Part 2 - Tooling and Accessories

Fabricating Technology Roundup

February 5, 2008
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Just as there has been major advancement in equipment for cutting, shaping, polishing and edging stone products (as reported in the January 2008 issue of Stone World), there have also been significant developments in the tooling and accessories for stone processing.

These new introductions in this sector include tooling and accessories such as blades and polishing wheels, as well as products for handling and storage, software and electronic templating and diversified shop products such as air and water treatment systems. The following is a look at some of the latest advancements in this area.



Tooling and Accessories

Abrasive Technology offers specialized P.B.S.® stone tools for custom edge shaping. The brazed tools are developed for high-end users needing a custom tool for a special project, and Abrasive Technology reports a quick turnaround time. The P.B.S. tools are designed to rapidly remove a significant amount of material, leaving a smooth surface finish ready for polishing. The tools can be designed to fit any and all machinery.

Abrasive Technology’s Super-EdgeTM 5-step polishing system is designed to increase production on C-frame edge-polishing machines. The first two metal-bond cup wheels have been reformulated for free cutting action, enabling faster edge shaping and honing. The third resin position has been improved with more diamond depth to increase production and last longer. The 5-step system is designed to increase production by decreasing the number of passes required to achieve a polish. To take full advantage of the increased performance, users should adjust the operating parameters of their machines, such as miter angles, traverse speed and stops settings. All of the tools are snail-lock mounted for quick changeover. A thicker 8-mm, snail-lock backplate for the resin grits saves time by eliminating the need to adjust and lower the hard stop when switching from the metal cup wheels to the resin polishing discs.

Abrasive Technology offers its 5-and 6-inch metal-bond grinders, which perform all removal tasks with in-line polishing machines. The grinders prepare the surface for a high-quality polish. Used on both straight and shaped edges, this tool is made specifically to remove all the material needed and leave a fine finish ready for a polish in the first pass and eliminate any need for rework. The same geometry is used to calibrate the thickness, chamfer the corners, and shape the bullnose or any arced shape being processed. The product is available with a bolt pattern for rigid mounting.

Abrasive Technology’s 5-inch and new 6-inch Super-Edge TM bullnose polishing discs are designed for use on multi-head, in-line automated edge-polishing machinery. The discs use a soft bond to polish fast and eliminate the need for rework. The discs are designed for polishing marble, granite and synthetic and agglomerated stones. They are designed to be installed immediately after a metal-bond forming or shaping tool. A final buff is generally not required. These 5-inch snail-lock discs come in grit sizes from 50 to 3500.

Abrasive Technology’s Super-RokTM P.B.S® diamond discs are designed to be extremely rugged for use on concrete, granite, marble and limestone. The discs are suited for both installation crews and fabrication shops, and they are used for grout chasing, fitting and shaping edges, roughing, texturing and surfacing. Super-Rok offers rapid material removal, making them efficient grinding tools. The discs can be used wet or dry. The discs are available in 4- and 7-inch diameters in formed or mounted configurations. Grit sizes include 40-extra coarse and 100-medium. Other shapes and sizes are available upon request.

Abrasive Technology’s Straight-EdgeTM 4-inch diamond discs are designed for polishing straight edges using “C-frame” automatic machinery. The discs have been engineered to eliminate workpiece end scratches and polish flat edges with a premium finish and quick, high-quality results. The system includes six steps from calibrating to final buff. It is suited for edges measuring 3/4 inch or thicker and includes a buffing disc for an extra-high gloss finish on granite.

Among the accessories that may be added to the AccuGlide Saw at any time is the MiterMaster System. The MiterMaster System produces smooth and precise miters and bevels up to 11 feet long in 2- to 3-cm stone.

The Accu-Glide is designed to be operator friendly and address a wide variety of stone fabrication needs. It was developed and patented by a stone fabricator, and it was engineered to eliminate guesswork and unnecessary operator fatigue.

AGR Diamond Tools USA, Inc. has developed a technologically advanced diamond turbo blade for the professional fabricator. The new turbo blade has been engineered for both speed and longevity. For several years, AGR Diamond Tools has been engineering and testing a new design to develop a fast cutting blade that also provides a long life. The result is a blade with new design improvements and patented Matrixx Maxx Technology, which gives AGR’s products a more durable matrix and longer product life.

AGR Diamond Tools USA, Inc. also manufactures a complete line of polishing pads for the natural stone industry, including polishing pads for granite, marble and concrete fabricators/contractors.

AGR Diamond Tools USA, Inc. has engineered and produced a new version of its diamond core bit. Known as finger bit, AGR has improved this two-in-one tool, which is sold to natural stone fabricators and contractors. As a contractor drills a hole in countertops for faucets, he will not have to change tools in order to smooth and polish the edges of the cut-out. The improvement to AGR’s finger bit is the inclusion of Matrixx Maxx Technology.

AGR Diamond Tools USA, Inc. has developed a new grinding stone as an alternative to black carbide stones. AGR’s new Green silicon carbide grinding stone allows fabricators and contractors to use the stones wet or dry without discharge at the jobsite.

According to AGR, Green Silicon Carbide grinding stones use a patent-pending technology that combines green silicon carbide and resin to create a waterproof, crack-proof and injury-proof grinding stone.

Alpha® has re-designed its successful Guide Rail System to be more easily utilized and transported. This accessory for the AWS-110/AWS-125 Stone Cutters is made of high-quality cast aluminum and was designed to be used with the Alpha® Universal Carriage Assembly. The sturdy straight edges are available in three lengths and may be purchased individually or as a kit.

In the tooling sector, Alpha® has introduced the Trim Master, a dry cutting blade designed for sliding miter saws. This new dry cutting diamond blade is specifically designed to be used at high RPMs. This specialty blade is ideally suited for baseboards, backsplashes, end caps, mirror frames and any other molding applications.

Alpha® has also introduced Surfacer grinding cup wheels - a new grinding wheel system to smooth out the underside of tabletops. This two-step process utilizes two grit types - black for coarse and white for fine. The coarse grit is designed for fast material removal, and the fine grit smoothes out the surface of the stone.

Alpha® also introduced a wet core drill bit for CNC machines and radial arm workstations. This core bit comes with a ½” gas thread, designed for the tool holder. The diamonds and matrix have been selected to minimize blowout at the bottom of the stone, since most CNC router fabrication is done upside-down. This new core bit utilizes the same technology as Alpha’s wet and dry core bits.

Blick Industries’ new core drill supports allow CNC machines to core drill faucet holes all the way through, eliminating the need to chip out cores by hand and risk blowout. The core drill supports are placed underneath areas to be drilled and have a sacrificial top rubber pad that is designed to be drilled into many times and then replaced. The pads are pre-calibrated and easily changed without the use of tools.

Blick Industries is offering a “Countertop System” for CNC machinery that is designed to decrease setup time and increase holding power. The Countertop System consists of large suction cups that are 500 mm (20 inches) long. This allows them to span the entire 25-inch depth of a countertop, leaving room for tool clearance. Two widths are available - 250 mm (10 inches) and 150 mm (6 inches). With these large cups, fabricators can securely hold a large countertop with only a few suction cups. This speeds up set-up by cutting down on the number of suction cups to connect and position.

The Mad Max 4-inch Butter turbo blade from Bonanza Tool & Supply has a flush-mount adapter ready with a 5/8- to 7/8-inch arbor-reducer bushing for 20-mm work, and it fits all 4-inch grinders and saws.

The Mad Max 20-mm ogee profile blade from Bonanza Tool & Supply was designed for decorative edging in marble and granite. Its unique segment design is very aggressive, yet provides a consistent edge, the company reports.

The Mad Max grinder/router V40 profiler bit from Bonanza Tool & Supply is a very aggressive segmented profiling tool, the company reports. It includes a 5/8 - 11” thread, and its double bearing is suited on granite and other hard stones.

Braxton-Bragg Corp. and Ghines have teamed up to offer state-of-the art CNC tooling for stone fabrication. Ghines CNC tooling, known as “GhinesTools,” is manufactured with the best diamond treatments known today - sintering, vacuum brazing, electroplating and vulcanization, so that each phase can quickly and efficiently provide the best degree of finishing. GhinesTools are suitable for use on any natural or engineered stone material, Ghines reports, and they can be used on any CNC machine by modifying the connection. GhinesTools never loose their shape, and each tool has mechanical matching for every shape so operators do not have to reset the machine after each use. All profiles are available in the Braxton-Bragg CNC Tooling Catalog.

