Upgrading to keep up with customer demand

April 1, 2005
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The two largest countertop manufacturers in the Northwest merged on January 1, 2001, establishing Fine Line Pacific, which now operates a solid surface shop and a stone and quartz fabricating facility in the Washington state area.

After spending 15 years as competitors, Tom Risinger, owner of RS Pacific Inc., and Luke Moore, owner of Fine Line Surfaces, saw the opportunities of what could become if the two companies were to merge. In 2001, the men formed Fine Line Pacific and moved the solid surface shop to a 25,000-square-foot location in Renton, WA, which now also houses the company's main office and showroom. Later that year, they opened a 16,000-square-foot stone and quartz facility in Seattle, WA.

“When we first started with the solid surface shop, the granite business got bigger and bigger, and we could see that,” said Risinger. “We knew this was the next big thing.”

With the help of equipment from CMS/Brembana, Fine Line Pacific now produces over 110 kitchens a week between the two shops.

“The solid surface shop contains different materials and tools, but both service the same customers,” Risinger said.

The stone shop is equipped with a CMS/Brembana Antea 750 CNC automatic bridge saw, three CMS/Brembana Maxima CNC stone-working centers -- with another one on the way -- a Marmo Meccanica bridge saw and a Marmo Meccanica LCV flat edge polishing machine for polishing backsplashes. The company uses Diamut diamond tooling, which it purchases from Salem Stone of Winston-Salem, NC, and ADI Diamond Tooling from GranQuartz. The factory also houses a Lap Laser for placing vacuum pods on the CNC.

“We started off with a CNC machine for our solid surface shop years ago, so it was fairly smooth for us to start out,” said Risinger. “We actually don't have any hand routers. The CMS machines are incredible. Our oldest machine has over 10,000 hours on it. They have given us a very controlled process, and we have been able to train people fairly quickly. It's a lot harder to train a stone fabricator how to do it by hand.”

He added that these CMS/Brembana machines have allowed the company to grow at a much faster rate. “The service and support from CMS has been outstanding,” said Risinger. “Any time we have a question, we call 24 hours a day and someone actually calls right back, which isn't all that common.”

The Human Resources department handles the hiring of Fine Line Pacific's staff, and the company trains people who join the team as operators and programmers.

According to Risinger, the most difficult challenge of owning the shop is trying to keep track of all of the details at each job, including the large amount of paperwork involved.

Currently, the two shops are being combined into one 110,000-square-foot facility in Kent, WA. Of this vast space, 30,000 square feet will be used to house materials. Fine Line Pacific stocks a color palette of 19 3-cm-thick slabs of granite. The company also maintains a large inventory of quartz surfacing, including Dupont Zodiac, Cambria and CaesarStone, and Dupont Corian for solid surfaces.

Risinger said that this new building came equipped with large overhead cranes. “We can actually drive the semi-trucks straight through the building, park in the middle and unload using the crane,” he said. “This makes slab handling much safer.”

While the company produces mostly countertops for residences, it also handles work for a lot of floor covering outlets. In addition, the company has a commercial division, which handles large production jobs such as health care, hospitality and military facilities.

Fine Line Pacific offers a myriad of edge treatment options for countertops as well as a diverse selection of sinks, from solid surface bowls to stainless steel undermounts.

The company's goal is to give customers the best installation of the finest products available in combination with excellent customer service and pricing, said Risinger.

End box

Fine Line Pacific
Kent, WA

Type of work: residential kitchen countertops
Machinery: CMS/Brembana Antea 750 CNC automatic bridge saw, three CMS/Brembana Maxima CNCs and a fourth on the way, Marmo Meccanica bridge saw, Marmo Meccanica LCV flat edge polishing machine, Diamut diamond tooling, GranQuartz/ADI Diamond Tooling, Lap Laser guide, GranQuartz/Manzanelli vacuum lifter
Number of Employees: 128
Production Rate: over 110 kitchens a week

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