An investment in precision

December 1, 2002
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The equipment roster at All Granite and Marble Co. in Ridgefield Park, NJ, sets it apart from many typical countertop fabrication shops in the U.S. - both in quantity and in the level of technology at work. With two CNC (computer numerically controlled) machines and four bridge saws in continuous operation during the workday, the company is following a standard philosophy to keep itself outfitted with the latest machinery in the marketplace.

The company has been in business for a total of 15 years, including six years at its current location, which is 10,000 square feet in size. According to Mark Wojtach of All Granite and Marble, the company has constantly sought to upgrade its equipment, and all of the machinery currently in place has been purchased within the past four years.

The CNC equipment includes a Breton Goldenedge CTX, which is used to process straight edges and perform the upper and lower chamfers on the workpiece. The machine features a rigid structure for optimum noise reduction, and pieces to be machined are placed on a rubber worktop, which is aligned using a guide plate and held in place with a series of pneumatic clamps.

The profiling tools for the Goldenedge CTX are stored in a 15-position rotating storage facility, and a vertical-axis electric spindle processes the workpiece. A laser system checks the profile, diameter and length of the tools and presets them, and the machine's software aligns all of the tools of the set based on the specific profile being processed. The same system also monitors the tool consumption.

The Goldenedge CTX can process materials up to 6 cm thick and working lengths up to 137.8 inches without having to adjust the machine. A CNC control unit displays a range of data as well as illustrations of the profiles and tools involved in each process.

Earlier this year, All Granite and Marble added a Contourbreton NC 350 computer numerically controlled stoneworking center to its equipment lineup. This machine is used for curves and more complicated workpieces. The machine is equipped with two workbenches to eliminate downtime. The system features two moveable benches that run on wheels. While one bench is positioned inside the machine during the work phase, the second bench is set up with the pieces to be worked in the following cycle. The size of each worktable is 137.8 x 78.74 inches.

The Contourbreton NC 350 works with optimum precision and allows for a broad range of work to be fabricated. The machine's X axis has a range of 2,000 mm; the Y axis travels 3,500 mm; and the Z axis travels 350 mm. It is equipped with sliding doors with large inspection windows to allow the workers to view the process while enhancing safety and reducing noise. The tool changing is automatic, and the machine has a total of 24 storage positions. Tool changes can be made from outside the machine, even when it is operating.

The programming for the CNC machine is done with the use of a BretonCAM software system, explained Carolyn Stash of Performance Machine Systems, the exclusive U.S. and Canadian importer of Breton CNC stoneworking machinery (except New England). The system can create complex geometrical shapes; generate text for the machine commands; and import and export IGES, DXF and CDA-FS files as well as files generated by the company's digitizing table. Commands can also be programmed directly into the control panel.

In addition to the Breton CNC equipment, All Granite & Marble has four bridge saws from GMM, which are almost always in operation throughout the shift. In total, the company has a total of 24 employees.

The machinery used for processing a countertop varies depending on how complicated the work is. The straight workpieces are cut on the bridge saws and finished on the Goldenedge CTX, while the Contourbreton NC 350 is used for the curved and more complicated work.

The company's owners first saw the Contourbreton NC350 at the Coverings exhibition three years ago, and they envisioned the machine as an opportunity to increase production time within the shop. With all of the advanced machinery currently in place, Wojtach said the company could fabricate 15 kitchens per day if the demand were in place.

The company maintains a large inventory of slabs, with 170 varieties of granite in stock, and they can import virtually any material upon request, according

to Wojtach.

Although it is located only 10 miles from Manhattan, All Granite and Marble sells more to New Jersey and the surrounding metropolitan area, such as Westchester County, NY, and western Connecticut.

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