Canadian fabricator advances with CNC technology
August 1, 2010
Beginning as a tile business, Dauter Stone Inc. of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, is now a successful stone fabrication facility - specializing in residential countertops as well as commercial cladding. The evolution into stone fabrication has called for investing in the latest in technology, including two CNC machines from CMS North America of Caledonia, MI, and it now garners room for more production space and a possible third CNC.
“There are three owners -Wolfgang, Manfred and Ulrich Dauter,” said Shop Manager Brian Leschyshyn. “They started out in the tile business. Then they started doing commercial work and got into granite. It then progressed to kitchen countertops as well as commercial work.”
The 6,000-square-foot facility is equipped with a CMS Brembana Falcon CNC saw, which was the company’s most recent investment. “That has vacuum manipulator arms that come down and move pieces out of the way,” said Leschyshyn. “That saves a lot of time.”
Purchasing the Falcon, which uses the Konig Plus blade from GranQuartz of Tucker, GA, has increased Dauter Stone Inc.’s production, according to Leschyshyn. “It’s increased the cutting capacity quite a bit,” he said.
Additionally, the shop is equipped with a CMS Brembana Maxima CNC stoneworking center that utilizes tooling from ADI, which is distributed by GranQuartz, a T108 manual workcenter from Thibaut of France, which features radial arms running along its track and a Fickert+Winterling saw that can accommodate blades as large as 2 meters in diameter.
Templating in the shop is completed with an LT-55 Laser Templator from Laser Products of Romeoville, IL, and Global StonePro software helps the company maintain its job tracking. In the past five years, Leschyshyn explained that obtaining the CNC stoneworking center and going to digital templating have been the shop’s biggest advancements. “When we first got the Maxima, that basically increased our production in the manner of what the CNC is capable of doing [compared to what] a human can do,” he said. “That was the first step. And then with the last investment of the Falcon, and of course the templating - that all increases our ability as a fabricator.”
Expecting to expand its production, Dauter Stone Inc. is currently constructing a 6,000-square-foot addition to its facility, where it has plans to add another CNC stoneworking center. “Of course, we want to expand the business on both sides - kitchen and commercial,” said Leschyshyn. “Our current 6,000-square-foot building houses the showroom and production facility. We have under construction another 6,000-square-foot facility that will be the new showroom and slab warehouse. Once that has been completed, the old building will be converted to all production, and we will be adding another CNC workcenter.”
The shop currently produces an average of four kitchens a day under one shift in addition to commercial work, and employees are divided into departments - with 15 in the kitchen department and around 25 in the commercial department. “Quite a few workers can do every aspect,” said Leschyshyn. “And then quite a few can only do polishing, installing, etc.”
Leschyshyn further explained that the staff is usually hired without experience, and then Dauter Stone Inc. puts them through its own in-house training program. “Up here in Canada, there’s not much in the way of training programs to send them to,” he said.
The shop’s most recent work involves some commercial and institutional projects. “We’re just finishing up the Centennial Towers in downtown [Calgary],” said Leschyshyn. “We did the cladding and granite flooring, stairs, etc.
“About 95% of our countertop business is done in and around Calgary, and 5% of the business is in places like Canmore, Banff and the interior of British Columbia, such as Invermere,” he continued. And although the company works with natural stone approximately 90% of the time, the other 10% features work that utilizes engineered stone such as CaesarStone quartz surfacing and Quantra quartz surfacing from Pokarna Ltd. of India.
Sidebar: Dauter Stone Inc.Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Type of work: residential countertops and commercial cladding
Machinery/equipment: a Brembana Falcon CNC saw and a Brembana Maxima CNC stoneworking center - both from CMS North America of Caledonia, MI; a T108 manual workcenter from Thibaut of Vire, France; a Fickert+Winterling saw from Germany; tooling from ADI, which is distributed by GranQuartz of Atlanta, GA; blades from GranQuartz; an LT-55 Laser Templator from Laser Products of Romeoville, IL; Global StonePro software for job tracking
Number of employees: 15 in the kitchen department, around 25 in the commercial department
Production capacity: four kitchens a day, plus commercial and institutional work