I have been on many boards and committees during my years at Stone World, and while they have all been important, and I feel like we achieved some worthwhile goals, no group has the potential to do as much good for the stone industry as the Natural Stone Council (NSC).
A year and a half ago, VIC International, with its engineering and manufacturing joint venture associate, Schubert Environmental Equipment, sought to address the problem of adequate water treatment for stone fabricators without “over costing the problem” with ultra high efficiency water cleaners.
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.
For this issue, we are excited to share with you four features that focus on using compact and ultrathin slabs in both residential and commercial projects. As these products continue to gain popularity, we wanted to share different ideas of applications, including an upscale dining environment in the interior of a Saks Fifth Avenue.