Report from Brazil: Using advanced technology to work Brazil's natural resources
June 1, 2006
Established in Santo AndrÃ©, SÃ£o Paulo by Marcolino Rodrigues Da Paz in 1966, Dapaz MineraÃ§Ã£o e IndÃºstria de Granitos MÃ¡rmores began as a supplier of decorative marble and granite for the domestic market. But in 1985, brothers Lino and Fernando Dapaz - in their ongoing effort to develop their father's work - envisioned business opportunities in the external market, and they began exporting slabs and blocks of granite. Today, with six quarries and a modern slab plant in Campo Belo, Minas Gerais, Dapaz exports material around the world. The company's owners are Marcolino Rodrigues Da Paz, Lino Marcos Godinho Da Paz and Carlos Fernando Rodrigues Da Paz, and the head office is located in BraganÃ§a Pauslita, SÃ£o Paulo, Brazil. Quarry sites are in both the states of Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro, and some sites produce more than one variety. Quarries in Caldas, Minas Gerais produce Violeta Tropical, Verde Savana, Verde Kiwi, Branco Dapaz and CafÃ© Imperial (Imperial Coffee), while quarries in Rio de Janeiro are sources for Cascadura and SalmoÃ£o.
The operations include approximately 130 employees, and stone is extracted through a variety of methods, involving diamond wire sawing and expansive mass. Annual quarry production is 6,500 cubic meters overall.
Fabricating plantThe fabricating plant in Minas Gerais is equipped with state-of-the-art machinery, including two gangsaws that were installed in 2005, and two more gangsaws currently being installed. Additionally, Dapaz has invested in a complete Simec plant for resin-treating and polishing slabs, including an oven to dry 30 resin-treated slabs at one time, polishing lines and automated material-handling equipment.
During the production process, the blocks are first processed on the gangsaws, which produce raw slabs. Resin products are automatically applied to the slabs, which then cure in the large-scale drier (oven). After the resin has cured, the slabs receive their final polish on a Simec NP 2100 RX polishing line with 20 polishing heads. This unit has a range of advanced functions to produce a high-quality finished product, and slabs are automatically loaded and unloaded from the polisher using the Simec â€œRapidâ€ material-handling system.
After production is complete, the slabs are wrapped in plastic and bundled as needed, and Dapaz maintains a large inventory of material at the factory.
Sales and marketingApproximately 40% of Dapaz's production is sold in block form, with the remainder being sold as slabs. The U.S. is Dapaz's top importer, bringing in nearly 52% of overall exports, virtually all in slab form. China is the primary market for block sales, and it consumes 36% of Dapaz's overall exports. Among other markets, Spain, Canada, Australia and Japan are importers of Dapaz's production.
As part of Dapaz's sales structure, the North American market is divided into five micro-regions, with four inside of the U.S. (Northeast, West, Southeast and Central) and the whole Canada as the fifth. Breaking down Dapaz's export totals even further, the Northeast consumes 25.51% of overall company production, followed by the West (14.07%), Southeast (8.18%), Central (4.2%) and Canada (6.56%).