The premium Talon Platinum line from Braxton-Bragg Corp. is an extensive line of tooling that includes blades, core bits and polishing pads. The Talon Platinum AX is a fast, precise and quiet blade offered in 14- and 16-inch sizes in a layered diamond design that provides an even cut throughout the blade life, the company reports. A smaller version of this blade is available in the 5- and 7-inch Talon Platinum AX, which utilizes the same, layered diamond technology to cut granite, marble and engineered stone. The latest blade introduced to the line is the Talon Platinum rodding blade with a 3-inch diameter and 1/4-inch-wide segments to complete all perfect rodding channels for steel or fiberglass rods.

Two types of polishing pads achieve the ultimate polish - the Talon Platinum XLS and Talon Platinum dry pads. Both long-lasting pad sets are available in 4 inches and produce high-quality results in record time.

Cemar Electro, the world leader in laser line generators for more than 20 years, presents our model CL-830B laser, configured especially for bridge saw applications. With 30 mw of laser power, it has optimal power and is backed with a warranty and service. Cemar Electro reports a 48-hour turnaround and a two-year warranty on repairs.

The CL-830B features a patented “Linear Lens” and the company’s state-of-the art “Powershift” technology. It also comes complete with a bracket that is simple to mount and easy to adjust as well as a power supply that wires directly into the panel and works with both 110- and 220-watt power.

Specially developed for the stone fabrication sector, XOC blades from Diamant Boart were engineered for increased speed, high performance and superior quality. These blades are based on the latest technology, with revolutionary new diamond bonding, innovative design and Diamant Boart’s experience in the industry.

All the XOC blades are developed for intensive professional use and are 15 mm high.

XOC blades are designed to cut all kinds of granite.

Diamax reports that in highly controlled tests performed at Environ Labs, Cyclone and Hurricane blades performed well against the most recognized brands in the industry. According to Diamax, the tests showed that Cyclone was the fastest cutting blade among the brands, and it could also deliver over 3 feet of linear cut in 3-cm Absolute Black stone per dollar of blade cost.

Diamax reports that the latest addition to the DryFlex brand allows fabricators to polish dry or wet in only five steps at 4,000 RPM. Moreover, Diamax reports that the job requires only four steps with many types of stone.

The latest edition of the Cyclone dry core bit from Diamax comes with an all-new, T-shaped segment. With the vertical part of the “T” inlaid and firmly cemented within the core, segment loss is avoided, the company reports.

Diamond Tech has developed blades for cutting glass tile that are engineered for durability and efficiency. Each blade is made of strong stainless steel, selected for its resistance to corrosion and rust. The blades are coated with fine diamond abrasives, which allow the blade to glide through glass cleanly and easily, minimizing grind time. Its thin cutting edge means that intricate cuts are possible with minimum glass breakage and cracking.

DITEQ-Diamond Tools & Equipment has introduced new diamond tool manufacturing technology - Arix, which was engineered to provide 30% faster cutting speed combined with twice the blade life. The Arix diamond blades have been precisely designed with individual diamond particles arranged throughout each segment. Each diamond is strategically located to deliver maximum efficiency, and they are spaced out evenly so they do not interfere with each other’s support structure. The diamonds are also treated with a proprietary process to increase their ability to resist being crushed. DITEQ offers Arix technology in blades, finger bits and router bits.

Ghines offers shaped wheels for any machine - manual, semi-automatic or CNC - modifying dimensions and connections. The company has taken advantage of each diamond processing technique (sintering, vacuum-brazing, electroplating, vulcanization) to obtain a premium set of shaped wheels. The progressive processing capacity is identified by a sequence of different positions and colors (Position 1-black, Position 2-red, Position 3-yellow, Position 4-white, Position 5-blue, Position 6-orange).

The green wheels allow rough shaping of the workpiece, ensuring easy and quick stock removal. The black wheels are engineered to always keep their true shape and ensure accurate and unchanging performance. The red wheels guarantee optimum honing, while the yellow wheels perform a fine diamond application and high mechanical precision, offering optimum finishing quality - Ghines reports.

The white, blue and orange polishing wheels, manufactured under a Ghines patent, incorporate the diamonds into a rubber strip devoid of any irregularity. They have a controlled expansion that allows a perfect contour with no pressure and match until the desired polishing is achieved.

Ghines has also developed a set of discs for processing and polishing grooves on the slab. The usual and well-known Ghines Tools philosophy remains unchanged: the progressive cutting capacity is identified by a sequence of different positions and colors (Position 1-black, Position 2-red, Position 3-yellow, Position 4-white, Position 5-blue, Position 6-orange).

The black tools ensure accurate shaping; the red tools guarantee optimum honing; and the yellow tools perform a perfect finishing operation, the company reports. The white, blue and orange tools incorporate diamond into a rubber strip with no irregularities, with controlled expansion, allowing a perfect contour and the achievement of the desired polishing level.

In only seven passes, the Ghines Flat Line Series performs the processing and polishing of flat surfaces as well as inclined edges, using state-of-the-art diamond technology.

The progressive cutting capacity is identified by a sequence of different positions and colors (Position 1-black, Position 2-red, Position 3-yellow, Position 4-white, Position 5-blue, Position 6-orange).

The green tools allow stock removal on the workpiece. The black tools ensure accurate shaping, and the red tools guarantee a perfect honing. The yellow, white, blue and orange tools allow the user to achieve the desired polishing level.

UHS (Ultra High Speed) technology is a breakthrough in the design of modern diamond tooling from ADI and GranQuartz. UHS technology drastically improves tool feed rates and overall machine production yields.

UHS technology allows a fabricator the option to more than triple a profile tool’s speed or double its tool life. According to the company, the new UHS profile tool can perform at a rate of up to 150 inches per minute. UHS technology also makes it possible to now mill bowl holes at a feed rate of up to 24 inches per minute, according to GranQuartz, while enjoying longer tool life.

“ADI’s existing Eraser System is being supercharged with UHS technology for the ultimate blend of speed and polish quality. In fact, the biggest constraint to a fabricator’s productivity now is whether the fabricator can keep up with the speed of the UHS tools,” said Paul Taylor, Diamond Consumables Product Manager for GranQuartz. “A fabricator can achieve much greater utilization of their biggest capital investment, their CNC, with ADI Ultra High Speed tools.”

The S-Segment Evolution blade has been exclusively sold and developed by Granite City Tool to be one of the fastest cutting blades in the industry. According to the company, testing results have shown the Evolution blade cutting up to 12 feet per minute in 3-cm (1 ¼-inch) stone in a single pass, while maintaining a smooth cut.

ITI Diamond Tools, an American manufacturer of stone tools, has developed portable router bits for premium profiles such as triple pencil, cove ogee, cove DuPont and waterfall. These profiling bits have been specifically designed to let fabricators without expensive CNC machinery offer a broader range of countertop profiles. This 7-step system was designed as a complete shaping and polishing solution for complicated profiles. Positions 1 through 4 create the profile in the stone, and Positions 5 through 7 complete the polish with a specially formulated resin bond. The tools are manufactured in Oxnard, CA, using high-quality diamonds to ensure high performance and long life. Fabricators can order these profiling bits for 3-cm and 4-cm stone countertops, and they fit on standard portable routers, including the most popular industry models.

The new Pearl Abrasive Co. silent core ReactorTM blade with Advanced Diamond Matrix (A.D.M.TM) Technology, available from Keystone Tools, was created to achieve greater blade performance. A.D.M. Technology replaces the random clustering of diamonds with an entirely new engineered diamond matrix. Diamonds are placed in specific patterns (Patterning Technology) and concentrations to achieve real cutting enhancements and performance. Diamonds are layered (Layering Technology) with precision and uniform distribution in the matrix. The benefits of blades made with A.D.M.TM Technology are uniformity in quality and cutting efficiency. Also, since the diamonds are patterned for maximum working capacity and are application specific, blades can now be made for specific types of cutting applications, which results in faster cutting speeds. Reactor 14- and 16-inch blades have a full 18-mm segment height.

The Keystone Tools ReconTM turbo diamond blade is made for precision dry cutting without breaking or chipping the work surface. The special matrix is suited for cutting granite. The Recon diamond blade comes in a variety of sizes, from 4 to 7 inches.

Magma turbo blades were designed to offer excellent cutting characteristics at a low price. The blades are available in 4, 4.5, 5, 6, 7 and 8 inches.

Magma marble blades feature a vacuum-brazed design that allows fast, chip-free cuts on marble, limestone and other delicate stones, the company reports. The blades are available in 4, 4.5, 5, 6 and 7 inches.

The Magma Twist drum wheel is resin filled for smoother grinding without bouncing. The wheel can be used wet or dry and has a 5/8” - 11 thread. It is available in 2- and 3-inch sizes.

