Each year, the parent company of Stone World Magazine polls stone fabricators around the U.S. to get their outlook for the coming year and beyond. And over the past few years, the results have been overwhelmingly positive - for the short term as well as the long term. However, in this year’s report (beginning on page 58), the overall feeling was optimistic - but a bit more tempered than in the recent past.
Designed specifically for the stone countertop fabricator, the Express 3200 from Regent Stone Products
comes standard with many features that are generally sold as extras,
the company reports. These features include: a heavy-duty cast iron
bridge; a cast iron, fully synchronized and oil-filled rack-and-pinion
gantry system that is sealed from the elements; and a direct-drive
20-hp motor with hand-held remote control.
The AIM MasterJetSaw, available from AGM, is a combination 20-hp saw and 50-hp waterjet. Engineered to be compact and efficient - open from the front and both sides - the MasterJetSaw systems offer easy loading with work areas that are free of obstructions. The MasterJetSaw is ruggedly designed for full-time production operation, with oversized bearings, full bellows way protection and optimized low-stress electronic servo drives.
Earlier this year, Stone World began conducting and publishing Online Forums with veteran stone fabricators at www.StoneAdvice.com. Our topics have ranged from templating to countertop and sink installation, and our latest forum on sawing techniques can be found on page 100 of this issue. We have been getting responses from stone experts around the country - from smaller shops with basic equipment to larger facilities with the latest stoneworking technology, and it seems that every response we get has a different, useful perspective on the matter.
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.
with the T108 Automatic, followed by the T818 B, the T818 Access, the T58 and the CNC sawing machines, Thibaut of France has made great strides to become a key provider of computerized machinery. The company's goal is to develop machinery that combines solid performance and modern technology - allowing users of the equipment to work with optimum speed and automation.
Without question, the growth of the American stone industry today has been fueled by the explosive popularity of granite kitchen countertops. Homeowners around the country are buying granite for their residences, and it has given new life to the stone industry, which had become stagnant during the early 1990s after the commercial building boom fizzled out. And because of this trend, it is sometimes easy to forget that while granite slabs are certainly a staple of the industry, there are some exciting things happening with other stone materials as well.
In this issue of Stone World, check out content about an office tower in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, which straddles the city’s business and fashion districts. Also read about Tab India, which is another recognized stone producer from India. Through the years, the company has invested heavily in its quarrying and fabrication operations.