Fabrication Comes Natural For Stone Importer/Distributor

June 1, 2005
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After working in the supply of natural stone since 1963 -- and developing a network of material suppliers from around the world in the process -- the owners of CCS Stone of Moonachie, NJ, decided to enter the field of stone fabrication around five years ago. The combination of experience in natural stone and advanced stoneworking machinery has been a success, as the company is expanding on a regular basis.

CCS Stone is family owned, and principals include brothers Jonathan Mitnick, Bryan Mitnick and Corey Mitnick, along with their father, Don Mitnick. After spending many years in Garfield, NJ, the company moved into its current facility several years ago, which features five overhead cranes and allows room for expansion. “It actually started out of necessity for fireplaces and such,” explained Jonathan Mitnick, who added that the company also had a saw on site for cutting samples. “Once we decided to add a larger saw, we had the capacity to accommodate our customers' requests. Also, as many of the fabricators became direct importers [of stone], fabrication became a vehicle to sell our own inventory.”

Bridge saws at the shop include the GMM Eura, which can be equipped with blades up to 625 mm in diameter and has a 20-hp motor. The company also has a GMM Tecna, which can be equipped with blades up to 725 mm in diameter and has a 30-hp motor. The Tecna model also features increased automation. In addition to the GMM saws, the company still utilizes the original M2 saw that it purchased when it first began fabricating.

The most advanced fabrication work is done on a CNC stoneworking center from Ravelli Pier Luigi of Italy. “I have known Davide Ravelli for a long time, and it was a natural fit for us,” Jonathan Mitnick explained. The machine offers automatic changing of 22 different tools, and three or four profile heads can fit on the spindle at one time, which means the spindle does not have to return to the tool storage magazine as often. It also features a moving bridge as opposed to a fixed bridge, which allows workpieces to be loaded with an overhead crane, and it has a 104- x 151-foot working area. The machine does large radius cuts, rounds and grooves, and an overhead laser is used to demark the cutting pattern. To program the machine, hard templates are read on a digital scanning table, which in turn feeds the data into the computer. Or, for more simple jobs, the dimensions are simply plotted directly into the computer.

Corey Mitnick learned how to use the equipment from the outset, and a technician from Ravelli Pier Luigi was on site for a month to educate him on the particulars of the machine. “It was important to us that a family member run the machine,” explained Jonathan Mitnick.

In addition to countertops, CCS Stone also processes elements such as fireplaces, saddles, sills and cut-to-size projects. Straight edge work is also done on a LCV 711M unit from Marmo Meccanica. This machine is for flat polished edges of backsplashes and fireplaces.

The final polishing of the edges for kitchen countertops and vanities are finished by hand. Tooling and supplies are purchased from companies such as Braxton-Bragg, Salem Stone and Bellinzoni, and CCS Stone also imports tooling from Korea and China. “That's what I do for a living,” explained Jonathan Mitnick. “Everyone in my family has been groomed to be an importer. That's why we don't really sell a lot of domestic stones. When you are importing a stone, you are bringing in value.”

A water treatment system is in place to economize water consumption, and the shop has also been outfitted with a hot water heater for the hand tools. For dust collection, CCS Stone utilizes the Ghines Idrodos from Italy, a suction wall with water depuration purchased from GranQuartz. Dust is exhausted through a water nebulation system and does not require pumps, filters or moving parts. Stone is maneuvered throughout the shop and onto the trucks with a range of transport frames from Groves, Inc.

Overall production can reach 20 kitchens and 100 fireplaces per week, in addition to the other architectural pieces and commercial work. Material is imported from throughout the world, including stone from Portugal, Spain, Canada, Turkey, Israel, Taiwan, India, Italy, China and Brazil, among other nations.

The company sells to contractors, homebuilders, general contractors and tile shops, and it also fabricates stone for outside stone installers. To service this market, the company has created a showroom for builders, wholesalers, fabricators, designers and other clients to visit and view products first hand. The showroom has also served as a locale for organizations such as the New Jersey chapter of the ASID to view a recent stone demonstration and presentation.

CCS Stone has also maintained steady business as a stone supplier, and it has expanded its operation to distribute products such as Dry Treat impregnating sealers from Australia.

End box

CCS Stone, Moonachie, NJ

Type of work: Wholesale stone distribution; commercial fabrication; kitchen countertops; custom backsplashes; vanities; fireplaces; saddles and sills
Machinery: Ravelli Pier Luigi CNC stoneworking center; GMM Eura bridge saw; GMM Tecna bridge saw; M2 bridge saw; Marmo Meccanica LCV 711M edging machine; Ghines Idrodos dust collection system; Groves, Inc. transport frames; Braxton-Bragg, Salem Stone and Stone Boss tooling
Production rate: 20 kitchens and 100 fireplaces per week, plus other architectural pieces and commercial work

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