Let me begin by stating I am not a machinist, nor have I ever operated a machine for a living. I’m that dirty guy who you hate to talk to, but love to call when there is a problem – The Machine Salesman! Now that I’ve dug the hole, let me explain my background. In 1977, after serving eight years in the US Army, I returned to the US and went to work for an industrial supply and machine tool distributor. I disliked the job and the company so much I spent the next 40 years with them – including seven relocations all across the country. My former company was also a manufacturer, building a premier line of bandsaws and surface grinders. From this, I learned to listen to the customers’ needs and recommend a machine that fit those needs, and that quality is the best policy and to never undersell on price or size just to secure an order.
Surface Grinders of All Shapes and Sizes
There are many brands and models of manual and automatic surface grinders to choose from in today’s market, almost exclusively imported. My introduction to Kent USA Surface Grinders was in 1998, after researching several brands. After retiring in 2016, I joined the Kent Industrial (USA) family at their invitation, and have never looked back.
Representing the Kent USA line of machines was a no brainer for me since I knew their products and was well aware of their quality and serviceability. The SGS series of mostly 3-Axis automatic grinders, with hydraulic longitudinal feed, electronic crossfeed, and incremental downfeed, in a table range from 10” X 20” up to 34” X 88”, and larger models on special order, offers the most competitive prices in the industry. These machines are simple to operate, which makes them popular in a shop with multiple operators, as well as on a production line.
Last year, a customer was looking for a grinder to replace a 1979 Kent USA Grinder with a new SGS-1230AHD. After forty years, the mechanics of the new machine were not much different from the old machine. What had changed was the electronic upgrades. The new safety upgrades included not being able to turn on the spindle until the electro-magnetic chuck was engaged. Additionally, the longitudinal movement had to be engaged before the crossfeed would engage. The downfeed is incremental, either automatic or manual feed. The customer really liked these features and referred to flying objects and ground fingers that occurred on the older machine without these features. Sitting to the side of the new machine is a 1980 Kent USA grinder, still operational and with most repair parts still available from our warehouse. Another large manufacturing facility upgraded to a larger SGS-2040AHD and was amazed at the simplicity of operation and the ease of setting up for a job. This same story is repeated in almost all instances where the customer is replacing an older grinder or upgrading to a larger one. A plant in west Tennessee has an SGS-2040AHD purchased in 1998, and it had never been serviced except by their own in house maintenance crew; they were having issues with the longitudinal table movement. The parts needed to make the repair were in stock at Kent USA, and the machine was up and running in a couple of days. The original call on this was to quote a new machine, but the old one is running and finishing parts to the customer’s satisfaction.
The conclusion is simple: Kent USA automatic surface grinders are precision made to be durable, retain factory specs on tolerance, are pretty much maintenance-free, are pre-run at our warehouse in Tustin, CA to locate any possible issues- thus preventing expensive service calls and downtime, with excellent stock on most all perishable parts for same-day shipping.
More than 5,000 owners, past and present, who have experienced the quality and design of this series of automatic grinders, will agree with this conclusion.