The need to ensure quality air and water treatment within the fabrication shop makes a great deal of sense from a personal safety perspective. Moreover, it also ensures that the equipment in the shop will run at optimal levels. And now, with the stone industry attracting more attention from OSHA than ever before, it makes good business sense as well. In order to protect your assets and avoid costly fines, it is critical to maintain certain standards within the shop.

The following is a look at some of the air and water treatment systems available in the market today.

Air Purification

GranQuartz has taken an active role in preventing harmful dusts and powders from entering a worker’s breathing zone and respiratory system by introducing Magnum Dust Collectors from Diarex. The company pointed out that OSHA has established a PEL, which states the maximum amount of silica dust a worker is allowed to breathe in a set time period, and a “Special Emphasis Program” to help educate people of the harmful, and possible deadly, effects of silica dust.

GranQuartz has three units designed to filter out 99% of all harmful dusts and powders. The Magnum Dust Collectors from Granquartz use “point of origin” suction to remove the harmful dusts and powders. The “point of origin” suction allows the user to position a suction arm where needed to provide maximum suction away from the users’ breathing zone and from entering their respiratory system.

The Magnum Dust Collectors have three different units available to offer the user a filtration unit better suited for their filtration needs. The first unit is a 3-hp unit with an 8-inch-diameter x 10-foot-long suction arm. The second unit is a 5-hp unit with two 8-inch-diameter x 10-foot-long suction arms. Both of these units are portable, and they come with a light kit, minihelic gauges and use re-usable cartridges that can be cleaned by a reverse pulse system. The final unit is a large suction wall and optional suction arms.

The Dust Devil from Hard Rock Tool is engineered to create a clean and healthy work environment. The Dust Devil drives dusty air through its filter and circulates clean air through the back. According to the company, the Dust Devil performs best when there are at least three units positioned to create a circular motion of air. Filters can be cleaned by taking them out and shaking them or by rinsing them out with a hose. No special electrical work is required, and installation from a shop’s ceiling is designed to be simple, Hard Rock Tool reports, adding that company representatives can assist users in planning the most effective alignment for their specific shop.

Marmo Machinery USA has announced the availability of the MB-30 Dust Reclamation Unit, which can eliminate the dust from grinding and sanding operations and filter the air to create a better working environment in fabrication shops. The system was designed to drastically improve air quality, and to assist in compliance with EPA-recommended guidelines for worker safety.

The MB-30 is equipped with dual capture systems. It uses a powerful fan and a micro-misting system delivered by several jets to break down dust. The captured air is then filtered through thin water surfaces, cleaned and returned back into the shop. The captured dust is collected into an easy-to-maintain reservoir with built-in drainage plugs. The machine is constructed of durable stainless steel to ensure long life.

The MB-30 was also designed to be easy to clean and maintain. Removable front panels allow for quick access to the filters when cleaning the system. The MB-30 is 3,000 mm long x 1,000 mm wide x 2,350 mm high. It weighs 320 kilograms and has a 4.2-hp motor.

Tri-Mer Corp. has introduced a shop dust collector for fabrication shops that grind and finish stone, granite, quartz, composites and engineered materials. The Whirl Wet is manufactured from ½- or 1-inch solid virgin polypropylene, making it well suited for long-term service involving corrosive or abrasive dusts, the company reports, adding that it is 99%+ efficient for particulate 5 microns and larger.

The Whirl Wet has no internal moving parts and does not use components such as spray nozzles, pumps or bags. Instead, it uses a proprietary process to create intense mixing of particulate and small amounts of water. Also, several processes can be directed to one Whirl Wet.

The unit is available with an automated drag-out for collected particulate, a feature which allows the system to operate continuously without shutdown. Whirl Wet’s construction has been engineered to make it structurally strong and highly resistant to accidental damage. Systems are manufactured in capacities from 500 cfm to 100,000 cfm.

Whirl Wet dust collectors are self-cleaning, and Tri-Mer reports that they have been designed not to clog under any operating conditions, or stop production. The system is virtually a closed loop, wherein incoming water is used, then recycled, leaving as sanitary sewage or steam.

