Re-emerging U.S. Stone Industry: Taking the plunges into CNC technology
Practically since childhood, Bruce MacLachlan has had a history in the kitchen-building business. Today, his company - Top Line Co., of Pennsauken, NJ - includes a busy solid surface shop as well as a state-of-the-art stoneworking facility in Pennsauken, NJ.
MacLachlan began in the kitchen and cabinetry business in Northern New Jersey at a young age, as his father was a wholesaler of laminate sheets. In 1978, at the age 24, he moved to Southern New Jersey, where he got involved with the distribution business and eventually purchased the company. He began manufacturing laminate countertops and became a sub-distributor for Wilsonart for a period of time.
The Omag CNC machines are equipped with Diamut tooling from Salem Stone, and they feature vacuum pods from Omag as well as Blick Industries.
The Palm Pilot is then connected to a PC, where the file is opened on AutoCAD, and the job is manipulated as needed (sharpening the corners, for example). In addition to programming the CNC machines digitally, the operator gets a printout for each job.
Top Line Co.Type of work: kitchen countertops for Lowe’s home centers and kitchen and bath dealers
Machinery: Two Omag Mill 4X CNC stoneworking centers from Salem Stone of Winston-Salem, NC, equipped with tooling from Salem Stone as well as pods from Blick Industries of Laguna Beach, CA; GMM Eura bridge saw from Salem Stone; Sebring bridge saw from Matrix Stone Products of Rancho Cucamonga, CA; Fraccaroli & Balzan water treatment system from Salem Stone; radial arm polisher from Pedrini of Italy; LT 55 laser templating system from Laser Products of Romeoville, IL
Number of Employees: 48
Production Rate: 12 kitchens per day