ITABORAI, RIO DI JANEIRO, BRAZIL -- Natural stone producer, Thor Granitos e Mámores Ltda., has added a massive new blockcutter from Pedrini of Italy. The new machine, the Pedrini M596, represents the latest generation of machinery, with a width of 16 meters, a length of 17 meters, a height of 6.2 meters and a cutting stroke of 8 meters. At a weight of 80 tons, Pedrini reports that the unit -- which it refers to as the Arco di Trionfo (Arc de Triumph) -- is the largest granite blockcutter in the world.

Two block-holding trolleys, each with a capacity of 100 tons, slide along two parallel tracks inside the machine's working area and alternately position under the vertical cutting bridge and under the horizontal cutting/strip unloading unit. According to Pedrini, this system significantly increases output, due to the simultaneous action of the two working steps -- vertical cutting and unloading.

The wide operating spaces used in the machine layout have enabled the company to arrange the mechanical structure with a wide safety margin.

Daily production capacity of the M596 is 450 square meters for thick pavers, 800 square meters for 2-cm flooring and up to 1,200 square meters for 11-mm-thick tiles.

The machine works with diamond discs as opposed to steel shot, blades and lime, which is a cost savings over traditional gangsaw equipment, Pedrini reports. It also uses 4 kW of power per square meter, requires less sludge disposal and provides a greater block yield while also offering other cost savings, according to the company.