Magma wet polishing pads are diamond imprinted with a 3-mm-thick Velcro connection. They are recommended for use on polishers only. They are available in a 3-inch size that comes in grits of 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1500, or 3000 as well as black or white buff. They are also available in a 4-inch size that comes in grits of 30, 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1500 or 3000 grit as well as black or white buff.

Magma router bits are designed to quickly process hard-to-polish edges in natural stone. The full bullnose bits are available in a 2-cm size for Positions 0, 1 and 2; a 3-cm size for Positions 0, 1 and 2; a 4-cm size for Positions 0, 1 and 2; and a 6-cm size for Positions 1 and 2.

Magma router bits are also available in a half bullnose, demi-bullnose, DuPont, bevel, double ogee, triple waterfall, triple pencil, ogee bullnose, Type O, cove, ogee over ogee, long nose demi, Type A and a pro-edge ogee.

Magma finger bits have four and six segments, which allow faster and smoother cutting, the company reports. They are available in 40- and 48-mm sizes.

RockMaster diamond polishing pads from Master Wholesale are made from high-grade diamond and resin-bond matrix, and high-quality Velcro backing. The RockMaster pads will give stone and porcelain a beautiful shine. The company reports that it has a broad variety of grits available.

Northwood Machine Manufactur-ing offers a wireless remote control for the company’s line of stone machining centers.  The compact remote, which is about the size of a BlackBerry®â€¯phone, can be worn on the operator’s wrist and virtually eliminates the need to walk back and forth from the machine to the control console when setting up parts. The remote saves time during set-up, which results in increased productivity.

With a simple push of a button (up to 300 yards away from the machine control console), the operator is able to use the remote to perform the following procedures when setting up parts:

 Placing and locking pods

· Activating part flotation for precision alignment

· Vacuuming parts to pods

· Switching laser projection from pod placement to part placement

· Placing the machine in feed hold mode

Ocean Diamond has introduced APEXX sintered router bits to fit most portable routers on the market. APEXX offers sintered router bits of all popular profiles as well as special profiles, with Positions 1 and 2 available (Positions 3 and 4 are also available upon request). Custom profile router bits can be delivered within one week.

The sintered router bits are designed for use on all kinds of marble and granite and all brands of engineered stone, with fast profiling speed and extended life.

Ocean Diamond has also introduced APEXX segmented router bits (Position 0 bits) that fit most portable routers on the market. The company reports that segmented Position 0 router bits provide a higher profiling speed with extended life. Most popular profiles are available, including ogee, full bullnose, demi-bullnose and bevel for 2-, 3- or 4-cm material.

Ocean Diamond offers new APEXX diamond porcelain bits for drilling holes in porcelain tiles. The initial offering includes non-core bits (OD 3/16”, ¼” and 5/16”) and Core Bit (OD 3/8” through 2”). APEXX porcelain bits were designed for optimal performance - when used with water - on the hardest porcelain tiles. These bits will also perform well on marble, granite and ceramic tiles, the company reports.

Ocean Diamond introduced the new APEXX dry core bits with diamond side protection for drilling holes on granite and engineered stone with or without water. These dry core bits have been engineered to provide optimal cutting speed and extended life when drilling through the hardest 2-cm or 3-cm materials. The performance is best when used wet. These dry core bits fit standard high-speed angle grinders with a 5/8”-11 spindle, and they should be used at a minimum of 6,000 RPMs and a maximum of 12,000 RPMs, with an optimum speed of 8,000 to 10 RPMs. The initial offering includes 1-¼”, 1-3/8” and 1-½” diameters.

Ocean Diamond dry core bits

www.oceandiamondtools.com

APEXX T-108 cutting tips from Ocean Diamond are designed for sink cut-outs when used on radial arm polishers. The T-108 cutting tip has a M12 male thread and can be used with an adapter to fit different machines. While providing an optimal cutting speed, APEXX T-108 Cutting Tip also offers extended life - as many as 16 sink holes on 3-cm granite can be cut when used properly.

Ocean Diamond cutting tips

www.oceandiamondtools.com

Oma System has been working in the stone field for over 15 years, producing innovative manual hydraulic and electric machines for stone processing at its facilities in Aprilia, Italy.

Additionally, the company manufactures sintered and electroplated diamond polishing wheels for both manual and CNC machines. During the last five years, Oma System has invested a considerable amount of human and financial resources in the R&D of CNC tools. The outcome is a kit - with patented technology and quality raw materials - that offers optimal processing speed, tool life and quality of finish, the company reports.

The “CNC 6 Plug & Play Kit” is a complete set of CNC wheels that allows work to be completed in six minutes. Included in this process is the parametric card, the height adjustment and the geometry of the profile, guaranteed by a 0.05 mm tolerance on all wheels.

Marmoelettromeccanica diamond tools for working marble, granite, natural and engineered stone were born from the cooperation with the main manufactures of CNC machines. These tools, which are available from Regent Stone Products, allow fabricators to reach optimal results in grinding, smoothing and polishing. Products include finger bits for cutting, core drill bits for the pre-working phase and three lines of profile wheels (Lines 60, 40 and 20) as well as countersink wheels.

The patented metal-bond shaping bits are guaranteed by the company to retain their shape throughout the entire life of the wheel, and the Longlife polishing wheels are engineered to produce a perfect polish every time.

Marmoelettromeccanica’s Line 20 tools were designed to realize internal edges of the sink holes with minimum diameters. Line 20 is composed of wheels with a minimum diameter of 20 mm and ½“ gas fitting. They are completely compatible with the leading CNC machine manufacturers and have the following advantages:

· Long tool life

· Optimal results in both profiling and polishing

· No lines or waves in the finished phase

The Line 20 tools from Marmoelettromeccanica also allow the completion of small bumpouts and tight inside radii. Now available is the "Designer Collection," newly designed CNC bits that shape and polish open profiles while removing the sharp corners on the bottom, thus eliminating the need to remove them by hand.

Regent announced the availability of the Tiger Series of tooling, which was designed to balance performance and quality. According to the company, the average consumable cost per foot can be reduced by as much as 40%. The Tiger Series includes dry cutting turbo blades, wet diamond polishing pads, core bits and curve-cutting blades. As demand increases for this line of tooling, Regent reports that it will introduce new products.

Salem Stone is the exclusive North American representative of Diamut diamond tools. Diamut has developed a reputation as a leading manufacturer of diamond tooling for both CNC and manual applications. Diamut’s commitment to quality begins with utilizing high-quality raw materials - from base metals to bonding materials to industrial diamonds. These elements are brought together utilizing over 30 years of experience to ensure the diamond tools will yield longer life, lower operating costs and maximum productivity, Diamut reports.

A new effect is possible on granite and marble, due to the new “Airflex Twin” tools by Tenax. This patented tool allows the material to reach a high gloss in river washed or antique finishes. They are available both for the surface treatment and for edge matching.

The Tenax Fusion family of abrasives is available in all the common shapes (sectors, Frankfurt, snail-lock, etc.) allow for performances similar to the metal-bond version at a low cost, the company reports. They are available from very aggressive grits to the higher end of the spectrum. Their unique composition and breakthrough technology allow lower polishing costs and increased production, according to Tenax.

Tenax is developing a new nanotechnology plastic component to cut granite, engineered stone and marble. The obvious advantages will be a reduction in cost and a smooth and almost polished effect on the rough-cut surface, Tenax reports. The company is planning to have these blades available to the general public in the next six to 12 months.

VMC introduces Velcro-backed Pro Edge diamonds. Attached to a snail-lock backer, this new generation of 4-inch diamond abrasives has been engineered to produce excellent results on all single-head automatic edge machines. VMC Pro Edge diamonds are extremely economical and have been designed to match the edge’s polish to that of the factory’s polish on the top of the slab, with no buff required.

Z. Bavelloni offers an extensive product range of diamond and polishing tools for CNC stone processing machines. To support its growth in the stone market, the company is continuously strengthening its sales organization and distribution network.

Over the last few years, Bavelloni has considerably expanded its product range of diamond and polishing wheels. The company now offers tools for any grinding and polishing operation for stone, including applications such as edging of natural stone and engineered materials for kitchen sinks as well as for deep flat pocketing on solid granite.

The company also has expanded its offerings to cater to the needs of all customers’ tooling requirements for many competitive equipment lines.

Currently it maintains a wide range of diamond and polishing tools in stock, ready for delivery within 15 days. Bavelloni is also offering special sintered and electroplated tools for granite, engineered material and marble processing on CNC machines.

To support the growing needs of major markets, the company has tool manufacturing sites in Brazil and China as well as in Italy. Bavelloni tools are promoted and distributed through Glaston, which utilizes a worldwide distribution network.

