With roots dating back to 1994, Granitos Zucchi has established itself as a reputable stone producer of Brazilian stones. The company recently revamped its marketing strategy and now places an emphasis on high-end material such as exotics and other specialty stones. To meet the demand for these luxury materials and process them in the most efficient way, Granitos Zucchi built a new factory last year, which includes approximately 540,000 square feet of covered space, to house a custom Simec line for exotics and specialty stones.

“There is a huge demand now for all of our quartzites,” said Jonas Zucchi, president of Granitos Zucchi. “We believe these exclusive rocks that we have here in Brazil should be shown. People don’t realize how many we have and what is available.”

The company primarily specializes in slabs, and 65% of its material is exported to the U.S. Additionally, Canada and Mexico are significant players for the company, and in recent years Columbia has also become an important market. Half of its business is exotic stone, and the company reports a demand for 2 cm material — especially in Canada as well as California, Miami, FL, and Houston, TX, in the U.S.

“Every single day we ask ourselves how we can do better,” said Zucchi. “We look at the market to see what the trend is. We work every day to do something different than others.”

Zucchi went on to explain that crystals are new to the market. “We can process them the same way [as quartzites],” he said.

According to Leonardo Tatagiba, company director, every year Granitos Zucchi expands its collection of materials. “Each year we offer more than 100 colors,” he said, adding that in 2014 the company became an exclusive supplier of the luxury stone Alexandrita. “We check the demand of the customers. We saw the demand for new and exotic material.

“We want Zucchi to have the complete solution,” Tatagiba went on to say. As a result, the company also offers six “classic” Brazilian granites. A high volume of each material is maintained at its warehouse along with 450 containers of inventory. While some material is reserved, other slabs are ready to meet customer requests. Zucchi Granitos uses an ASP system to keep track of its inventory.

Developing a custom line

Because the company places a priority on exotics and specialty stones, Italian machine manufacturer Simec approached Granitos Zucchi about collaborating to develop a custom stone processing line for high-end materials. “Simec has the most experience with marble systems,” explained Zucchi. “They have the best ideas. They approached my brother, Gyan Zucchi, who came up with the idea for the automated processing line.”

With the new system, slabs are placed on a bench that keeps each one stable and moves it along the line. There are no rollers involved. “We can do everything automated on the line to avoid manual steps,” explained Tatagiba.

Within its new factory, approximately 240,000 square feet is dedicated for processing exotic material. The company outputs 8,000 square meters of material per month. Each slab is scanned with a Simec Image Share and entered into a system where customers can view the product.

Also used in the production process are 10 Gaspari Menotti gangsaws and two Pedrini multi-wire saws.