Cosentino's Brazilian Factory Undergoes Major Expansion
April 1, 2009
Based in Spain and operating in locations around the world, Cosentino S.A. opened its Brazilian stoneworking operation - Latina Vitória - in Serra, Espirito Santo, in 2002. Five years later, the factory underwent a major expansion, with over $40 million invested in new equipment and facilities, and its latest introduction is the SenSa Granite line, which offers an enhanced level of protection and durability.
Factory UpgradesIn 2007, Cosentino made investments in the Latina Vitória facility that tripled the production capacity. The factory can polish up to 300 slabs per day if needed.
Currently, production of granite is between 9,500 and 11,000 square feet (160 to 220 slabs) per day. The factory stocks more than 850,000 square feet of granite, marble and Silestone quartz surfacing, and it employs over 80 workers.
Recent machinery investments include four gangsaws from Barsanti, and there is also space and infrastructure for two additional gangsaws when they are needed.
In terms of polishing investments, the company added a new Barsanti polishing and calibration line to its equipment lineup. This is in addition to the state-of-the-art Breton polishing lines from Italy, including a Levibreton KG 3000. The machine has 21 polishing heads fitted with Tenax abrasives, and it is also equipped with a Profile Scanner that memorizes the slab profile, while a sonar reader memorizes its thickness.
In addition to new cutting and polishing technology, Cosentino invested in a complete automated resin-treating plant for the Latina Vitória facility, also from Breton S.p.A., which was installed in September of 2008.
Processing on this line begins with raw slabs, and they are treated with resin products from Tenax. During the first step of the process, the slabs are driven by a conveyor into a massive 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, the resin is applied to the surface, and the slabs are moved to a second heating and drying unit, where the resin is dried at a rate much faster than it would naturally dry.
Approximately 85% of the granite processed at Latina Vitória is resin treated, according to company estimates.
The equipment and production has been carefully laid out for optimal efficiency. The blocks are located in the middle of the facility, and they are delivered directly to the gangsaws, then resin treatment, polishing and finally to the warehouse. A trolley system is in place to move material, and the carts run on rails.
SenSa GraniteOne of the product introductions by Cosentino is SenSa Granite, which has been treated with the company’s “SenGuard” protection and features a 15-year warranty. According to Cosentino, the SenGuard process lowers the maintenance requirements for the granite, and protects countertops from staining. Additionally, the company reports that SenSa granite requires no special cleaners, withstands temperatures up to 572 degrees F, repels liquids, is UV resistant, is Greenguard certified and is easy to clean.
>In processing the SenSa Granite, the material is pre-sealed using an automated applicator. Following a second sealer application, the slabs are buffed before leaving the processing line. Each slab is marked and coded, so that any warranty claims can be easily resolved.
SenSa Granite is being heavily promoted by the Lowe’s home centers, according to Roberto Payan, the Granite Division Manager for Cosentino North America, who reported that SenSa Granite now represents 70% of all granite sales at Lowe’s.
Over 40 types of granite in various colors and finishes are produced at Latina Vitória, and they include traditional materials such as Santa Cecilia and Ubatuba as well as exotic stones.