A model of consistency in Brazil

Headquarted in the stone-working region of Cachoeiro do Itapemirim, Espirito Santo, Brazil, Gramil Ltda. has been operating for over 25 years with the same ownership -- Benito Paulo Secchin, Attila Vieira Secchin and Marcos Vieira Secchin. And over that time, the company has become a major exporter of Brazilian stone, selling slabs and cut-to-size work as well as blocks.

Overall, 70% of the Gramil's production is exported. The U.S. is the top export target, with 70% of exports being shipped to America. Europe is responsible for 20% of the firm's exports, and 10% goes to other markets.

Breaking down the company's exports by product type, approximately 65% of exports are slabs, mostly to distributors. Cut-to-size work represents 25% of exports, and 10% of exports are in block form. Some completed stone projects include the Mandarin Hotel in Washington, DC, a 9/11 Memorial in Staten Island, NY, and the Phoenix Shopping Center in Hamburg, Germany.

The company has a total of 13 quarries in operation. In the state of Espirito Santo, quarries include Bordeaux in Afonso Claudio; Giallita and Sausalito in Vargem Alta; Azul Acqua Marina and Juparana Itaoca in Cachoeiro de Itapemirim; Super Gray in Castelo; Ipanema White, Polara White and Labrador Green in Colatina; and Dakar in Ecoporanga. In the state of Bahia, quarries include Azul do Mar in Nova Canaan, Savanna Green in Poções, and Carolina Pink quartzite in Jacobina.

The stone is extracted from the quarries using drills and diamond wire saws, and Gramil has more than 60 employees working at the quarries. Overall, the quarries produce 420 cubic meters of stone per month.

Materials produced are Azul Acqua Marina, Azul Cobalto, Azul do Mar, Barracuda Blue, Black São Gabriel, Brazilian Gold, Brown Pearl (New Caledonia), Butterfly Green, Carioca Golden, Caroline Quartzite, Crema Bordeaux (Brunello), Dakar, Delicatus, Fiorito, Giallo Anticquo, Giallita, Giallo Vincenza, Ipanema White, Juparaná Itaoca, Juparaná Wave (Golden Wave), Kinawa Classic, Labrador Premiun, Lapidus, Marinace Green, Maritaca, New Bianco Romano, Pavão Green, Peacock, Polar White, Red Capão Bonito, Royal Mahogony, Sta.Cecilia G, Sta.Cecilia Light, Sta.Cecilia S, Sta.Clara (Super Crema), Sausalito, São Francisco Green, Savana Green, St. Paul, Sunny Gold, White Knawa (Piracema) and Yellow Fonseca.

The main factory is equipped with state-of-the-art stoneworking technology from Italy and Brazil. For slab production, blocks are processed on one of six gangsaws -- including three from Tema Frugoli of Italy as well as three others that were manufactured domestically. Raw slabs are then polished on a Breton polishing line with 19 polishing heads.

For custom work, the company also has equipment from Italy, including a Breton CNC machine, a Comandulli edge polishing machine and two Zonato bridge saws.

Gramil is also planning to invest in new machinery from Italy this year. Upcoming equipment installations will include a new gangsaw from F.Meccanica in March as well as a new 22-head polishing line and an automatic resining line from F. Meccanica in April.

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