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GALAXY FLOOR SANDING MACHINES... A TRUE REFLECTION OF THE COMPANY’S COMMITMENT TO INNOVATION

Canadian Industrial Machinery
July 2002

It was just 25 years ago when Jim Tasikas began repairing motors for US-built floor sanding machines. “Hardwood floors were very popular at the time,” said Galaxy President Jim Tasikas, “and the U.S. manufacturers were almost too busy selling machines to start rebuilding them. Over a period of time, say 5 to 7 years, our customers gradually began asking us to repair other parts of the sanding machines, until we reached a point where we thought we should just start making machines ourselves.”

Galaxy designed their first machine to resemble existing products in the North American market. Except for the motors, many of Galaxy’s component parts where out-sourced from other suppliers. Typical of Tasikas’ style, he began talking to the contractors, asking his patented question - “if you could have another new machine, what special features would you want?” This was the foundation for years of innovations created by Tasikas, for his line of Galaxy floor sanding machines. Galaxy currently holds several patents on their products. “I use this customer input,” comments Tasikas, “as a challenge to develop features that were previously not available on any products in the industry. I believe that is what gradually enabled Galaxy to become the market leader.” Galaxy markets their products in North America and Europe and currently sells more floor sanding machines than all of their competitors combined.


Galaxy maintains a large inventory of most models of their machines.
Galaxy currently manufactures 11 different models of machines, each of which offers a unique benefit to the operator. “One model,” says Tasikas, “uses a large drum for sanding, which offers an excellent finish but the type of paper required can get a little expensive for some applications. Another model has a belt and drum together. The belt sander can be used for heavy rough sanding and the drum for finish sanding. We recently developed another model that has a buffer/sander plate that moves in a linear motion. No other manufacturer offers this feature. The advantage of
this design for the contractor is that it offers a superior finish because it moves in the same direction as the grain of the wood, avoiding the creation of lines against the grain.”

Continuing his efforts to make the contractor more productive, Tasikas noticed after surveying a number of contractors that many of them had difficulty handling heavy equipment, including sanders, to the second story of unfinished homes. “After 10 hours working in the field, lifting heavy equipment can get a little tiring,” says Tasikas, “so I began to experiment with different ways of making it easier to transport our sanding machines. Within a very short period of time we will introduce an optional accessory that will enable our machines to walk up a stairway almost completely under their own power.”

In their current location on Northline Road in Toronto, Galaxy’s facility spans a healthy 22,000 square feet of manufacturing and office space. “Since we moved here,” says Tasikas, “we began manufacturing all of our own components. We manufacture everything but the castings for the machines. Our machines are especially well-known for the quality of our motors - a compact, 7 1/2 horsepower, high torque unit that we perfected after years of experience from rebuilding other manufacturers motors.


Rob Fletcher of TopTech inspects parts with Jim Tasikas.

Investing in new technology is another way Galaxy can concentrate on adding quality to the construction and design of his machines and at the same time controlling costs. Recently, he purchased a Top Tech CH7520 turning center from Top Tech CNC Machine of Concord, Ontario. “After surveying the marketplace for the right machine,” says Tasikas, “we decided on the Top Tech machine because it offered high technology and accuracy at a very reasonable price. We can easily hold two tenths on our components and, with this machine, we have almost cut our production time of small components in half.

The CNC Top Tech lathe is a 3-axis, 45-degree slant bed turning center with a full C-axis and live tooling on all of the turret stations. It also has a built-in tool presetter, parts catcher, bar feeder and a programmable tailstock. Now we can do turning, milling, tapping and drilling on the same machine.” How much time is saved with this machine? “We haven’t actually done time study analysis,” insists Tasikas, “but most of the small parts that were manufactured on two machines (a CNC lathe and machining center), are now done on the Top Tech in one set-up.”

Tasikas wouldn’t go as far as saying he is leaving competitors behind in his dust but agrees that his ongoing new product development is helping continuing to make small gains on the marketplace.


For more information contact Top Tech Machine of Concord, Ontario
or Galaxy Floor Sanding Machines in Toronto, Ontario

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