 



Material handling and storage

AccuGlide Saws introduces the AccuGlide TiltTable, a professional full slab table designed to take the stress out of slab handling and provide a 7- x 12-foot table surface for production cutting with the AccuGlide rail saw.

Once loaded and secured, one man can tilt a full slab down for cutting in under five seconds, the company reports. Utilizing a unique counter-tensioner design, a 1,500-pound slab can be lowered without using an electric or hydraulic system. After the slab is cut, the countertop pieces may be locked in and tilted up to the vertical position for convenient off-loading.

The TiltTable’s heavy welded steel frame is powder coated for durability. The table top is layered with a waterproofed wood subsurface and topped with renewable concrete strips. The total weight of the AccuGlide TiltTable is 1,160 pounds.

Additional features include built-in drainage channels for full water containment, leveling capabilities for an uneven shop floor, built-in safety features and an overhead swing arm to keep power and water lines out of the way. The TiltTable lowers softly onto industrial springs and securely locks in the vertical or horizontal position for safe slab loading and cutting. Its ultra smooth operation and movement offers worry-free handling of oversized granite slabs, fragile marble and porous limestone.

Advanced Industrial Machinery’s (AIM’s) industrial cutting, sawing, abrading and drill systems offer stone fabricators custom-made material handling solutions to maximize productivity.

The key to the through-put of AIM’s machines is not just how quickly they cut stone, but how easily they move it, the company reports. Every AIM system works with a wide range of automated, easy-loading transfer tables that keep the work area free of obstructions that cut into productivity. AIM’s transfer table options include fixed, concrete tilt, fixed dual, dual concrete and pallet-style transfer tables.

With an eye on maximizing material flow within the shop, regulating the time involved in material handling and reducing dependence on labor, Breton has innovated the first Automatic Resource Management Systems (A.R.M.S.).

Breton A.R.M. Systems are customized material warehousing solutions designed to automate the order-fulfillment process - starting with the receipt of inbound material and continuing to where it exits the facility as finished product.

Incoming slabs are robotically picked from stock A-frames, and then they are photographed, marked for defects, applied with protective film and bar-coded for storage before being transferred to the warehousing unit.

Depending on the type of material to be stored, the warehousing units are engineered to store slabs vertically in a magazine configuration, or horizontally stacked in multi-level units, or a combination of both. The control automatically records the location of the piece prior to storage, and the operator only recalls the pieces required. Or, the entire process can be automated and integrated with Breton’s Fabmaster system.

At each stage, the workpieces can be automatically placed onto A-frames or conveyors for movement into workstations or positioning onto the worktables of the machines. The cut-to-size and finished pieces are conveyed back into the warehousing unit for storage prior to installation, where they can be called and their status updated.

All handlings of slabs and semi-finished products are carried out automatically, in a protected area. The operator is not asked to make manual operations, as the loading/unloading, sequential unloading and pick-up operations are fully automatic and take place in a virtually unattended, protected area.

The automatic warehouse makes it possible to store more slabs on each square foot of the workshop that is devoted to warehousing. Moreover, in case of warehouses for semi-finished products, free-moving carts for material handling are no longer needed.

Founded in 1879, F. Barkow Inc. is the oldest manufacturer of flat-glass carriers in the U.S. The same technology that has served the flat-glass industry for more than 125 years has successfully been applied to the stone, marble and granite industry.

Barkow stone carriers have been specifically designed to meet the challenges of moving highly breakable products from point A to point B with an emphasis on safety and eliminating employee injuries.

These stone carriers mount approximately 18 inches off the ground, which is well suited for loading or unloading stone onto a dolly. The product is in a “back-friendly” position, and stone is firmly secured by Barkow’s exclusive Barpad®, Barkleat® and Stake-LocTM features. Other features include:

· 1 ½- x 1 ½-inch square structural tube framework and removable stakes

· 5-inch useable ledgeboard allows up to four 1 ¼-inch pieces of stone

· Easily field-installed, no welding required

· Payload should not exceed 1,000 pounds per side

· Interior stone carriers also available in a variety of sizes

· Manufactured in high-tensile steel, aluminum or stainless steel

The F. Barkow Backsplash Caddy was designed as a space-saving way to safely transport backsplashes. Features include:

· Aluminum construction

· Holds three 8-foot-long backsplash sections; overall 8 inches wide

· Designed for 2-cm or 3-cm backsplashes

· 94 inches long; fits in cargo van or pickup truck

· Rear loadstop; splash slides in from open end of caddy

· Rubber matting on bottom cushions stone minimizes movement

· Trim-Lok® on top edges ensure that backsplash never touches metal

The EZ-Set stone lifter from Granite City Tool is a multi-use placing tool to easily and quickly place large pieces of stone, modular block, boulders, pipe and timbers on landscaping and construction jobsites. Four specialized lifting plates are available for lifting, including models for stone, paver banded plates, boulders and pipe/timber.

Technical Details

· Rated to lift up to 1,000 pounds

· Versatile straight lifting plates for stone steps and other rectangular materials

· Lifting plates are rubber-padded to hold material safely and securely

· 360-degree swivel coupler enables perfect placement of materials

· Four quick-release pins make switching to optional lifting plates a snap

 

Granite City Tool slab carts are designed to transport and install countertops into a home with minimal effort. The top tilts 80 degrees to get the countertop through doorways. The base is 2 feet wide, and the height is 36 3/8 inches. The tilting operation has a tensioning clutch to control the horizontal movement. Pneumatic wheels are standard, and the cart’s capacity is 1,200 pounds.

GranQuartz offers the Total Solutions program for material handling in the stone industry. The Total Solutions program is a comprehensive line from the brands of Gorbel, Manzelli, Aardwolf and Diarex that covers every stage of stone handling - from unloading to storing, production, transporting and installation.

Gorbel workstation cranes and Manzelli vacuum lifters are a proven way to improve productivity, increase quality and provide a safer work environment. According to the company, customer case studies found that the use of a Gorbel workstation and a Manzelli Vacuum Lifter increased productivity by 25%. Through the automation of Gorbel and Manzelli, one person can move a slab efficiently and safely, GranQuartz reports, adding that Gorbel workstation cranes are easy to install and are available in steel or patented aluminum. Custom-built to the size of any shop, the freestanding overhead cranes have capacities ranging from 250 to 4,000 pounds.

Manzelli lifter models range in capacities of 1,100 to 4,400 pounds and include many standard features, including automatic safety alarms for sufficient vacuum power, adjustable vacuum plates to fit different pieces such as L-shaped tops, rubber gaskets to lift polished, honed or some rough-cut materials (may reduce load capacity), vertical/horizontal tilt from 0 to 90 degrees, an emergency backup reservoir if the primary air supply is interrupted, a vacuum line filter to trap dust and moisture, an overhead hooking eyebolt and an electro-welded and corrosion-resistant steel frame.

International Machine Corp. (IMC) carries a broad range of Dal Forno material handling equipment, suited to help fabricators of all sizes maneuver material throughout the stone fabrication shop. Included is a full line of vacuum lifters, overhead systems and column cranes.

Keystone Tools offers the Abaco line of stone handling equipment. A-frames from Abaco come in many styles, from universal stationary frames for use in the shop to truck frames for easy transportation of slabs. Also for slab transport, Keystone Tools carries Abaco slab buggies, dollies and the new self-locking trolley.

Telescoping forklift booms and “The Little Giant” lifter round out a full line of Abaco products, which make the jobsite more manageable. The Abaco handling equipment has been designed to save time and prevent heavy lifting, thus allowing for a more organized, safe and secure working environment.

Master Wholesale also offers the Abaco Little Giant Lifter, which has a compact design that will help solve the problem where headroom is an issue. Benefits include the following:

· Strong lifting pin

· Lower overall height

· Straight lift

· Large grip range

· Bow shackle

The unit is for lifting 15- to 75-mm-thick material (safe working load = 2,640 pounds.) These clamps feature rubber-lined jaws, and they have been developed to handle material in slab or sheet form (stacked in racks) without damaging the material's surfaces.

This new Abaco Lifter has an "unbreakable" center plate, which makes it safer than the previous design. With compact construction, the clamps allow for close-packed slabs to be lifted out of racks and containers. Lower-height slabs placed along side of taller slabs do not pose an issue, the company reports. Because the clamping mechanism is to the front of the slab, they allow panels to be placed close against walls.

The Stone Boss Tri-Dolly comes with two pneumatic wheels and one swivel caster. The offset axle allows the caster to share the load weight, coupled with a rubberized 4-inch channel. The product is well suited for jobsites where a tight turning radius is important. The size of the unit is 33.5 x 14 inches (wheel to wheel), and the maximum capacity is 880 pounds.

