Turkish marble producer strives for quality

With a factory in Afyon and a main office in Istanbul, Turkey, Tem-Mer Marble refers to itself as a "symbol of quality" in the industry. Equipped with technologically advanced machinery, an experienced professional staff, a variety of quarry locations and the ability to export worldwide, Tem-Mer is a relatively new and fast-growing company. The factory first opened in 1998, and the head commercial office opened its doors in February of 2001.

The staff consists of 115 factory workers and 11 office personnel, and the total factory area stretches across a massive 107,000 square meters. Of this space, 42,000 square meters is used for indoor facilities, and 65,000 square meters is for outdoor operations and storage. Additionally, the administrative building stands on 8,000 square meters.

The company's quarries are all located within a day's drive of the factory. The Bilecik Beige (Rosalia) quarry contains Crema Nuova, Crema Golden, Rosalia Light (a popular choice in the U.S.), Rosalia Pink and Rosalia Dark. This quarry is located 144 miles outside of Afyon. Located approximately 270 miles outside of Afyon, the Mugla White/Grey quarry supplies Sugar White and Sugar Gray. The Burdur Beige quarry is located 150 miles from Afyon, containing Burdur Beige, Rustic Beige and Crema Tem, which was introduced in May 2003. The Antalya Lymra limestone quarry is about 500 miles from Afyon, and the last quarry -- located 150 miles from the company's factory -- is the Konya travertine quarry, which opened in the beginning of 2003 and produces Travertine Ivory.

Stone is extracted using machinery from Pellegrini of Italy, including 12 diamond wire saws. The company also has a full range of Caterpillar and Kawasaki loaders; Ingersoll-Rand and Atlas Copco compressors; Caterpillar, Fiat and Hitachi excavators; and sawing and trimming equipment that was manufactured within Turkey.

The factory produces tiles and slabs as well as architectural products such as steps, risers, countertops, window sills and skirting. Four different standard tile sizes are available -- 12, 16, 18 and 24 inches. Additionally, slabs are available filled or unfilled and polished or unpolished.

The factory in Afyon is equipped with the latest machinery from Italy, including three Simec gangsaws and Simec lines for tile processing as well as slab polishing (9 + 16 heads). Other equipment includes a Simec and Socomac mixed splitting line; a series of Simec bridge saws; Simec filling lines for travertine slabs and strips; resining lines from Delta Progetti and Simec; and Pellegrini block processing equipment. This operation's high capacity is bolstered by fully automatic robots that are used throughout the process.

To help maintain the environment, the company utilizes a filtering system from Technofilter Impianto, which processes 16,000 liters of water per minute.

In its first five years, Tem-Mer has undergone several upgrades to its equipment. In one instance, the company has doubled its splitting line production. Another example is the installation of four gangsaws along with space for four more to be integrated in three months. This could boost production up to 3 million square meters per year.

Tem-Mer's primary goal for production is quality. It has established this reputation by establishing a Quality Assurance Unit within the company. The Quality Assurance Unit monitors all stages of production, with a joint effort from the Data Processing Unit. All production stages are entered into the computer system, extending the information to all production points.

According to Tem-Mer, it is the first in Turkey to utilize a fully automatic slab and strip reinforcement system. The Simec resin line allows additional reinforcement to slabs.

Tem-Mer's finished products are sold to markets worldwide. The foreign markets that Tem-Mer continuously sells to are in the Far East, Europe and the U.S. The Far East and the Middle East tend to import cut-to-size and slab marble products, while the U.S. and Europe are major consumers of marble and travertine tiles, according to the company.

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