Italian slab processor invests in resin plant
The resining plant, which is from Breton S.p.A., was purchased by Cometti in August of 2002. The epoxy resin fills in the pores of the slab and results in a vitreous material wherein the granite is completely smooth. All of the steps in the resining process are automated, from the loading of the slabs through the final delivery to the processing line.
First the slabs are dried in an oven, and then machinery automatically applies the resin along with a catalyst. For materials that need special attention, the resin can be applied by hand. A vacuum chamber drives the resin deeper into the stone, and better reinforces the material, and the slabs go into a second oven for quick hardening. These ovens can dry/harden up to 40 slabs at one time.
Once the resin has dried, the slabs are moved onto a slab polishing line that includes a Levibreton KG 2000 with 19 polishing heads. Having 19 polishing heads allows Cometti to run the machinery at a high production speed. The first five or six heads are equipped with diamond tools, and standard carborundum abrasives are used for the final polish.
To reduce downtime, Cometti has the option of working exclusively with diamonds, which would not have to be changed as frequently as other polishing materials.
After receiving the final polish, a four-head waxing unit applies a coating of wax to the surface of the slab. This protects the surface during storage and transportation.
Due to the high level of automation at the plant, only two people are required to work the production line, with one worker concentrating on slab loading and unloading. The current processing cycle is two minutes per slab, or 1,800 square meters of material in a single shift. Overall, Cometti is equipped to process 240 slabs per day, with an average slab size of 7.5 square meters.