The Stone Boss self-locking trolley is suited for moving finished work and heavy pieces on a jobsite. The unit is equipped with rubber clamps, and large 15-inch pneumatic wheels enable the trolley to maneuver over rough terrain. The size of the unit is 20 x 20 inches (wheel to wheel), and the maximum capacity is 880 pounds.

Stone Boss also offers a range of Aardwolf slab lifters, including the following:

· Model 50 - 2,645-pound capacity; 3/8- to 2-inch grip

· Model 60 - 2,200-pound capacity; ¾- to 2 ½-inch grip

· Model 75 - 2,200-pound capacity; 1 ¾- to 3-inch grip

Stone Boss transport A-frames are suited for transporting material from shop to site. These frames can be loaded onto any truck by forklift or crane. The wheels and wheel handle are included. Measurements are as follows:

· Model SBTF6 - 6.5-foot length x 3.5-foot width x 4.5-foot height; 2,200-pound capacity

· Model SBTF8 - 8-foot length x 3.5-foot width x 5.33-foot height; 2,200-pound capacity

Stone Boss demountable A-frames provide stability for finished pieces in any shop. Rubber-sided framing protects the stone from chipping and scratching. Frames are easily placed on the truck with or without a cart, and the cart and wheels are included. The size is 4.33 feet long x 4.33 feet high x 3.16 feet wide, and it can accommodate a maximum weight of 2,200 pounds.

Aardwolf forklift booms from Stone Boss are made from high-grade rectangular tube steel for dependable strength, reliability and safety. The FB2 can handle 1,200 to 6,000 pounds, while the FB1 can handle 1,000 to 4,000 pounds.

Wood’s Powr-Grip® announced the addition of yet another model in its growing line of stone lifting equipment - the air-powered Tilter 600 (Model PT4HV11AIRS). Equipped with air-powered 90-degree tilt, sliding pad mounts and individual pad shutoffs, this vacuum lifter from Wood’s Powr-Grip offers maximum versatility in the configuration of its pad frame for handling stone and other high-density materials. The standard foam pad rings enable the lifter to seal onto honed, saw-cut and even flamed stone, as well as polished stone surfaces. Sliding pad mounts and individual pad shutoffs allow easy handling of irregularly shaped slabs or countertops with sink cut-outs.

With an apply time of about 5 seconds, the air-powered Tilter 600 can also transfer materials between upright and flat positions in as little as 10 seconds. The spring-mounted vacuum pads are equipped with individual shutoffs, as well as blow-off for quick release. A vacuum gauge, vacuum reserve tank and a vacuum line filter complement the quality and utility of the air-powered Tilter 600.

Available options for the Tilter 600 include the vacuum loss warning buzzer (EO3VLW), voltage adaptation (EO6VA), alternative frame dimensions and alternative configurations and AC and DC power systems.

The Wood’s Powr-Grip® MT8HV11 is a robust manual tilt lifter capable of handling 1,200 pounds, and it was designed to fit between tight, vertical storage racks. These vacuum lifters can handle stone and other high-density materials with rough surfaces or irregular shapes.

In its standard configuration, the MT8HV11 offers manual tilt capability with load manipulation of 90 degrees between the upright and flat positions. The eight 10-inch-diameter vacuum pads are equipped with closed-cell foam pad rings, which facilitate lifting loads that have rough or irregular surface textures. The MT8HV11 also has individual shutoffs to all vacuum pads, allowing the lifter to attach to loads that are smaller than the pad frame. A vacuum gauge, vacuum line filter and nylon slings are other standard features.

The MT8HV11 is available with a DC power system (MT8HV11DC), a compressed air (Venturi) power system (MT8HV11AIR), or an AC power system (MT8HV11AC). In the standard configuration, the power system is remotely located. Frame-mounted power systems are optionally available for the DC- and AC- powered lifters. This allows customers to choose the power supply that works best for their application, whether in the shop or on the jobsite.

The Wood’s Powr-Grip® stone dolly is a sturdy, human-powered device that can be used in the shop or at the installation site to move stone slabs more easily. Loads can be maneuvered on a level surface or up and down stairs.

Featuring non-marking, gray pneumatic wheels, the stone dolly can be maneuvered without scuffing or marking expensive flooring materials. The pivoting front wheel allows dexterous turning in tight areas. A pivoting end plate on the load channel acts as a stop and facilitates vertical positioning of the stone for entering elevators or narrow areas. An attachable caster can be positioned on the stone to provide additional support in the vertical orientation and maneuverability in tight quarters.

The padded channel on the stone dolly accommodates stone slabs up to 700 pounds and 2 inches in thickness. As the load is placed on the dolly, the weight engages spring-activated clamping rollers that gently hold the stone in place. The dolly also comes equipped with a cargo strap that attaches to the frame for additional load stability and security. The stone dolly has a stair climber on each side of the frame to prevent damage to floors while moving materials up and down stairs. Adjustable control handles with rubber handgrips enable operators to configure the dolly for ergonomic pulling with the least amount of effort.



Air and Water Treatment

Beckart Environmental Inc. of Kenosha, WI, provides equipment and technologies that provide zero-discharge solutions by filtering influent from saws, polishers and CNC equipment down to below 1 micron, and then routing the clean water back for use in the fabrication process.

Fabricators deal directly with the manufacturer throughout the planning, installation and support phases of critical equipment, including Beckart’s Hy-Pack® line of filter presses and company-engineered PLC control panels. Customers have pointed to the firm’s programmable logic controllers, in particular, as among the most attractive features for fabricators. These automated systems offer flow measuring, monitoring and reporting functions, as well as a user-friendly graphic display, from system start-up through reuse back into the fabrication process. With each cycle, the systems produce both clean water for recycling and a dry filter cake that typically meets local landfill standards.

Designed for expandability and for flow rates of 10 to 200 gallons per minute, the variety of models within the Beckart line can meet the needs of operations ranging from small to large, and they anticipate both current and future customer requirements. With proper planning from the outset, Beckart customers can operate recycling/reuse systems that operate at peak efficiency and have an extended usable life, the company reports.

The automated C&C dust collection and conveyance system from Cyclonaire captures nuisance dust from silo filling operations and automatically sends it back to the source silo. Each unit mates an efficient pulse jet dust collector with a dense phase pneumatic conveyor and has onboard controls for automatic operation with no need to empty dust from the hopper. The C&C can be used to collect any dust. Because the entire installation is beside the silo at ground level, there is no need to climb to the top of the silo, thus maximizing safety.

The MB-30SV dust reclamation unit from Delta Diamond can eliminate the dust from grinding and sanding operations and filter the air to create a better working environment in fabrication shops. It im-proves air quality and assists in compliance with EPA recommended guidelines for worker safety.

The MB-30SV is equipped with dual capture systems. It uses a powerful fan and a micro-misting system delivered by several jets to break down dust. The captured air is then filtered through thin water surfaces, cleaned and returned back into the shop. The captured dust is collected into an easy-to-maintain reservoir with built-in drainage plugs.

The machine is constructed of durable stainless steel to ensure an exceptionally long life, and it was designed to be easy to clean and maintain. Removable front panels allow for quick access to the filters when cleaning the system.

The MB-30SV is 3,000 mm long x 1,000 mm wide x 2,350 mm high. It weighs 320 kg and has a 4.2-horsepower motor.

The DEP-250 Water Reclamation Unit from Delta Diamond is for shops that would like to reclaim water and save money on their water bill. This piece of equipment is a self-contained system that will allow fabricators to reuse water from existing operations and reduce exposure from mandated EPA regulations. The unit is made with galvanized steel, and it and reclaims 250 liters per minute (just over 66 gallons).

This system solves the problem connected with sludge and contaminates in the shop’s water. It accomplishes the water sludge separation by using liquid flocculent and gravity. The sludge will then be extracted and dehydrated through a series of filtering bags.

The unit can be installed very quickly with minimal shop interruption, the company reports.

The Ghines Xaero dry filtering suction bench combines two different depuration systems, totally dry operating. The first exhaustion, capturing about 70% of the dust, takes place under the work surface, through the action of 10 cyclones positioned in two rows.

The remaining dust is then exhausted by filters positioned inside the suction unit. Filters are automatically cleaned by a compressed air cleaning system, being run each time the bench is turned off.

The dust extracted is collected into dedicated drawers, and it is totally dry and can be disposed without polluting the environment.

