Fabricator Case Studies

Moving with the times

August 1, 2012
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Five years ago, Cadillac Stone Works operated as a high-volume, high-end production facility, doing fabrication work for casino projects that called for as much as 300,000 square feet of stonework. Today, with the changes in the economy, the shop is more focused on detail-oriented custom projects, and it offers a range of specialty fabrication services for its clients.

“Originally, we found that [large-scale developers] were getting their work done by two or three fabricators or they were going to China to get the work done,” explained Jeff Grail of Cadillac Stone Works. “We wanted to provide a high-tech shop where that type of work could be done by one company.”

This model worked for Cadillac Stone Works for several years, until the recession halted several large-scale casino projects, including the Fontainebleau Las Vegas, a multi-billion-dollar condo, hotel, casino and entertainment project on the Las Vegas Strip. “With the economy, things changed quite a bit,” Grail explained. “Our work on the Fontainebleau was 75% complete, and the bank pulled out. We made the decision to sell some equipment and change our business model.”

Equipment in Cadillac Stone Works’ facility currently includes two Omag Mill 98 CNC stoneworking centers, which are serviced by Salem Stone of Winston-Salem, NC. The company also has two twin-table waterjets from Flow International, and these machines do all of the cutting within the shop. “We are doing a lot of waterjet fabrication right now — a lot of medallions,” Grail said. “There is a huge demand for patterns.”

Cadillac Stone Works

North Las Vegas, NV

Type of work: countertops, bartops, vanities, fireplaces, custom waterjet-cut medallions and more

Machinery:Two Omag Mill 98 stoneworking centers (plus two additional ones being installed) from Salem Stone of Winston-Salem, NC; two double-bed waterjet cutting centers from Flow International of Kent, WA; Gorbel boom cranes equipped with Manzelli vacuum lifters from GranQuartz of Tucker, GA; a Marmo Meccanica LCV Magnum flat edge polisher

Meanwhile, the CNCs are used primarily for edge detailing, and the company is becoming more advanced in its laminated work. “We are doing more and more feather mitering, where the two pieces are cut at a 45-degree angle, which really allows the veining pattern to follow the edge.”

In addition to using the CNCs, a Marmo Meccanica LCV Magnum polisher is used for flat edges. Material is maneuvered around the shop using Gorbel boom cranes that are equipped with Manzelli lifters, both supplied by GranQuartz.

In addition to streamlining its machinery lineup, Cadillac Stone Works has adjusted its approach to business. “Things have become very price driven, with flat-polished edges and a lot of basic stone materials,” Grail said. “Value engineering is a big part of our business now. We keep our inventory down, and we bring in material on a project-by-project basis.”

In addition to imported material, Cadillac Stone Works sells some locally quarried material, such as meta-quartzite from Las Vegas Rock. “They are getting some really good patterning right now,” Grail said.

Looking to the future, Grail is seeing some reason for optimism. “Things are looking up,” he said. “Casinos are starting to renovate.”

Two recent examples of casino projects completed by Cadillac Stone Works are the Gallery Nightclub at Planet Hollywood, and the Sahara Spa at the Cosmopolitan, which won a Pinnacle Award of Merit from the Marble Institute of America earlier this year.              

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