Branching into countertop fabrication

January 6, 2003
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+


With a collection of high-end building products such as Indian glass tiles, slate mosaics and stone/stainless steel combinations, Instile Stone Corp. has carefully monitored the design preferences of homeowners. And the company took this idea one step further with the creation of Concepts Instile in Rahway, NJ, which specializes in fabricating and installing stone countertops.

From the very beginning, the owners of Concepts Instile -- Uday Patel and Mahesh Patel -- sought to equip the fabrication shop with the latest in computerized stoneworking machinery. And with this in mind, they purchased a Maxima CNC stoneworking center from CMS/Brembana.

The Maxima is equipped with four axes, and it can perform a variety of functions, including routing, profiling, milling, polishing, inlaying, engraving and bas-reliefs. The machine can process slabs as well as cubic pieces, due to a Z-axis (vertical) stroke of 400 mm. Other features include an X-axis stroke of 3,600 mm and a Y-axis stroke of 3,000 mm. The fourth "C" axis, which was added as an option, has a rotation of 360 degrees.

To minimize the need for operator intervention, the machine features a 22-station tool holder magazine, and the tool changing occurs automatically.

Before programming of the Maxima begins, a template of the workpiece is created either in wood or paper. The dimensions of the template are then recorded on a digitizing table, where the user denotes the measurements around the perimeter of the workpiece with a remote unit. This data is transferred to a personal computer, and the software translates this information into a code that dictates the movement and tool changing of the Maxima.

Once the code is fed into the machine, it executes all phases of production virtually automatically without operator intervention.

To further streamline the templating and programming process, Concepts Instile has acquired an e-templating system to template with a digital camera.

Other equipment at the shop includes a bridge saw from Bombieri and Venturi of Italy. This saw has two worktables to increase efficiency and minimize downtime. Recently, the company also brought in a bed polisher from India.

Instile selected the Maxima after seeing it in operation at the Marmomacc exhibition in Verona, Italy, and after visiting several fabricators in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area. The machinery was delivered in January of last year and they were running by February. However, Uday Patel said that regular production did not begin until March 15, and it took two to three months of trials to take full advantage of the machine's ability. "It's quite complex," he said. "It takes three months before you really learn it." Patel also said that the learning curve was shortened due to the company's experience operating fabrication shops at their locations in Atlanta, GA, and Charlotte, NC.

Slabs are maneuvered around the shop with two overhead cranes and lifting equipment from Wood's Powr Grip. Once fabrication of a countertop is completed, it is sealed with products from Bellinzoni.

Instile has eight men working in the department, including installers and machine operators, and it typically completes six to seven kitchens per week. Instile is looking to expand its fabrication shop in the coming year by investing in a straight edge polisher, and it is also considering the purchase of a waterjet cutting machine in the near future.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Stone World 

Recent Articles by Michael Reis

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

The Stone Fashion Show at Marmomacc in Verona

As usual, stone suppliers from Italy and around the world relied on the Marmomacc fair to showcase some of the latest stone materials to the international marketplace. The following is a look at just some of the stone materials on display in Verona.

Stone World Magazine

Stone World October 2014 cover

2014 October

Featured on the cover of this issue is the Colorado Yule quarry in Marble, CO, which was recently purchased by Italian stone producer, R.E.D. Graniti.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Contemporary Stone & Tile Design Magazine

CSTD Fall 2014 cover

2014 Fall

In this issue of Contemporary Stone & Tile Design, we take a look at the latest developments in TPT, with a feature article and you can read more comments from Waldrep on this subject as well as other industry professionals.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

STONE STANDARD

Are you aware of the new stone standard – ANSI/NSC 373 Sustainability Assessment for Natural Dimension Stone?
View Results Poll Archive

The Stone World Store

How_To_Polish_&_Restore_Mar.gif
How to Polish & Restore Marble Flooring

This video will show you step-by-step how to resurface and polish marble flooring from grinding and removing lippage and scratches to achieving a highly reflective polish.

More Products

Stone Guide

2014 Stone World Stone Guide

The directory for Stone, Equipment and Supplies - the single information resource readers turn to.

Stone Industry Education

stone industry educationStone Industry Education is sponsored by Stone World Magazine and Marble Institute of America. The SIE events will help you: strengthen your skills, build your business, and  increase profit in your shop.  Check out stoneindustryeducation.com to register for upcoming fabricator and installer seminars.

STAY CONNECTED

facebook logo Twitter  YouTubeGoogle+