As the stone fabrication industry has grown, so has the need to filter and recycle water used in the production process. Closed loop filtration systems completely recycle water and do not discharge water to the drain, saving money on water and sewer costs. Diarex Cyclone and Hurricane Water Filtration Systems from GranQuartz provide water filtration by design.

The most important question for water filtration is “How clean is clean enough?” Many fabricators do not need clear water for their machines. Most machines such as bridge saws, routers and hand tools do not require clear water. Gray water is adequate for use with these machines. Diarex Cyclone filtration systems produce gray water at an affordable price, removing 98% of solids that are greater than 5 microns with a specific gravity of 1.5 or greater.

Standard systems include the 60 GPM with a 3” Lakos Separator to pre-filter large particles and to supply water to the pit sweeper eductor nozzles, which sweep the bottom of the pit and keep stone particles in suspension for filtration. The 120 GPM systems are also available with a 4” Lakos Separator to feed water to eductor nozzles in the pit and additional eductor nozzles in the drain channels in the floor to avoid shoveling the channels.

If clear water is needed for edge polishing machines or CNC spindles, Hurricane filters can be added at point of use. A delivery pump delivers water from the water tank to the Hurricanes to supply clear water to needed machines. The Hurricane filters can be cleaned for re-use.

GranQuartz offers several state-of-the-art engineered control solutions for airborne silica created during the granite fabrication process. The workhorse of the line is the Diarex® MagnumTM Dust Collection Unit, which has been engineered to be 99% efficient for filtering stone dust. It was designed to be a powerful, portable and affordable means to control airborne dust starting at the “point of origin.”

The Magnum’s 99% efficiency is due to a unique three-stage filtration system:

1. Metal pre-filter with a G2 filtering efficiency

2. Main filter stage polyester spun-bond cartridges with a USGC filtering efficiency.

3. Two-piece carbon after-filter

User-friendly features of the Magnum include:

· All exterior adjustment on the fume arms

· Main filters and waste drawer located on slide-out tray

· Cut tray, compressed air pulse cleaning of main cartridge filters

· Minihelic gauge to view vacuum pressure.

GranQuartz also offers the Ghines Idrodos, the Surface Pro® dustless vacuum, dust muzzles and a full line of OSHA-compliant respirators.

Hard Rock Tool is a proud dealer of Donaldson/Torit dust collection products and can help fabricators work to eliminate the dust in the shop. Donaldson Torit Downflo WorkStations are flexible, modular, self-contained collectors that provide more filtration capability than other same-sized cartridge dust. The unit requires no hoods or ductwork, and it reticulates clean air for energy savings. Downflo WorkStations fit anywhere on a shop floor and apply no restrictions to a workers movement and visibility.

Torit is made in the U.S. and is covered by a 10-year warranty.

Hard Rock Tool’s Dust Devil ambient is made to handle the stone industry. The Dust Devil will help reduce the hazard of dust in the fabrication shop. Each unit moves 2000 cubic feet of air through it every minute and is 95% efficient - as low as 0.3 microns - the company reports.

Dust Devils measure 2 x 2 x 4 feet, and they are powered by a 1/2-horsepower motor that draws 8 amps. For best performance, Dust Devils should be suspended from a shop ceiling at an approximate height of 9 feet, which also means that the dust collectors do not take up floor space.

Filter Systems, a well known and respected manufacturer of water filtration systems, is now being represented exclusively by International Machine Corp. (IMC). These systems are available in a wide range of sizes and specifications to fit the needs of all types of stone fabricators.

Fraccaroli and Balzan (F&B) manufactures solids separators for the stone industry, available from Salem Stone. These units are capable of efficiently separating stone particulate from the water used in any stone-processing application - from sawing to edge profiling. The F&B units employ a combination of a low-cost flocculent (settling agent) and simple mechanical filter press to provide “clean” water that can be recycled back to the workstations. The units are available in a 17-foot overall height (model FB/2000V-WD-CS) and a 13-foot overall height (model FB/2000V-WD-CF).



Cycle Description

Wastewater coming from the stone processing plant is collected in a pit or tank, where a float-actuated submersed pump automatically pumps the slurry into the cylindrical decant tank. Before reaching the tank, a flocculent is automatically injected into the slurry. The chemical action of the flocculent accelerates the suspended solid particles “falling” out of suspension. The treated slurry is pumped into the decant tank in a way that minimizes turbulence to further facilitate the efficient separation process. The “clean” water flows to the top of the decant tank, overflowing into a surrounding chamber while the heavier solids collect in the bottom of the decant tank. The treated water is pumped from the “clean water chamber” back to the processing machine by a centrifugal pump. The mud collected in the bottom of the decant tank is discharged into a filter press, where the water is finally filtered.

Specifications

· Overall Dimensions (model CS): 7 feet, 4 inches x 17 feet high

· Overall Dimensions (model CF): 7 feet, 4 inches x 13 feet high

· Decant Tank Size: 6 feet, 6 inches x 6 feet, 6 inches

· Clean Water Reservoir Size: 1,320 gallons

· Maximum Waste Capacity (per minute): 132 gallons

· Solids Disposal (per hour): 16 – 42.24 gallons

· Power (kW): 10÷5

· Full Load Weight: 66,150 pounds

Tri-Mer Corp. has introduced a shop dust collector for fabrication shops that grind and finish stone, granite, quartz, composites and engineered materials. The Whirl Wet is manufactured from 1/2- or 1-inch solid polypropylene, so it is well suited for long-term service involving corrosive or abrasive dusts, the company reports, adding that it is greater than 99% efficient for particulate 5 microns and larger.

Whirl Wet has no internal moving parts and does not use components such as spray nozzles, pumps or bags. It uses a proprietary process to create intense mixing of particulate and small amounts of water. Also, several processes can be directed to one Whirl Wet.

Whirl Wet was designed to be inexpensive to operate and maintain, with low noise output. It is available with an automated drag-out for collected particulate, a feature that allows the system to operate continuously. Whirl Wet’s construction makes it structurally strong and highly resistant to accidental damage. Systems are manufactured in capacities from 500 cfm to 100,000 cfm.

Whirl Wet dust collectors are self-cleaning and will not clog or stop production under any operating conditions, the company reports. Incoming water is used and then recycled, leaving as sanitary sewage or steam. Water use and energy use are both low.

Water Treatment Technologies’ EnviroSystem is a patented technology that produces thousands of gallons of crystal clear water that it reports is safe for all fabrication equipment - even CNCs and waterjets. The closed-loop EnviroSystem eliminates the need for a permit to discharge the wastewater from the fabrication process, and it demonstrates a company’s efforts to create a “green” shop, recycling the water and supporting the local environment.

Because the EnviroSystem is designed specifically for each facility, it can accommodate shops of all sizes. Water Treatment Technologies has systems in shops that range from one to two kitchens per day with demands as little as 7 gallons per minute to shops that demand over 500 gallons per minute, producing over 50 kitchens per day. The company’s largest system installed to date can process up to 450 gallons per minute of crystal clear water, and combined with 200 gallons per minute of gray water, it delivers 650 gallons per minute.

Additionally, the Concentrator from Water Treatment Technologies processes gray water, a unique patent-pending design. This system offers optimal gray water delivery and solids removal without loss of flow rate or pressure. Unique to the Concentrator is a bag that does not need to be replaced or changed every day, and it is re-usable.

The Concentrator can be combined with the Water Treatment Technologies EnviroSystem to provide a 100% closed-loop system. The original closed-loop system, designed exclusively for the stone industry, eliminates the need for discharge permits and fees; and it meets the EPA requirements for zero discharge.



Electronic Templating/Digitizing

The Proliner® from Blick Industries and Innovative is a briefcase-sized machine that combines a measuring system with an easy-to-use touch-screen computer. It is a complete system that allows production-ready .DXF files to be created onsite in as little as 10 minutes, the company reports. Templates are created on the Proliner by tracing objects using the unit’s “pen” while clicking a button on a remote control. During this process, straight lines can be recorded as well as continuous scribed contours. Once measurements are taken, they can be viewed and manipulated on the machine’s large touch-screen display and integrated CAD program. The Proliner measures in three dimensions, which drastically improves its performance in creating accurate two-dimensional templates.

According to the company, measuring in three dimensions eliminates the need for leveling, and frees the user to measure on any surface - whether horizontal, vertical or anywhere in between. These measurements and drawings can be the source of numerous errors and mistakes, resulting in the loss of both valuable material and many man-hours.  The Proliner Digital Template System eliminates the need for these hand-made drawings and templates by creating drawing files that are compatible with CAD/CAM equipment. Proliner® technology offers fabricators a simplified path from jobsite measurement to production of the final fabricated product - all in one convenient, portable package.

