Report from Europe - Supplying Spanish stone to a worldwide market
The company was founded in 1989, although its history dates back to 1963, when childhood friends Antonio Esteve Jover and Jose Manez Verdu decided to unite their professional careers. Thus, a small fabricating plant owned by Esteve began working in collaboration with Manez's quarry for Caliza Levante stone. Some years later, Manez began mining Crema Marfil, and expansion continued into the next generation of stoneworkers.
Esteve y Manez's facilities now span across more than 100,000 square meters, equipped with advanced machinery and production systems. The production process is non-stop, and the factory is equipped with the latest in automated machinery from Europe, including:
* 19 gangsaws from Simec, Breton and Tema
* 3 polishing lines for slabs from Breton
* 7 polishing lines for tiles from Simec and Pedrini
* 10 block cutters from Pedrini
* 5 resin machines from Breton and Socomac
* 1 line for antiqued stone
* 1 line for tumbled stone
* 4 bridge saws
Throughout the factory, the stone is maneuvered automatically with specialized equipment, including vacuum lifters, tilting slab-loading tables and other machinery. Even the packing of tiles into corrugated cardboard boxes is completely automated.
Quarrying operationsThe province of Alicante has a long tradition in the field of marble, having become the second production leader in the world, according to Esteve y Manez. Taking advantage of this situation, the company is completely self-sufficient with regard to raw material, as the main source of supply is its own quarries.
The quarries are located throughout the most productive areas of Spain. Among the variety of quarries they have, the Crema Marfil "El Monte Coto" quarry stands out the most. Located halfway between Pinoso and La Alguena, Alicante, Spain, is one of the largest and most impressive extraction areas in the world. At the present time, around 1.5 million tons are extracted every year.
The extraction process relies on the combined effort of diamond wire saws and "jib shearers," which feature tungsten teeth to cut through large masses of stone at the quarries. These are divided afterwards into usable blocks with pneumatic drilling and hammering with troncoconic splitters, which are introduced into the holes. Finally, the quarried blocks are taken to the production plants where they are processed into slabs, tiles or cut-to-size products.
Quality controlTo ensure the stone supplied by Esteve y Manez is at the highest technical level, there are thorough quality controls through all steps of production. All products marketed by the company are certified and approved by the main European laboratories, and stones are analyzed by the University of Alicante to guarantee the proper mechanical properties.
With an eye on the natural environment, the company invests in ensuring that the lands around the factories and quarries are properly maintained, with no dumping of excess stone. Also, all of the water used during processing is treated so it can be reused.
To ensure efficient and quick supply of material to any country around the world, the company has developed an extensive international transport network that includes service by boat, truck or plane. It also maintains its own fleet of industrial vehicles for optimum control.
Product offeringsIn addition to Crema Marfil, Esteve y Manez offers a broad range of stone products. Marble varieties include Rojo Alicante, Marron Emperador and Amarillo Mares, while limestone types include Caliza Capri and Niwala Yellow. Additionally, the company also produces a sandstone material, which is called Oasis Blue. The stone is available in all of the standard finishes, including polished, honed and textured, and the company has also developed new finishes for natural stone.
One of the latest developments for the company was the release of a new range of antique-look marble, commercialized as Auldstone World. This product is the result of the latest application in stone treatment processes applied to natural stone. Esteve y Manez developed this distinctive finish to suit a variety of atmospheres -- from classic to modern -- and the product is ideal for interior and exterior decoration.
Auldstone World products are available in small formats as well as larger sizes, and the product can be used for flooring as well as vertical surfaces, such as walls or kitchen backsplashes.
To work directly with its international client base and reinforce the identity of the Esteve y Manez brand name, the company participates in trade shows around the world. This has included exhibitions in Spain (Piedra, Marmol), the U.S. (Coverings), China (Stonetech), Brazil (Stone South America), Germany (Stone+Tec) and Italy (Marmomacc, Carraramarmotec), allowing it to live up to its motto: "All Over the World."