Top of the range kitchen manufacturer Smallbone of Devizes set an exacting brief when it decided to procure a new sander. It insisted on a level of finish that can only be achieved by the scientific application of abrasives or by laborious, expensive manual methods which rarely deliver consistency.

Production engineer Malcolm Whiteley had to source equipment that would improve the high quality of finish already achieved without further hand work.

Flexibility to cope with solid worktops up to 60mm thick and 1300mm wide, and delicately sand fine veneers for carcase sections was also required.

After considerable research Mr Whiteley ordered a Viet Challenge 323 sander from Trymwood Machinery Sales. It uses three longitudinal belts, all with contact rollers, which have four essential elements to produce successful sanding: the diameter, the cutting speed of the abrasive, the shore hardness of the roller and the angle of the helicoil fluting.

The hardened steel rollers with solid central shafts are dynamically balanced and only natural rubber is used rather than the more common neoprene.

All Viet machines are designed to run long belts which cool and clean better. The machine installed at Smallbone is also equipped with an anti-dubbing facility which enables the rollers to be lowered onto the leading edge of the panel as it passes underneath and then raises it on the trailing edges.

Minimising cross-grain scratching on cross rails is another benefit of roller-applied belts.