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A rotary machine has two, four, or eight heads rotating from a fixed position. In order for the machine to consistently profile the floor without leaving “rows” or lines in the surface, the rotary movement across the floor has to be constant and swung like a buffing machine.

As each head is rotating, the center of the entire cutting pattern is actually overlapping. The operator has to counteract this overlap by swinging the machine from one pass to another in order to feather the pattern so there are no visible marks from a double cut. This side-to-side motion forms an "S-curve" in the cutting path.

As a side note, one of the main benefits of a rotary and its opposing cuts is that the operator remains comfortable since any force against one grinding head is counteracted by a grinding head rotating in the opposite direction. This makes a rotary very easy to operate and causes less fatigue on the operator.

How to Perform an "S-Curve"

To perform an S-curve, the rotary machine is moved side-to-side during a forward or backward direction to an approximate 20-degree angle on both the right and left sides of the cutting path. The machine is always swung side-to-side in a smooth and controlled way forward or backward.

The only time that a rotary machine can be moved in a straight line is when it is grinding or polishing against an edge like a wall or obstacle. In this case, the machine must be moved in a straight line parallel to the edge going forward. Then, moved out from the wall walking backward and swinging the machine side-to-side in the S-curve motion. This will ensure a smooth transition across the entire surface.


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For any clarification of the above or to discuss your unique situation, please do not hesitate to contact STI or any of its authorized dealers for more help and advice. We are all here to supply you solutions that save you time and make you money.