English limestone producer invests in change
With an annual production capacity of 75,000 cubic feet and a staff of over 140, Hanson Bath & Portland Stone has masonry works at Portland, Dorset, on the southern coast of England, as well as at Keynsham, near Bristol in the west. And according to Jonathan Pitt, general manager, the company is continuing to grow. "We are investing heavily in new plant and machinery both for our quarries and masonry works."
Machinery abounds at the Portland site. For example, the facility houses a six-axis CNC wire saw from Candiani, an Omag Lathe with copying capabilities and two Omag profilers. The Keynsham site also exhibits many of the company's new investments. Among its machinery is a Van Voorden Sigma 4 CNC 1200 Blade, a special purpose stone lathe, and a BM mono saw. In addition to the company's masonry works, Hanson Bath & Portland Stone also has ten quarries: five at Portland, two near the city of Oxford, and three underground near Bath, also in the west of England.
Portland Stone has been widely used in London. Dating back to the late 17th century, the material was used for Saint Paul's Cathedral there. More recently, Portland Stone has been used for the Governor's House and the Globe House in London. Also, major contracts using Portland Stone have been completed in London, including: masonry for both the Merrill Lynch European headquarters building and Fidelity Investments building. Also, the material was used in the restoration of the northeast and west porticoes of the Great Courtyard at the British Museum.
The company also ships its limestone to the U.S. through New York-based contractors. Portland's stone paving slabs have become rather popular in the U.S., according to the company. Measuring 2 feet square and 3/4 inch thick, the slabs are widely used in U.S. shopping malls. Hanson's Bath and Guiting Stone, buff to orange in color, is particularly favored in the warmer southern and western U.S., Pitt reports. In addition, a current contract has Portland Stone specified for an interior project on New York's Madison Avenue. To further promote the company's presence in the U.S., the company is exhibiting at the American Institute of Architects Convention this coming May.
The future appears plentiful for Hanson Bath & Portland Stone. At the Portland site alone, the company has over 40 years of unquarried stone, while its underground reserves at Bath outstrip the life of present planning consents, which are expected to run to 2042. In addition to the company's wealth of materials, progressive improvements at its Portland and Keynsham masonry works are underway. The company's investment amounts to $5 million over a three-year period on upgrades and purchases.
Equipment ListPortland facility
Terzago T35 Rise and Fall 3.5-meter primary saw
Terzago T35 Rise and Fall 3-meter primary saw
Terzago T35 Rise and Fall 2.5-meter primary saw
Multi blade primary frame saw
Micheletti primary mono saw
Candiani six-axis CNC wire saw
Omag lathe with copying capabilities
Paving unit with primary cutting and two cross-cut saws
Six RTS secondary saws with blades from 2 to 1.2 meter
Two Van Voorden grinder/saws
Universal stone grinder
Stirk planer with 10-meter working bed
Louden planer with 15-meter working bed
Stirk circular planer with 7-meter working bed
Two Omag CNC profilers
Van Voorden Sigma 4 CNC 1200 blade
Van Voorden Sigma 4.3 Axis 1200 blade
Van Voorden Sigma 5 x two number
Norton 500-meterm blade saw
Van Voorden 600 mm cross-cut saw
Van Voorden 400 mm cross-cut saw
Special purpose stone lathe
Gregori 1200-mm saw
Van Voorden 3.5-meter primary saw
BM mono saw
Brevettato 350 crosscut saw