Slab processing in the heart of Italy's travertine region
October 15, 2006
Located near the famed travertine quarries of Italy and the medieval city center of Lucignano - which is defined by its classic travertine architecture - Aretina Marmi srl has developed a state-of-the-art facility for processing travertine slabs, which are shipped to destinations around the world.
Aretina Marmi has two travertine quarries in Italy, and it also began processing blocks of travertine from Peru earlier this year. The fabrication plant added a slab production line from Breton S.p.A. in early 2005, and it offered increased production and greater automation.
Slabs are first processed on a Levibreton KFG polishing line, which is equipped with 13 polishing heads. After this step, the slabs are filled as needed, and left to dry for one day. The filler is applied by hand because the process requires personal attention to make sure all areas of the slab's surface are properly treated - with some areas needing more filler than others. After the filler has dried and cured, it receives its final polish and is ready for shipment.
Slabs are automatically loaded and unloaded from the line using automated machinery from Breton, and this has lowered the manpower requirements in the facility. Only three workers are needed on the new line, as opposed to four or five before making the investment, according to Aretina Marmi.
In addition to slab material, the company also processes some three-dimensional work in travertine - primarily for the local market. These pieces are fabricated using an Antea bridge saw from CMS/Brembana, which can be programmed for complex workpieces.
In all, the facility processes 600 square meters (6,500 square feet) of travertine slabs per day. The company's top market is Italy, which purchases 60% of overall production. However, David Carmignani of Aretina explained that much of the production that is sold within Italy is ultimately distributed to markets outside the country. In addition to this total, 10% of production is sold to other destinations within Europe - such as France, Germany and England - and 30% is sold to overseas markets such as Korea, Brazil and the U.S.