Cold Air Enhances Dry Grinding

Company Overview

Storr Tractor Company is a commercial equipment distributor that has been serving the turf industry since 1945. With branches in New Jersey and New York, they offer a full line of Toro turf equipment and irrigation systems, as well as many other allied products. They have been recognized numerous times for their contributions to the turf industry and are committed to providing their customers with the highest quality products and services. Some of Storr’s customers include major New York sports teams including the Yankees, the Mets, and the Giants as well as golf courses that host major PGA and US Open events.


The Challenge

Storr Tractor Co is a distributor for the Bernhard Reel and Bedknife grinders, which are used for precision sharpening of reel type mowers, commonly found at high profile golf courses and major league sports stadiums. Storr also provides professional sharpening service for many customers who are without grinders. Many customers routinely sharpen their reels every few weeks to ensure perfectly manicured greens, tees, and fairways. Bernhard, Foley, and many other manufacturers typically use a water-based coolant system on their machines to keep the workpiece cool during sharpening. Over time using the coolant system, many grinders will start showing signs of surface rust. This, mixed with the mess created by liquid coolant, is what prompted Storr to look for a new cooling method.


The Solution

Andy Berenty, the Commercial Customer Support Manager at Storr Tractor, was familiar with one of Vortec’s older products that was used to cool and heat automobile carburetor chokes (aptly named Choke Tester). He recalled that Vortec also made a product that was used to cool cutting tools and workpieces in dry machining applications. Andy contacted Vortec and explained the blade grinding application to one of their application engineers.

After reviewing Storr Tractors’ needs together, Andy and the application engineer determined that the 610-1 Cold Air Gun was the best and most economical choice for the application. The 610-1 produces cold air temperatures as low as -10°F (-23°C) and up to 900 btuh of cooling using just 15 scfm (425 slpm) of filtered compressed air. In the application, the Cold Air Gun keeps the mower blades cool during grinding, so they do not expand from the heat to create uneven blade edges.


The Result

The shift to dry grinding with the Vortec Cold Air Gun was a welcomed change for Storr Tractor. It helped them cool vital grinding tools while preventing the rust and mess typically seen with liquid coolants. Over the past few years, Toro has enhanced the material of the cutting components to create longevity and edge retention of the blades that are used in their cutting units. Sharpening this new metal without overheating and creating distortion is key. The labor for maintaining reel type mowers is a huge investment that directly relates to aesthetics, playability, and more importantly, maintaining turf health to minimize water usage as well as expensive chemicals that control a variety of turf diseases. Over the last two years, they have purchased many units to utilize on their in-house machines, along with adding the Vortec 610-1 Cold Air Guns as an optional feature on all the grinding equipment that is used for reel sharpening equipment in our industry.



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