Braxton-Bragg Corp. now offers a digitizer with a trace function - the Nemi Digicoder templating digitizer. This new process features a two-dimensional or three-axis digitizer for reverse engineering templates and shapes. It allows users to protect master parts and patterns by digitizing them into storage and archiving the data. In combination with a personal computer, it allows parts and patterns to be traced with a probe, which intends to add ease, simplicity and accuracy to CNC router operations. The Nemi DigiCoder also automatically generates the geometry and G-code for every form. Additionally, the algorithms that generate G-Code and CAD (or other optional outputs) reflect true lines and arcs.

ETemplate Photo from ETemplate System is a comprehensive, photography-based three-dimensional digital measuring system for stone countertops as well as for stairs, wall cladding, backsplashes, tub surrounds and showers. ETemplate automatically creates templates in .DXF format that include overhang, inside and outside radii, square and linear footage and cabinet flatness. It also provides the ability to visually verify the final countertop design in the field (to scale) by overlaying the CAD template onto the same photos used for creating the template. The CAD/.DXF file can be used to cut a vinyl template, print a detailed shop drawing or go directly to any CNC machine. ETemplate has no tripod, no leveling, and no range, reach, or line-of-sight limitations that can cause drive-backs. It offers a complete picture through automatic measurement collection, drawing and visual benefits with process management and quality-control tools that go beyond measuring. Users get a complete measurement and a visual history with the photographs, and most jobs can be photographed and turned into a production-ready CAD drawing in less than 20 minutes, the company reports.

According to ETemplate, the system verifies accuracy and triangulates measurements to a tolerance of 1/32 inch, and no tape measure is necessary, as each photo collects 500 million measurement points. Additional measurements that were not originally marked but found to be needed later can be extracted from the photos. There is no need to rely on a templater’s memory, as it is contained within the photos.

ETemplate may also be used to create scaled photographs of stone slabs for digital template layout.

The Laser Products Industries LT 55 laser templating system offers affordability with optimum accuracy. According to the company, the LT-55 allows the user to walk into a house, set up the unit, template a countertop and leave within 10 minutes. Not only is it designed to be extremely quick and simple, but it also provides field measurements in .DXF format with multi-color and multi-plane files. Users can check the template at the house to verify it is correct instead of finding out at the shop and having to go re-template. Hard Rock Tool is a proud distributor of the LT-55 Laser Templator.

Outline Technologies, Inc. has been manufacturing FastTrack Digitizing Systems for over eight years. The system is designed to digitize almost any pattern accurately within seconds for use on CNC machinery. The CAD package, IntelliCAD 6 PE allows quick modifications if required. It also saves digitized files in DXF format, which is compatible with virtually all CAM packages. The standard size is 144 x 72 inches, with an almost 2-inch clearance, allowing users to digitize thick tops or templates. The system comes complete with digitizing board, computer, IntelliCAD software and Outline Technologies software. The unit also has an Enhanced Software Package that includes over 15 timesaving CAD programs, an extended computer warranty program and an extended system warranty.

Karl Carlson, President of Touchstone Gauge Inc., a leading manufacturer of precision measurement systems for the stone and tile industry, announced that the company has released its latest portable digital templating machine. The Stealth 7200L is a lightweight benchtop (no tripod required) machine with an articulating arm that was designed to be a simple point-and-click measurement system. The system weighs only 16 pounds, and, when combined with DigiCAD templating software and any laptop, it is engineered to be quick to learn with optimal speed and accuracy.



Software

The Breton Fabmaster software suite is designed to take the guesswork out of the sales, inventory and shop management process. The system consists of three modules: Designmaster, Imagemaster and Shopmaster.

Designmaster allows sales personnel to create custom kitchen drawings by assembling graphics, importing features and designating customer color and edge preferences, automatically filling in customizable estimates.

Imagemaster is a digital inventory management system, allowing incoming slabs and remnants to be photographed, defect marked and cataloged for remote selection - providing the images necessary for layouts to be achieved off-machine. A searchable graphic inventory database allows the most optimal selection of materials or remnants. Slab data can then be archived for use in examining supplier value.

Shopmaster is Breton’s shop scheduling and management utility, which polls the entire digital queue of jobs to be carried out, analyzes cycle-times considering the actual equipment owned, recommends the order of the operations and generates the cutting/profiling programs for machines involved. This allows the user to monitor job status and location, providing the information a shop needs for optimal efficiency.

Designed as an intuitive and user-friendly solution, QuickQuote from Crystallyne Enterprises is a visual pricing solution for countertop fabricators and design professionals. QuickQuote automatically generates a shop-quality drawing as it is being priced, and it requires no CAD experience, making it possible for even novice computer users to start quoting in mere minutes, the company reports.

QuickQuote stores a shop’s entire product catalogue in one location and offers a variety of pricing options for each individual product. Users can switch between products, colors and options with the click of a mouse, and they can then compare and contrast those options by putting quotes side by side on QuickQuote’s comparison page.

Designed to seamlessly integrate with existing systems, QuickQuote offers the ability to export quotes into your accounting software and drawings to .DXF/.DWG formats. This allows the user to save time and prevent errors by importing the finished .DXF/ .DWG drawings into QuickQuote’s new .DXF Pricing Express (XPX) system to price them.

The purchase of QuickQuote includes installation of a shop’s entire product catalog (complete with pricing), including colors, edge options, and sinks. It also includes all software updates for one year.

Global StonePro software from Global E-Sourcing, Inc. was designed as a comprehensive suite of solutions for countertop fabricators and retailers in the industry. The solution is modular, which allows the fabricator to purchase a system for their initial needs, and purchase add-on functionality for incremental costs. The suite consists of:

· Drawing and quoting · Visualiza- tion and order preview

· Job tracking and scheduling

· Inventory management

· CAD and machine programming

· Production scheduling and shop floor management

· Web portal and Web site tools

· Accounting integration

Visualization, nesting and inventory

The visualization and order preview module provides the ability to store a digital image of each slab, allows the nesting of workpieces on the slab and renders the assembled countertop in real time as the workpieces are moved around the slab. Users can view slabs from their showroom and move less slabs around - thus saving labor and reducing liability and breakage.

Global E-Sourcing also reports that the system allows for reduced remakes on materials with extensive movement in the grain. Once the nesting is complete, machine programming is nearly done.

There are several modular components to this solution. First, there is “TOP” for nesting and machine control. SeCAD may be used to draw the countertop layout. The Digistat module may optionally be used to capture and store digital images of each slab. Finally, “Order Preview” renders the complete countertop images.

The preview window may be saved as a .JPG file, which may be e-mailed to the client for approval. This module is available with or without a post-processor (to provide CNC machine control).

Users can also bar code each slab and record all the necessary information upon receipt: origin, size, thickness, material, lot number, bin location, warehouse, etc. This improves inventory integrity by decrementing the slab from inventory right at the saw. Users can record the remnant size and assign the remnant to a location. They can also assign slabs to orders and place them on hold.

In addition to slabs, items such as consumables and tools may also be inventoried.

Integrate your shop floor from the office

Users of Global StonePro can capture information on machine processing times and improve the accuracy of quoted lead times. The .DXF files may be passed through an interface directly to CNC machinery. The capacity of workcenters is calculated, revealing potential bottlenecks. Automatic routing of workpieces - based on fabrication options -generates workpiece routing through the shop floor. Workcenters have the ability to track time-on-task, what operator performed the task and where the workpiece is in the production process.

The time amount for each workpiece is calculated and distributed on the machine’s workstation interface. A shipping interface and time-on-task reporting capacity control provides a snapshot view of the available capacity at each workcenter throughout the fabrication process on a daily, weekly and monthly view.

Global StonePro: CAM for bridge saws

TOP V7 is an easy-to-use CAM-system for controlling fully-automated bridge saws. Optionally, these machines may have an additional milling spindle. TOP V7 facilitates preparation of an order outside the machine in a computer-integrated, uncomplicated easy manner. The user simply proceeds as if they are sawing manually. There is no interruption of machines while nesting workpieces.

Moraware JobTracker Enterprise Edition (EE) is award-winning scheduling and job management software for fabricators, installers and other subcontractors. JobTracker EE seamlessly integrates scheduling, estimating, inventory, purchasing, job management and reporting to revolutionize how fabricators manage their business.

JobTracker EE offers a calendar more powerful than Outlook, the company reports, with a spreadsheet of the same job information without retyping anything and instant access to the details of any job. JobTracker EE is a multi-user system, so changes made by one person are immediately accessible to everyone in the office, shop and in the field using mobile devices. Because JobTracker EE is an integrated solution, account information automatically shows up on jobs and quotes. Also, changes to the jobs show up on the calendar instantly, and there is no need to duplicate data.

