Stone Column

Stone Column: Getting off to a good start

October 12, 2006
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+

In order to separate themselves from the competition - which seems to be increasing on a daily basis - many stone fabricators in North America are researching and investing in new stoneworking technology. They are bringing in new equipment and tooling that allows them to increase their efficiency and quality in the shop, and we are seeing these advances in every market we visit. Examples of these developments can be seen in virtually every single issue of Stone World, including the five fabricators we profile in this issue.

But having the right technology in your shop is not necessarily enough to ensure that your finished stonework will stand out from the competition. The quality-control process needs to begin with choosing the right slab materials, and with more foreign slab producers targeting the U.S. market than ever before, there are many more factors to consider.

In preparing Stone World Magazine over the years, our staff has visited slab production plants around the world - in Italy, Brazil, China, India and many other countries. And the process for transforming blocks into slabs is a large-scale operation that is truly a site to behold. Housing everything from massive gangsaws to sleek slab polishers to advanced resin-application machinery, these slab plants operate much in the same way as an assembly line, and the resulting slabs are what ultimately arrives at the loading dock of your shop. Whether your shop is large or small, and whether you are importing direct or through distributors, you should be aware of how your slabs are processed before they are added to your inventory. What type of polishing machinery is being used to create the slabs? How are they packaged for shipment to the U.S.? What is their quality-control process?

And if you are using resin-treated slabs (which is more than likely these days), there is a whole new set of factors to consider. What type of resin products are being used? How is the resin applied to the stone, and what technology are they using to ensure that it penetrates deep within the material, and not just on the surface? In finding the answers to these questions, working with a reputable stone distributor can be invaluable. Since I visit many of these international slab producers around the time of major industry trade shows, I often bump into North American slab importer/distributors at these plants. And I see these folks working tirelessly to ensure that the products they bring into the U.S. are of the utmost quality, and that they are being processed with the latest methods and technology.

In this issue of Stone World, we take a look at several slab processing plants in Italy, which have invested in some of the latest machinery and resin products in the marketplace (pages 182 to 194). Although they are only a tiny fraction of the many, many sophisticated slab processors around the world, they serve as good examples of what to look for in a slab producer. And by starting with the best quality materials, a fabricator can stand out in a very crowded marketplace.

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

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



Image Galleries

November 2013 Stone Products Gallery

Take a look at some of the latest stone industry products.


Stone World Magazine

April 2014 stone world cover

2014 April

In this month's issue of Stone World, check out an extensive preview of Coverings 2014, which will be celebrating its 25th anniversary in April. Also learn more about various types of limestone that were used to build private residences.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Contemporary Stone & Tile Design Magazine


2014 Spring

This issue of Contemporary Stone & Tile Design includes our annual focus on Kitchen and Bath design

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Training Program

How formal is your training program for new employees?
View Results Poll Archive

The Stone World Store

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

Italian Trade Commission Coverings exhibitor preview

Italian Trade Commission logo 2

The Italian Trade Commission is presenting a large group of the most innovative and internationally renowned Italian suppliers of dimensional natural stones. We hope your busy schedule will allow you to join us for a “genuine” espresso in booth N. 4045 and explore the exciting Italian natural stone resources offered by our exhibitors. Check out Italian stone producers exhibiting at Coverings 2014 here!


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 to register for upcoming fabricator and installer seminars.


facebook logo Twitter  YouTube