Are you an owner, manager, production manager or a project manager in a company operating in the field of metal sheets and having needs for sandblasting or sanding of large surfaces? This article is for you.
This guide will help you evaluate the different features of the product, as well as the advantages and disadvantages in comparison to other equipment on the market. You will therefore get a clear picture of the possible acquisitions to answer to your needs, as well as of the return on your investment in relation to these needs.
During my professional career, I have tested many types of sanding equipment and I have seen the challenges that you face daily, in terms of both the quality of the finished product and recruiting skilled workers. With over 30 years of work experience in the industry, I have frequently had to advise clients on how to optimize their production.
In this article, you’ll learn more about the world of large format automatic sanders. I will outline the main features, the advantages, and disadvantages, as well as some of the major cost factors that will influence the return on investment. I will also answer the questions I often get from customers.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Product description
- For whom is (and is not) the LPP sander made?
- What are the problems/issues/situations that lead the customer to purchase an LPP?
- What are the customer's main questions in the process of buying an LPP?
- Advantages and disadvantages
- Comparisons with other options?
- The difference between a Doucet LPP and the competition
The LPP is an automatic stroke sander designed specifically for sanding long metal plates, as well as for working on large architectural wood pieces, without having to move them. It is versatile and can also work on shorter pieces, making it an excellent choice for businesses that wish to reduce the amount of equipment on their floor.
To consult all the specs, features, and options, go to the equipment page.
For whom is (and is not) the LPP sander made?
The LPP is a niche product aimed at businesses with sanding needs for parts over 12 feet in size. It will often be used by specialized businesses that work as subcontractors for metal, steel, and architectural woodwork manufacturers.
The following are examples of products manufactured with the help of LPP:
- Metal: truck boxes, tank walls, pieces of metal over 12 feet and intended for cutting, etc.
- Wood products: church pew, boardroom table, etc.
The LPP is not, however, designed for businesses without a recurrent requirement to polish large parts. It is not useful for pieces less than one square foot in size. In that case, other equipment, such as a PMC or PMCTA sander, which are limited in size or weight capacity, must be considered.
What are the problems/issues/situations that lead the customer to purchase an LPP?
A shortage of skilled labour
Given the increasing difficulty in finding specialized workers, the use of the LPP sander will make the task easier for workers. With this equipment, it is not necessary to hire a resource specializing in the sanding process and having the physical strength to effectively sand large surfaces.
Doucet thus democratizes the sanding process by allowing a larger number of workers to use the equipment with a short training period. The capacity of the LPP allows an increase in production capacity with no need to employ extra staff.
The need for consistency in results
The larger the part, the more challenging it is for a manual sandblaster operator to apply consistent pressure to the entire surface. This means you are more likely to end up with undesirable unevenness or imperfections.
A smaller tool in diameter will wear out more quickly, forcing the worker to stop more often. It will be more difficult to maintain consistency in the work done.
The LPP can cover a large area more quickly and uniformly. It also cuts down on the cost of maintenance of the sanding equipment and adds value to the job.
What are the customer's main questions in the process of buying an LPP?
We are frequently approached to find out the smallest and the largest size of workpiece the LPP can process and how they are held in place.
The capacity of the LPP is 30'' wide by up to 24' long, depending on the model. It is also possible, as an option, to enlarge the table to 60''. The equipment is not designed for parts less than one square foot.
The sander can be equipped with a vacuum cup system with an individual activation button to hold the parts in place, as needed.
Questions about speed and efficiency
Given the size of the project, the customer wants to know how long it takes to sandblast a particular part.
To be able to answer the question, we need information about the type of material to be sandblasted, such as the initial condition of the material (is it rusty, full of imperfections?), the type of finish the customer wishes to obtain and the grain of sanding paper used, for instance.
While it is hard to give a definite answer, estimates can be given. The sander moves, for example, at a speed of 60 feet per minute lengthwise. Based on the width of the workpiece and the number of passes required, we can obtain an idea of the output.
How many people are needed to operate the LPP?
One employee can operate the LPP. The operator must first place the part to be polished using lifting equipment, and then enter the various data relating to the job to be done (length and width of the part, type of material, etc.). Once the settings have been determined, the equipment does the job automatically.
How high maintenance is LPP?
Since polishing operations generate a lot of dust, there is a minimum maintenance required. It is necessary to clean the surfaces and the equipment using air pressure on a regular basis, according to the use.
It is also worth lubricating a few of the linear or cylindrical bearings occasionally to make the sander move more efficiently. The equipment is low maintenance in general.
Where do I buy the sanding belts? Is it standard size?
Doucet does not supply sanding belts. We do recommend 3M brand, Cubitron or Trizact sandpaper. When you purchase the sander, it comes with 3M products. Through our relationship with our supplier, we can refer a client to a sales rep or to send a client's sample to 3M to make sure they get the best possible solution.
