The Pemagran Group operates a large-scale stoneworking factory in Cachoeiro de Itapemirim, Espírito Santo, Brazil, and it has made major investments to increase capacity.

Already a major player in the international marketplace, the Pemagran Group has recently undergone an investment campaign that has resulted in a considerable increase of its operational structure. The strategy of the company, which was founded in 1979, is to prepare for long-term growth within the international stone industry.

The company was founded by the husband-and-wife team of Calbir Valente Sandrini and Corsina de Moraes Sandrini, and current directors include their sons, Cláudio L. de Moraes Sandrini and Adriano de Moraes Sandrini. Today, with over 400 employees and three associate companies, the principal market of the Pemagran Group is North America, followed by Europe, the Middle East and Oceania. “We are very optimistic, despite the [U.S.] dollar’s devaluation against the Brazilian real currency,” said Cláudio Luís de Moraes Sandrini. “The international economic forecasts are positive, and Pemagran will continuously invest because we believe that the ornamental stones sector will continue to increase and develop around the world.”

The current equipment lineup includes more than 20 gangsaws, three automatic polishing lines, two resin lines and one large-scale drier - among other machinery. The total production capacity is more than 150 containers per month.

Factory investments

Some of the most dramatic expansion can be seen at Pemagran’s stoneworking facility in Cachoeiro de Itapemirim, Espírito Santo. After the acquisition of a diamond wire saw and a state-of-the-art Barsanti slab polisher from Italy, the Pemagran Group is preparing to install new gangsaws to increase its production of raw slabs.

“In Brazil, we don’t only want to acquire new equipment; we want to be sure that there will be a technology transfer. We don’t only invest to increase our production, but also to support our sales in terms of quality, which can only be achieved with the correct use of new technology,” said Cláudio Luís de Moraes Sandrini.

These new investments continue a long-standing pattern of growth for the Pemagran Group. The company began implementing automatic polishers and Italian gangsaws more than 15 years ago. This investment continues as Pemagran begins processing new materials. “For each newly discovered material and each new quarry that begins operation, new technology is necessary,” Cláudio Luís de Moraes Sandrini said. “Currently, Brazil quarries materials that possess the most varied degrees of hardness and other characteristics. All of our finished products reach an optimal quality level because of our [machinery] investments.”

The current equipment lineup includes more than 20 gangsaws, three automatic polishing lines, two resin lines and one large-scale drier - among other machinery. The total production capacity is more than 150 containers per month.

Recent investments at Pemagran include an automated Barsanti slab line, which was imported from Italy.

Quarry operations

Within the quarries operated by the Pemagran Group, management works to ensure a high stock of products. This means that they are regularly opening new fronts for exploration - whether it is classic or exotic materials. Pemagran’s extraction capacity has been amplified due to large investments in quarrying equipment during 2006 and 2007.

Originally, the extraction of exotic materials by the Pemagran Group began in 1999 with two materials: J. Golden and J. Desert. In 2003, it launched the Iberê Line, a new line of exotic materials this is exclusive to the company. Currently, Pemagran operates more than 20 quarries and has many areas still to be explored.

The main export products come from the Iberê Line, and they include Crema Bordeaux, Bordeaux Light, Bellagio, Mombasa, Golden, Personatus, Vittara, Prado and Desert. Other exotics include Sauipe, Mari Blue, Tycoon Blue, Black Bird, Juparana Ivory and X-Terra. Among the classics, Pemagran focuses on materials such as New Venetian Gold, Giallo Ornamentalle, Peacock, Butterfly, Black, Poughkeepsie, Fiorito, Giallo Napole, Santa Cecilia Classic and Santa Cecilia Gold.

When developing new quarry sites or working existing deposits, the Pemagran Group works to contribute to the local communities. “We have invested in [development] which guarantees a financial return to our group and also contributes to the economic growth of areas where we extract our materials,” said Adriano de Moraes Sandrini, one of the directors of Pemagran. He added that prior to quarrying activities, the areas for extraction have typically been economically depressed, with agriculture accounting for much of the local income. With the introduction of a new income source for the region - such as the locale where the Iberê Line materials are extracted - the purchasing power of the local population has increased over the past few years, he said. “The investments for the operation of these quarries stimulate the economy of the area, and they guarantee a financial contribution of extreme importance to the families that live there.”

Adriano de Moraes Sandrini also pointed out the infrastructure in these regions are improved. “Access to specialized education - through technical courses for employees - and technology such as Internet, telephone and mobile communication, is availabile to the employees,” he said. “They also receive a wage several times larger than the incomes previously captured through the agriculture activities.”

Another area of investment has been safety and environmental preservation. “When an industry knows the risks of environmental impact in the extraction and production areas, it directs its investments and methods to minimize these effects,” said Adriano de Moraes Sandrini.

To promote itself in the world market, the Pemagran Group exhibits at large-scale international trade fairs around the world, including Coverings in the U.S., Marmomacc in Italy, the Big 5 Show in Dubai, Stone+tec in Germany and the Vitória Stone Fair and Cachoeiro Stone Fair in Brazil, among others.