Since Adam Anderson and Israel Cruz started BuildersPlus Counter-tops six years ago, the company has experienced a surge of growth. What began as a two-man operation in Houston, TX, has expanded to a business currently comprised of over 40 employees, with steady work from many area builders. And one of the most important investments that contributed to the company's success is the Faro Arm - a precise digitizing tool that has aided in increasing efficiency and production capabilities.

“Between the both of them, they have experienced 25 years in the countertop industry,” explained Robert Dages, who was hired a year ago by Anderson and Cruz to establish and supervise the company's CAD department. “We've grown greatly. We work with around 15 production builders, and we're getting new builders all the time.” Additionally, BuildersPlus Countertops has a retail division with a showroom that services designers and private homeowners, according to Dages. The company is also a distributor of Silestone quartz surfacing.

Dages explained that Silestone's fabrication plant, which cuts the company's jobs, already had equipment from Faro Technologies of Lake Mary, FL. With this in mind, BuildersPlus Countertops knew that investing in their own Faro Arm would speed overall turnaround time. “We have one right now, and we are looking into bringing in another one in the near future,” he said. “Before the Faro Arm, drawing compound angles was more time consuming. This has really saved time. For example, I have been able to draw 400 templates so far this month.”

The process

In creating the digitized template, a laptop computer is attached to the Faro Arm. When taking the measurements for a countertop, a node on the end of the arm is positioned into a specific point and then the operator “clicks” on that point. The arm is then moved to another point and the process is repeated. A straight line is created between the two points via commands, and the information is stored on the laptop.

“All the jobs are saved on a CD,” explained Dages. “We put the CD into a regular computer tower for a desktop and into an AutoCAD program. With AutoCAD and a few commands, the template becomes a complete drawing. Within 24 hours of original template measuring, the job is digitized, drawn and e-mailed to Silestone, where the job is entered into Silestone's CNC machine.” The CAD department at BuildersPlus Countertops uses the program “Fill It Zero,” which is part of the AutoCAD 2002 software.

The accuracy of the Faro Arm has also helped in the company's overall efficiency. “The factory has a tolerance of about 1⁄8 inch, and we keep it to +/-1⁄16 inch,” said Dages. “It's the best piece of equipment that I've used in the industry. The Faro Arm is so much easier to maneuver around into positions. You can touch it very quickly, and you get a good line. The accuracy is outstanding. I can't say enough good things about it.”

In total, BuildersPlus Countertops employs 14 install crews. Each crew includes one installer and a helper, and they each drive a company truck. BuildersPlus installs approximately 20 kitchens per day. While Houston is its primary market, it also does work in the Austin, Dallas and San Antonio areas of Texas as well as Atlanta, GA.

“We have a good basic establishment here as it is, and we are headed in a good direction,” said Dages when speaking about the company's future. “With Adam Anderson and Israel Cruz at the helm, I see nothing but growth and more growth.”

As BuildersPlus Countertops continues to grow, so does the pressure on every department to make as little errors as possible. The CAD department must be especially efficient due to the fact that it is the final point prior to fabrication. This is why BuildersPlus Countertops decided to invest in the purchase of the Faro Arm.