However, prior to 2003, the company's stoneworking facilities were primarily for splitting and sawing, and much of its fabrication work was outsourced - mostly to firms in Canada and Indiana. By building its own large-scale plant, O&G Industries was able to directly control production schedules and quality. â€œOur goal is to provide customers the opportunity to use one source for their product selection and custom profiling requirements,â€ explained Bob Oneglia, Vice Chairman of O&G Industries. â€œThe fabrication center offers a unique opportunity to our customers. It allows them to observe their project in process, right here in central Connecticut.â€
Equipping the plantThe fabrication and distribution center in Beacon Falls is 80,000 square feet in size, and from the onset, O&G Industries knew it would be investing in the latest generation of stoneworking machinery. â€œThe concept this company embraces is service, and the business has been built on that concept in every aspect,â€ explained Anita Parzuchowski, Marketing Director for O&G Industries, Masonry Division. â€œThe technology was built around that concept, and it is an accelerator to that end.â€
O&G Industries also had to ensure that the new plant would be able to produce a high volume of stonework from the very beginning, explained Patrick Schmitt, Facilities Director for O&G Industries, Masonry Division. â€œWe were already selling [architectural work] through our retail stores, and when we started the shop, the equipment needed to be enough to meet our demand for countertops and cubic work,â€ he said. â€œWe had a name to uphold, and it has really worked out well.â€
For countertop production, the company has a Prussiani Oceania CNC stoneworking center from IGE Solutions, Inc. of Jupiter, FL. This machine was designed specifically for the stone industry, and according to Schmitt, programming and operation of the machine was simple to master. This was aided by the fact that the company already gained a working knowledge of CNC technology operation with the Infinity equipment. Tooling for the Oceania is also provided by IGE Solutions.
Countertop templating is done using a Faro Arm, which creates digital templates, and the corresponding data is fed to the Prussiani CNC machine.
The Yukon saw and waterjet both have dual tables to minimize downtime while workpieces are loaded and unloaded.
Schmitt also explained that he carefully tracks production from each machine, obtaining the hourly rate and costs to run each piece of equipment.
The company imports a tremendous amount of material, reaching a level of one container per day. â€œWith our clients, you have to stock products,â€ Schmitt said. â€œPeople don't want you ordering material for them.â€ As an example, he cited that the company, which once imported an entire shipload of stone, currently has approximately 500,000 square feet of flagging in stock.