Nearly Two Decades of Growth in Brazil
January 7, 2009
When it was first established in early 1990, Cajugram of Mimoso do Sul, Espírito Santo, Brazil, operated two gangsaws with the intent of supplying stone for the local domestic market. A few years later, the firm had the opportunity to invest in more technology - adding slab polishing equipment and tile lines - and the company started to export polished granite slabs and tiles to North America and South America. Today, Cajugram is one of Brazil’s largest stone suppliers.
The principal owners of Cajugram are Valdecyr Robert Viguini, Nelson Veguini, Jovercy Robert Viguini and Otavio Rodrigues Junqueira, and the company philosophy has been to sustain “constant evolution” as a supplier. This includes investment in technology as well as placing an emphasis on craftsmanship, market recognition, customer satisfaction and environmental awareness.
Cajugram offers a broad range of stone types, ranging from basics to exotics - 40 different materials - in blocks, slabs, tile and cut-to-size pieces.
Quarrying OperationsCajugram quarries 17 types of granite, and the quarry sites are located in several different states, including Espírito Santo to Minas Gerais, Bahia and Goias.
Materials from Cajugram’s quarries include: Brazilian Black, Amazon Green, Ipanema Beige, Icaraí Yellow, Santa Cecília, San Francisco Yellow, Giallo Renoir, Giallo Portinari, Giallo Monet, Giallo Platinum, Golden Storm, Bordeaux Light, Versace, Coral Spring, Goiás Pink, Brasília Red and Kilimanjaro.
The most common extraction method in the quarries is the use of diamond wire technology together with the expansive mass technique. These two methods help reduce the waste and also maximize the production and quality, the company reports.
An average of 12 employees are at work in each quarry, with a total of 200 quarrymen employed by the company. In all, the quarries produce approximately 1,500 cubic meters of material each month.
Stone ProcessingCajugram’s factory is located on nearly 250 acres, with 120,000 square feet of built area. Machinery includes 17 gangsaws from Cimef and MGM of Brazil; three automatic polishing machines from MGM (two with 16 heads and one with 20 heads); two tile lines from Coch of Argentina; four bridge saws from Zonato of Italy and Coch; a CNC stoneworking center from Comandulli of Italy; a countertop line from Breton of Italy; a semi-automatic resin-treatment line from Roch Industrial of Brazil; a mono-diamond wire saw from Rochaz of Brazil; and a multi-diamond wire saw for processing blocks into slabs from Wires Engineering of Italy.
Cajugram reports that it is always searching for up-to-date technology to maximize production and to assure the highest quality possible. As an example of this, the company is using the mono-diamond wire block cutter for squaring blocks and to minimize the production waste. Also, the multi-diamond wire saw is being installed to increase production and also to increase the quality of slab sawing.
The company has 100 employees working at its main factory (in addition to the quarry workers). Besides the factory at the company headquarters at Mimoso do Sul, there is another small factory with five gangsaws located near Cachoeiro de Itapemirim, Espírito Santo, and a second branch located at Brasilia/DF, the Brazilian capital.
Sales and MarketingA total of 85% of Cajugram’s sales comes from slab production, with 10% tile or cut-to-size sales and 5% block sales. In all, the company processes 555,000 square feet of material. Of this, 65% is exported, and 35% is sold within the domestic market.
Cajugram exports about 70 containers per month, and it intends to increase that total to 150 containers over the next two years. Also in the future, Cajugram expects a shift in production to 60% slabs, 20% tiles and 20% cut-to-size work.
Cajugram exports to 41 different countries, including the U.S., Ecuador, Argentina, Canada, England, Portugal, Israel, Nigeria, Angola, Romania, Ireland, United Arab Emirates, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Panama, Venezuela, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Colombia, Peru and others.
Major cut-to-size projects have included the Rochavera Towers in Sao Paulo, Brazil, which used 130,000 square feet of cut-to-size Ipanema Beige in flamed and polished finishes. Ongoing projects include the Bay Adelaide Center in Toronto, Canada, which is using 54,000 square feet of honed Ipanema Beige in a honed format, and the Dubai World Central Airport in United Arab Emirates, which is using 300,000 square feet of Ipanema Beige tiles.
In terms of slab sales, Cajugram works with distributors, fabricators and builders across the U.S.