The Brazilian-based stone quarrier and supplier, Grupo Andrade, acquires new technology to increase production and improve efficiency
Headquartered in Serra, Espírito Santo, Brazil, Andrade is one of the leading exporters of imported marble and Brazilian granite, owning and operating seven active quarries throughout Brazil. Their seven quarries yield Gold Brazil (from Todos os Anjos, Espírito Santo), Blue Fantasy (from Rio Novo, Espírito Santo), Butterfly Green (from Vila Pavão, Espírito Santo), Imperial Coffee / Chocolate (from Candeias, Minas Gerais), Santa Cecília (from Espírito Santo) and Candeias Green (from Candeias, Minas Gerais).
The company now services clients all over the world and strives to expand its customer base on an annual basis, gradually adding new continents to its clientele, such as Africa and Eastern Europe. “With increased production set for 2014, Andrade is now going far for new customers,” said Josy Marafiotti, Marketing Manager for Andrade. “Today, Andrade’s main clients are worldwide importers with distribution centers. But one area that has been growing a lot is the local market. Today, we have imported marbles from China, Italy, Spain, among others, to supply the very best options for Brazil.”
More importantly, Andrade is dedicated to expanding its business — constantly investing in new machinery, including the recent acquisition of two high-performance diamond wire gangsaws and a new resin line, with a goal of increasing production by 50%. “The new wire saws and resin line are from Simec, a solid company from Italy and partner for many years,” said Marafiotti. “The equipment is today — in terms of numbers of diamond wires — the biggest gangsaw operating in the world, with 82 diamond wires in each.”
Currently, Andrade produces around 645,835 square feet of slabs each month in its three branches, with hopes of increasing that number in the years to come. “For 2014, Andrade is planning to increase production by 2,000 square meters (21,528 square feet) per month,” said Marafiotti. “We are always using the best equipment and respecting the environmental rules. The U.S., today, is the greatest market for Andrade, consuming 60% of the production.”
Andrade currently employs 276 people, 192 of which work in the factories and 84 that are dispersed throughout each of the seven quarries. The company is also adding some new workers as a result of the technological upgrades. “Andrade is already training current employees for the new machinery, as well as contracting some others to join the Andrade team for factory [work] and sales,” said Marafiotti. “But one big difference about Andrade is the software development. Already a pioneer in many aspects, we also have a big project for new, faster software. We want to work with the best [technology] available to increase efficiency on the production [of our materials].”
Focused on the best way to meet the needs of their customers and ensure the quality and delivery of the requested material, Andrade Group is also constantly investing in quarries. Two of its newest quarries, located in Espírito Santo and Minas Gerais, yield Santa Cecília and Candeias Green, the most recent additions to the company’s product list.