More than 40 years of innovation
June 1, 2010
Established in the stoneworking region of Cachoeiro de Itapemirim, Espírito, Brazil 42 years ago, Santo Antonio Granitos Ltda. has always been a specialist in unique and exotic materials. Today, its expertise in processing these stones have placed the company in a position to offer some of the most exclusive materials in the world marketplace.
The Chief Executive Officer of Santo Antonio is Rodrigo Scaramussa, whose father founded the company. Scaramussa explained that his father had an opportunity in the stone business, and he was one of the first to explore marble in Espírito Santo. In 1968, the first gangsaws were installed, and Santo Antonio was born.
The main offices, showroom, warehouse and polishing equipment are located in Cachoeiro de Itapemirim, while the gangsaws, wire saws, honing and resin lines are in a nearby facility.
The company was a pioneer in the production and distribution of many stones, such as Mascarello and Persa, and it quarries every material that it processes. Santo Antonio’s geological department is continually searching for new materials, and this branch of the company secures all of the necessary permits to begin quarrying operations. It is also in charge of re-foresting the sites when quarry operations have ceased.
At present, Santo Antonio is operating 26 different quarries, from which 31 materials are extracted. Most of the materials are located in the Minas Gerais state of Brazil, but some come from other states.
In addition to finding quarry sites for unique stones, Santo Antonio has also developed technology and methods for processing materials not found elsewhere in the market. Among the one-of-a-kind slab materials being processed, Santo Antonio has developed “CD mosaic” slabs that are comprised of assembled pieces, and these slabs can take on a variety of different appearances. It is also marketing “Bronzo” slabs in a variety of formats, including a “mosaic” pattern using random-sized elements, a “planking” pattern of cut rectangular pieces and even a “parquet” pattern. This Bronzo line is also available in a range of surface finishes.
Santo Antonio is also marketing “Lumix,” a pure crystal quartz slab that can receive a full bullnose and also has translucent properties.
Block processing and slabbing
The stoneworking facilities at Santo Antonio are continually being updated, and the company’s latest development for block processing is the addition of a multi-wire saw from Wires Engineering, which can be fitted with up to 30 wires. According to the company, a full-sized block can be slabbed in approximately 12 to 16 hours, depending on the material being processed. This is a major improvement over the previous gangsawing procedure, which could take up to three days.
After the blocks are processed into raw slabs, they are first honed/calibrated on an automated T&F line from Italy. From here, certain materials simply receive an application of resin products from Tenax and are then cured in a large-scale oven/drier, which is capable of accommodating 40 slabs at one time. A fiberglass netting is also applied to some materials as needed.
When working with certain exotic materials, Santo Antonio also performs a slab consolidation process that it has perfected. During this stage, the back of each slab is reinforced using resin that is mixed with a powder that was created directly from the specific stone being treated, thus ensuring a perfect color match. To execute this process, the pieces of the raw slab are carefully lined up, dried, and then the resin/powder mixture is applied by hand. Following this procedure, the slab is then honed and undergoes the same production process as the more traditional resin-treated materials.
Once the resin is applied and cured, the slabs are delivered to the final polishing line, which is also from T&F of Italy.
Sales and marketing
The company exports a total of 40 to 45 containers per month, mostly exotic materials. The U.S. remains Santo Antonio’s prime export target, as it consumes 80% of the company’s exports. According to Daniel Kerner, Sales Manager for Santo Antonio, sales to the U.S. have improved in 2010, as a number of major distributors are re-stocking their inventories. Additionally, Kerner noted that a number of stone building projects will soon be underway.
In terms of project types, Santo Antonio has developed a specialty in the supply of exclusive, high-end slabs for upscale residential projects. The company is also involved in block sales.
In terms of showcasing its products, Santo Antonio has established a range of kitchen vignettes in classic designs, with each space utilizing a different material.