Stone Column

Stone Column: Moving toward CNC technology

September 30, 2002
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+
In this issue of Stone World, we are featuring a roundup of the latest in computer numerically controlled (CNC) stoneworking machinery. This report includes photos and technical data on CNC equipment from around the world. In addition to fabricating with maximum precision, these machines offer a level of automation that allows shop owners to keep labor costs manageable while still providing exceptional quality.

But while Stone World has been covering the developments in CNC machinery for some time, we have recently been presented with the opportunity to see more and more North American fabricators actually making use of the machinery. Whereas only a handful of domestic fabricators relied on CNC technology in the past, it is becoming more and more commonplace today. And as a result, the practical aspects of using CNC technology are becoming common knowledge among today's fabricators.

In addition to the report on the CNC machinery itself, this issue of Stone World includes two case studies of American fabricators who have made the investment in CNC technology and have met with favorable results. The first fabricator, Fordham Marble, was actually one of the first companies in the U.S. to invest in computer numerically controlled stoneworking machinery. After bringing in its first machine in 1986, Fordham Marble recently brought in a second CNC machine from Italy, representing the state-of-the-art of technology. And the original machine is still up and running at Fordham Marble's shop in the Bronx, and it is expected to continue well into the future.

The second fabricator, World Stone Fabricators, actually started in the glass and mirror industry - where CNC technology has long been established as a fabricator tool - and evolved to stone fabrication Located in the furniture-making region of North Carolina, the company set out to make granite countertops for the furniture industry, but they moved into custom countertop fabrication, which now comprises the bulk of their business.

After we prepared our report on CNC technology, I had the opportunity to visit two more fabricators in my home state of New Jersey, both of which have recently made the investment in CNC technology. Look for articles on both of these fabricators in future issues of Stone World.

As I visited these fabricators, it was encouraging to see that virtually all of these firms opened their doors to other members of the North American stone industry so they could see the machinery at work first hand. It is this sharing of knowledge that will be a key to advancing the domestic stone industry to the next level. Because while CNC technology can certainly benefit a fabrication shop, it is not an endeavor to be taken lightly. "The learning curve is extensive," explained Mario Sardo of Fordham Marble. "You need someone who is dedicated to learning the machine and knows CNC. The machine tooling and the overall learning curve make it expensive. It takes a minimum couple of months to learn the machine. But the payback is tremendous. There is no comparison to what you can complete, and it's all cleaner and more accurate."

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

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 July 2014 cover

July 2014

Check out the latest issue of Stone World, which includes a review of the 2014 Coverings conference.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Contemporary Stone & Tile Design Magazine

CSTD Summer 2014 cover

2014 Summer

Check out articles about the Windy Creek Casino renovation,the El Alear Condominium complex in San Pedro Garza Garcia, and a Coverings product review.

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+