With everything from a powerful calendar and quoting system, through sophisticated business reporting, Moraware JobTracker intends to allow users to save time and get organized.

Moraware JobTracker Standard Edition (SE) provides an affordable solution for fabricators, installers and other subcontractors that want to eliminate time used on scheduling and paperwork. JobTracker SE uses a simple Web browser-based interface, and it can be configured to manage the variety of jobs done by stone fabricators and other specialty contractors.

JobTracker SE also provides a calendar more powerful than Outlook, according to the company, with a spreadsheet of the same job information without retyping anything and instant access to the details of any job.  JobTracker SE is also a multi-user system, and changes made by one person are immediately accessible to everyone in the office, shop and in the field using mobile devices.

Intuitive scheduling users to “drag-and-drop” activities to change their dates and times, and those changes show up on the other pages instantly. 

Slabsmith™ software from Northwood Designs, Inc. was designed as an innovative program specifically for the stone fabricator. Intended as both an effective manufacturing aid and an important sales tool, Slabsmith provides the following:

Digital slab creation and management

• Photo station calibration

• Slab property assignment

• Inventory browsing via computer

Artistic Nesting™

· Real time nesting

• Multiple slabs

• Three-dimensional view of the final layout

• Ability to print or e-mail layouts

Slabsmith was designed to significantly reduce the amount of time required to match the natural variations of a slab across seams. Another timesaving feature of the program allows the fabricator to browse the slabs in inventory with customers in an office setting, rather than having to move slabs in the yard for customers to find the slabs they want.

An important benefit of Slabsmith is that customers will know exactly what their finished projects will look like without ever leaving the fabricator's office. The program has been engineered for optimal precision, meaning that what the customer sees on the screen is what the finished project will look like upon completion.

The OMAX® software suite, with Intelli-MAX® technologies, is a patented, Windows®-based program that includes “Layout,” a full-featured CAD package, and “Make,” the start-of-the-art controller software. Layout has the same standard features as other CAD packages, as well as enhancements such as an automatic gear generator and part nesting. Once a drawing is created, Make uses Intelli-MAX technology enhancements to calculate the entire path, speed and acceleration of the abrasivejet nozzle - taking into account the material type, thickness and shape of the part before the cut is made. This allows the speed of the abrasivejet nozzle to be precisely controlled for smooth, even cutting. The OMAX software suite also includes the OIR (OMAX Interactive Reference), an easily searchable library of tips and information on OMAX software.

In 2007, OMAX Corporation released Version 11 of its software - a breakthrough among waterjet manufacturers with its control software that runs on the Windows Vista operating system. Version 11 includes fresh enhancements such as new .DWF and .PDF file importing as well as updated .DWG, .DXF, .IGES and other file import filters designed to provide maximum compatibility with additional software. For users who prefer not to upgrade to Vista, Version 11 is also compatible with the Windows® 2000 and Windows® XP operating systems, and it is available in Spanish, French, Italian, German, Japanese, Chinese and Polish.

The OMAX Technology Guarantee entitles all OMAX customers to free software upgrades for as long as they own their machine.

The Park Industries PathfinderTM laser layout-projection workstation was designed to reduce set-up times and improve slab yield on a shop’s dimensioning saw. The Pathfinder makes it easy to accurately and quickly prepare slabs for fabrication on bridge saws. From a DXF file, the Pathfinder projects a laser on the slab. Users move the projected image over the portion of the stone they want to use, rotate it any way desired and then mark the slab for production.

Fabricators can prepare slabs before going into production offline, which also helps maximize the uptime of the saw or CNC. Also, the Pathfinder has the capability to visualize how the finished countertop will look before cutting, and this visualization can be sent electronically to the customer to approve.

With VIM (Virtual Inventory Management) from U.S. Granite Robotics, Inc. photos are taken of a shop’s slabs as they come in to inventory, and they are given a barcode label with name, color and inventory number. After it is in the system and selected by a customer, users can then assign a “Job ID” to the slab. That ID can then be pulled up by a shop’s CAD department, and they can lay out the customer’s job on a photo of the material they have selected. A .DXF file is then made and imported directly into RoboLogic software, and the shop is ready to run the job. VIM can also be used by the sales staff, allowing customers easy access to view all slabs in inventory.



Diversified Shop Products

Akemi’s new Color Spectrum Bonding Kit comes with everything needed to match any color. It was conceived as a color-matched polyester adhesive kit “with a brain.”

The Akemi Akelux stone repair system uses innovative light-hardening compound material technology for the high-quality repair of natural and engineered stone surfaces. The system was formulated to instantly fix scratches, chips, small holes, damaged edges and more on countertops, vanities and the most delicate stonework. Everything the professional needs is included in the kit: color-matched fillers, structure dust, grit-polishing papers, a planer, polishing paste, LED drying light, mixing and filling tools, pyrosil burner, cleaner, Triple-Effect cleaner, sealer and polisher spray.

Bellinzoni Blitz was designed for fabricators that are looking for a product with bonding strength similar to an epoxy but with faster cure times and a lower cost, the company reports. The product also can be used for outdoor applications, according to Bellinzoni.

Bellinzoni StonEpoxy was designed as a highly resistant, fast-setting, two-component epoxy resin adhesive used for setting and bonding marble, granite or ceramic, on floors and walls. StonEpoxy can also be used for the repair, reinforcement or bonding of concrete, mortar, natural stones, screed and bricks. When mixed, the adhesive becomes a smooth, easy-to-use paste, which can be applied to a thickness of 1 cm. StonEpoxy hardens in about three hours, will not shrink and can be used in temperatures between 41 and 75 degrees F.

Braxton-Bragg Corp. now offers the Hercules line of air compressors. These highly rated, American-made compressors are available in three base-mounted models that feature efficient 10-, 30- and 50-horsepower rotary screw compression and 4,000-hour-rated Palasyn 45 synthetic lubricant.

The 10-horsepower compressor has a belt drive, hour meter, sump pressure and discharge temp gauges, with a two-year warranty on the motor, end air and coupling. Both the 30- and 50-horsepower models include a direct-drive design with no belts, pulleys or gears, which eliminates power transmission loss. They also have 40% fewer parts, a small footprint, protective shutdown features, over-pressure and high-temperature protection, a deluxe gauge panel and a five-year warranty on the air end, motor and coupling.

GranQuartz has released the first edition of a catalog exclusively covering safety products for the stone industry. This eight-page catalog, entitled the “GranQuartz Complete Protection & Safety Equipment Catalog,” covers GranQuartz’s product offering in each of eight key stone shop safety categories:

· Engineered dust control systems

· Material handling

· Traffic

· Electrical

· First aid

· Ergonomics

· General shop safety

· Personal protective equipment, including, hand, respiratory, eye, head, hearing and foot protection

The publication also features two extremely helpful tools to assist shops in better understanding their safety requirements - "The Law" callouts and the "Safety Checklist." "The Law" callouts are sections throughout the catalog which summarize key OSHA requirements relevant to the specific safety categories. The "Safety Checklist," located on the back page of the catalog, itemizes each safety item by category in an easy-to-use format. This allows the fabrication shop to quantify its needs by comparing the items on the list with the requirements of the shop's safety program and with what is currently available in the shop.

"This catalog is the culmination of a tremendous effort by GranQuartz to compile a comprehensive, best-in-class safety program," said Dave Flanagan, Product Manager for GranQuartz. "GranQuartz built this program around key suppliers that we partnered with because of the leadership within their respective product categories, the innovation of their product lines and the commitment to safety evident in the engineering, production and quality control of their industry-leading, high- quality safety solutions."

Kaeser Compressors, Inc. offers an extremely comprehensive range of rotary screw compressors - from 3 to 600 horsepower. Pressures are available from 80 to 217 psig, with flows to 2900 cfm. Small to medium shops and extensive manufacturing facilities can benefit from Kaeser’s proprietary Sigma Profile Airend, which is up to 20% more efficient than other designs.

With motor efficiencies that meet or exceed EPAct standards and drive systems designed for optimum transmission efficiency and reduced maintenance, Kaeser Compressors is among the industry leaders in selection and technology. Customers can choose from a variety of configurations, including complete packaged compressor systems, stand-alone compressors with integral refrigerated dryers and the company’s Sigma Frequency Control compressors, which were engineered as extremely efficient variable-speed drive units available today.

Additionally, Kaeser’s innovative cooling airflow designs and sound dampening enclosures provide exceptionally quiet operation. Units also come with standard features such as high-efficiency separators, state-of-the-art compressor controls and built-in aftercoolers.

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