Water Treatment

Beckart Environmental, Inc. manufactures systems for 100% recycling and reuse of wastewater in the stone fabrication process. The main components of these systems are the company’s Hy-Pack Filter Presses and programmable logic controllers (PLCs). Major benefits for fabricators include reduction of water costs and elimination of haul-off and sewer surcharges; expandability to accommodate future business growth; and automated operation with flow measuring, monitoring and graphic display. Beckart recycling systems also help reduce wear and tear on tools and equipment used in the fabricating process by supplying a continuous clean water source, the company reports. Designed for flow rates of 10 to 200 gallons per minute (GPM), Beckart systems provide solids-filtered water down to below 1 micron.

The Abaco Five Bag Dehydrator from Braxton-Bragg Corp. has been designed to provide fast collection and trapping of the abrasive mud produced by machining stone. It has been engineered as an economical, one-step method for separating water from sludge and slurry. The Abaco Dehydrator is constructed of stainless steel with a zinc-sealed tank and coated steel flanges for the bags. Total dimensions for the machine are 94 x 77 x 24 inches and 463 pounds, and the unit requires 230v 60hz/ 240v 50hz power. The Abaco Dehydrator has four basic components: pump, mud holding tank, clean water tray and filter bags. According to Braxton-Bragg, these components require minimal labor, and they can be broken down for easy shipping and assembly. The pump is operated by a float switch, which works in conjunction with a mechanical float switch. The mud tank holds 143 gallons and puts out 22 cubic feet of dry mud per week.

ECS Eich fully automated, self-contained water treatment systems, available from Fabricator’s Choice, allow users to spend more time fabricating stone and less time on system maintenance, the company reports. ECS systems can be scaled for any size stone of quartz fabrication shop, the company reports, adding that there is no need for additional flocculents (chemicals), no filters required and no need for additional holding tanks.

The unit has a highly compact footprint, and its self-cleaning feature is designed to save both time and money, as there are no long delays to restart the system after cleaning. Fabricator’s Choice provides continuing support and service on this technology.

Diarex Cyclone Water Filtration Systems from GranQuartz offer water filtration by design. Users select the filtration system that provides the right cleanliness level for the shop’s specific equipment. Cyclone Water Filtration systems are modular, with various levels of water filtration. Cyclones use centrifugal technology to remove solids and provide water suitable for hand tools and bridge saws at a low cost. Additional filtration can be added for crystal clear water.

Hurricane filter systems are designed to remove smaller solids to provide crystal clear water back to edge machines or CNC spindles. The Hurricane filters remove solids through a polyester media filter cartridge. The fluid enters the vessel through a tangential inlet and is forced to create a “hurricane effect,” causing the pleats to open and particles to be forced into the pleats. Clean water is sent through the center core down the standpipe and returns to the application. The Hurricane filter cartridges can be repeatedly cleaned.

Marmo Machinery USA offers the DEP-250 Water Reclamation Unit. This self-contained system will allow fabricators to reuse water from existing operations, and reduce exposure from mandated EPA regulations. The unit is made with galvanized steel and reclaims 250 liters, or just over 66 gallons, per minute.

This system solves the problem connected with sludge and contaminates in the shop’s water. It accomplishes the water sludge separation by using liquid flocculent and gravity. The sludge will then be extracted and dehydrated through a series of filtering bags. Once full, the bags can be easily disposed of, the company reports.

Marmo Machinery USA can install and warranty the system very quickly with minimal shop interruption.

Fraccaroli and Balzan (F&B) manufactures solids separators for the stone industry, available from Salem Stone. These units are capable of efficiently separating stone particulate from the water used in any stone-processing application - from sawing to edge profiling. The F&B units employ a combination of a low-cost flocculent (settling agent) and simple mechanical filter press to provide “clean” water that can be recycled back to the workstations. The units are available in a 17-foot overall height (model FB/2000V-WD-CS) and a 13-foot overall height (model FB/2000V-WD-CF.)

Cycle Description

Wastewater coming from the stone processing plant is collected in a pit or tank, where a float-actuated submersed pump automatically pumps the slurry into the cylindrical decant tank. Before reaching the tank, a flocculent is automatically injected into the slurry. The chemical action of the flocculent accelerates the suspended solid particles “falling” out of suspension. The treated slurry is pumped into the decant tank in a way that minimizes turbulence to further facilitate the efficient separation process. The “clean” water flows to the top of the decant tank, overflowing into a surrounding chamber while the heavier solids collect in the bottom of the decant tank. The treated water is pumped from the “clean water chamber” back to the processing machine by a centrifugal pump. The mud collected in the bottom of the decant tank is discharged into a filter press, where the water is finally filtered.


