was a bonus because price was not my primary concern. Its Doucet's willingness to build a solution completely based upon my needs that made this project work."