Advantages and disadvantages
- The LPP has a wider range of action (in both length and width) than the other sanders designed by Doucet (APP, PMC, PMCT, PMCTA), as well as equipment currently on the market.
- The LPP can also sand in the direction of the grain, something that is impossible when using a traditional wide belt sander, which is designed to sand in one direction only.
- The LPP includes an Allen-Bradley brand PLC to which customized features can easily be added for your application. The Touch Screen Interface can be modified to change the terms and settings that are available on the LPP and than facilitate the work of the production team.
It is impossible to use the LPP for 3D sanding. This type of polishing can be done using certain types of brush sanders, but the LPP is designed only for linear movements.
Comparisons with other options?
It may be better to purchase an APP, PMC, PMCT or PMCTA sander, according to the business's needs.
The APP has the particularity of having a fixed table, which allows it to handle heavy parts. In comparison, the LPP, which has a mobile table, has a capacity of 1000 pounds. The APP is the preferred option when you must work with very heavy parts.
PMC, PMCT and PMCTA sanders are designed for precise work on small parts. They have limited surface area and weight capacity, but provide a better finish, higher efficiency, and greater return on investment for smaller parts.
The difference between a Doucet LPP and the competition
There is only one other equipment on the market that can polish metal and wood on such long plates. The location of the manufacturer of this sander is in Germany, in another time zone and with different language and culture realities, might seem a less attractive option for a North American based business. The German solution is also significantly more expensive, especially considering the transportation cost for the long trip and the installation cost.
The German sander has a large sanding belt that can cover 25 feet, while the LPP has a triangular carriage and a smaller belt, allowing for more precision and stability on the sanding material. The LPP also has a quicker movement, lower wear on the belt and higher dissipation of heat.
What are the factors affecting the total price?
- The main factor affecting the price of the LPP is the length of the sander. It comes in 16', 20' and 24' sizes.
- Its width also has a significant impact on the price you pay. In the regular size, the table of the LPP extends to 30", but one can be made up to 60", according to the client's sanding needs.
- The addition of the vacuum option to keep the workpieces on the table will also affect the price. This system offers a more solid holding of the material and can be essential according to the size and nature of the parts to polish.
The basic LPP model is 16' long and costs around $160,000. The addition of options can change the cost by a few ten thousand of dollars, making a fully equipped, high volume model reach approximately $200,000.
Is there any installation fee?
The installation of the LPP is not included in the price. This implies that it is important to foresee some additional expenses which will vary according to the distance to travel, as well as to the complexity of the work of installation.
You must also foresee some investments that can be linked to the new machinery, but that are independent of the installation of the equipment by Doucet, such as adding an electric breaker, for instance.
In addition, a dust collector must be placed close to the equipment to ensure that dust and any sparks produced by the sander are properly vacuumed.
A Doucet team will come to the site to install the equipment and make sure that it is functioning optimally. This charge will also include training of the employees to ensure the customer obtains the best possible return on investment, as soon as possible.
Is there a shipping charge?
Are there maintenance costs?
The maintenance cost of the LPP is minimal. It consists mainly of the labour needed to clean up the dust generated by the normal operation of the equipment, as well as for the lubrication of the moving parts.
The only part likely to need replacement in the long run is the contact wheel that applies pressure to the sandpaper. The replacement cost of this piece of equipment is not expensive.
Is there any warranty?
The LPP has a one-year warranty on parts and labour. In case of a malfunction, service and replacement parts can be quickly provided.
Interestingly, each unit comes with a remote connection module allowing the transmission of relevant data to Doucet's experts on the operating status of the unit. The Doucet Technicians are then able to diagnose the problem and even remotely correct the issue, depending on the case.
If you have a need to polish large pieces of metal or wood, the LPP automatic stroke sander
seems like the perfect choice. It will allow you to manufacture parts of a higher quality and more rapidly, which will certainly provide an interesting return on your investment.
In a labour shortage context, it is crucial for manufacturers to automate their installations to improve and standardize production, while at the same time adding value to the various workstations. Because the work is less demanding and involves fewer physical skills, recruitment of the right resource becomes easier.
The LPP is a robust, durable, and easy to use piece of equipment. It requires little handling and very low maintenance. It has been specially designed to meet the needs of businesses producing large parts yet has the versatility to sanding smaller parts. It is the fruit of years of experience in helping businesses like your own grow and optimize their operations.
The next step is to test our materials and see the results. There is nothing better than to see that each action will improve the result and your production efficiency. Doucet is a North American leader in design, manufacturing, and integration of advanced solutions for wood and metal processing companies. Contact us for more information!
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- Complete the “Request a quote” form online.
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- Or call us at: 1-866-673-8876