Richmond Golf Club is banking on improving its cutting performance by relief grinding back to OEM specifications using its new Foley Company Grinders.
Located six miles from central London, Richmond Golf Club’s acclaimed 18-hole course has undergone significant developments in recent years, including extensive re-bunkering and substantial upgrades to other areas of the course.
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.
Howkins said: “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.
“We have 40 cuttings units of varying sizes, the majority of which are John Deere.”
Ian Clarke, the club’s mechanic, is looking to improve the length of time his units stay 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 very easy to use, we are also planning to improve this further with more of our staff using the grinders,” said Howkins.
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 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 a few of the new features found in the ACCU-Touch 3.
Complementing 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.
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 blades, whether they’re right or left-handed.