• Overall Dimensions (model CS): 7 feet, 4 inches x 17 feet high

• Overall Dimensions (model CF): 7 feet, 4 inches x 13 feet high

• Decant Tank Size: 6 feet, 6 inches x 6 feet, 6 inches

• Clean Water Reservoir Size: 1,320 gallons

• Maximum Waste Capacity (per minute): 132 gallons

• Solids Disposal (per hour): 16 – 42.24 gallons

• Power (kW): 10÷5

• Full Load Weight: 66,150 pounds

The water filtration system available from Sommer & Maca is designed to reduce water costs while also preserving tooling and ensuring flow systems are not clogged. The quality of the finished product is also kept high by the elimination of contaminants, Sommer & Maca reports, adding that sludge output is reduced by up to 90% by pressing it into mud that is dehydrated and easily removed.

With a closed filter system, the environmental impact is virtually eliminated, and local regulations are satisfied, according to the company. All systems can be installed indoors or out, and processing rates of up to 528 gallons per minute are available.

A year and a half ago, VIC International, with its engineering and manufacturing joint venture associate, Schubert Environmental Equipment, sought to address the problem of adequate water treatment for stone fabricators. The result was an inclined plate mechanical separation clarifier with the new timed double mud drop (patent pending).

Schubert Environmental researched and tested plate material and angles and flow rates to come up with the SlurryClean concept. This unit, available in galvanized or stainless steel (never painted), cleans the water to a very light gray color. This allows for recirculation of the water to all plant machinery, although it is recommended to use city water for the center spindle feed on CNC equipment. (In fact, CNC manufacturers discourage or disallow the use of any treated water back to the center spindle feed). This also is a constant “adder” supply of water to make up for the closed loop loss in evaporation and mud absorption.

As the slurry water enters the top of the unit (10 to 13 feet tall, depending on the size of 50-, 150-, 200-gpm units), the cleaned water is pushed over the top at the opposite end to two cleaned water tanks where pressure pumps return it for re-use.

At the same time as the water is cleared, the timed automatic double-flow or single-flow mud drop is constantly operating with special precise timers to keep the collected slurry dropping into dehydration bags, where the last of the water is sweated out, and the firmly packed mud is accumulated for easy handling and bag replacement.

The operating costs are only the required pumps that are standard for a water treatment system, with no high-pressure pumps required to push through filters. The unit uses a minute amount of compressed air to open the mud drop and a simple 110-volt controller for the timers.

Water Treatment Technologies’ EnviroSystem is a patented technology that produces thousands of gallons of crystal clear water that it reports is safe for all fabrication equipment - even CNCs and waterjets. The closed-loop EnviroSystem eliminates the need for a permit to discharge the wastewater from the fabrication process, and it demonstrates a company’s efforts to create a “green” shop, recycling the water and supporting the local environment.

Because the EnviroSystem is designed specifically for each facility, it can accommodate shops of all sizes. Water Treatment Technologies has systems in shops that range from one to two kitchens per day with demands as little as 7 gallons per minute to shops that demand over 500 gallons per minute, producing over 50 kitchens per day. The company’s largest system installed to date can process up to 450 gallons per minute of crystal clear water, and combined with 200 gallons per minute of gray water, it delivers 650 gallons per minute.

Due to the ebb and flow of recycling water, it demands a unique automation package, one that can listen to the water demands of an individual fabrication process, and Water Treatment Technologies has a patent-pending automation that ramps up and down with water demands, meeting the water production needs of a day-to-day operation.

Gray-Tech, an efficient gray water filtration system, is also available from Water Treatment Technologies. In this dual-filtration system vortex action is combined with the advantages of woven mesh-screen filtration to remove more solids without the use of consumable filters. Removal of smaller particles is also assured without a loss of flow rate or pressure in the gray water supply, the company reports, adding that the machine’s re-usable filters allow for easy cleanup.