The stroke sander is one of the machines that some may not have ever even seen before. Then there are some that will have seen one in the past but were not sure what it was for. Lets dip into what a stroke sander is and what its for. I will just touch the high points to give a general feel for the machine. Never hesitate to ask questions as its the best way to learn more.
One of the benefits of working with so many companies all over the globe is you get to see a lot. I have met some amazing folks and seen so many factories I could write a book. Some of those parts and machines are below. It may be you wondered how it was done or how others do a similar process.
Many times companies will ask about a machine they saw online and want to know some basic information. They get that basic information and head down the path of finding some version of that machine. They might look for a larger or smaller version or one that works with the power they have available. But what went wrong is they never asked if it was what they actually needed. When you go to buy things its not often you would get asked about your reasons for looking to buy something. If you went into a shoe store to buy a pair of white shoes that is what you are there for and no one is likely question you.
Polishing, you love it and hate it at the same time just like everyone else. I still think brushed finish exists due a person somewhere getting fed up while polishing and giving up, "That's good enough my arm hurts" is what I bet was said.
One thing I learned early on in machinery was to look to the future. Many times folks will look at a situation with blinders on. The issue here is they miss the larger picture and only see the topic right in front of them. If you focus on just the issue at hand your decisions may let you down later when other issues come to light.
I seems like when I ask someone why they do a task a given way the answer is very often "its how we have always done it". My next question is why? It is very rare anyone can answer that question and I end up with "Well Bill showed me this way". Then I go find Bill and ask the same question and he also has no idea as to why. You can continue this process moving person to person until you end up with the janitor and still have no answer.
As is the case in every market and business costs are key. Doing more with less or getting as much as possible from the resources you have are always important things to look at. When manufacturing is the market in question it can mean many things. So lets look at some of them.