A blend of organization and quality
April 26, 2011
Founded six years ago, Imetame Granitos of Linhares, Espirito Santo, Brazil, has developed into a major exporter of natural stone in Brazil. Not only does it process stone with the modern stoneworking technology from Italy, but it also maintains a high degree of precision and organization in its operations.
The company’s facilities sit on an area of more than 800,000 square feet in Linhares, 75 miles north of Vitória and its large shipping port. In addition to producing stone from quarries across Brazil, Imetame Granitos also processes stone from its own sites, including Ornamental Imetame, Brazilian Black, Portofino Gold, Giallo Icari and Brown Imperial.
For block processing, the Imetame Granitos facility has four jumbo gangsaws from Gaspari Menotti and a Rochaz monowire saw. After blocks are cut into raw slabs on the gangsaws, they move onto a Protec automated resin line. During the first step of the process, the slabs are delivered to a heating and drying unit, which removes any trace of water from the slab. This unit places the slabs within an environment which is actually drier than the ambient air humidity, which allows for maximum efficiency in applying the resin.
After this stage, resin products from Tenax are applied to the surface, and the slabs are moved to a second heating and drying unit, which allows the resin to cure with optimum speed and penetration.
For certain stones, resin products are applied by hand - due to the natural variation of the material. The resin products - also from Tenax - then cure in Rosh Industrial driers.
Following the resin-application process, slabs move onto a Gaspari Menotti polishing line to receive their final surface polish. The end of the polishing line is equipped with a camera that takes a digital photograph of each slab and places it in the company’s online inventory database. This inventory is updated online every 30 minutes, and authorized customers can peruse what is in stock at Imetame Granitos and reserve bundles for up to 48 hours. This information can also be e-mailed to Imetame’s customers.
In addition to a photo of each slab, information stored within the database includes the size, thickness, bundle area and other relevant information. Moreover, each slab is also given a barcode so that information can be retrieved on the warehouse floor. A total of more than 96,000 square feet of Imetame’s facility is dedicated to slab warehousing.
Overall, Imetame Granitos has a production capacity of 100 containers per month, and it has 140 workers. The company is a member of the Marble Institute of America, and it participates in international trade shows such as Coverings in the U.S., Marmomacc in Italy and the Vitória Stone Fair in Brazil. In America, the company sells to major distributors through its Brazil-based sales force, which regularly travels to the U.S.
As part of the Imetame Group, an industrial conglomerate with several thousand employees, Imetame Granitos has dedicated itself to social consciousness in its surrounding region. Among its charitable initiatives, the company distributes toys to local children during the holiday season, and in lieu of sending out promotional items such as calendars and pens to clients, Imetame Granitos has implemented a program in which it donates 7,000 backpacks filled with school supplies to local children. It also runs a coat drive during the Brazilian winter (July), and it donates appliances and furniture to those families in need at the end of each year. On a broader scope, the company helps residents in the Aracruz area cultivate vegetable gardens, and it also constructs new homes in the region for needy families.