Tab invests in the most up-to-date equipment to increase stone production
In order to keep up with market demands, Tab, headquartered in Jaipur, India, has gone through continuous expansion and updating of its machinery. The company was first founded in Minneapolis, MN, in 1997, had its first plant built in India in 1998, expanded to a second plant in 2000 and completed its third and the largest facility in 2001. Soon afterwards, the company got into the quarrying business, opening its first operation in 2002, and has since expanded to more than 15 quarries in granite and quartzite.
Founded by Amit Gupta and Sumit Gupta, the company strives to improve itself by investing in the future. “We are buying the latest generation of machines, without cutting corners of investment,” said Sumit Gupta. “That has been our goal. We have purchased stone processing machines from the best names in the business like Breton, Gaspari Menotti and Simec to name a few. All the plants are state of the art, fully computerized and integrated to reduce any manual intervention, which results in a smooth production line process.
“This year, Tab has replaced three of its oldest polishing lines, with the latest generation Breton KG 4600, which runs at almost double the speed of any other machine available in the market,“ Sumit Gupta went on to say. “Tab has two multi-wire sawing machines, one from Breton and one from Gaspari Menotti, which gives it the unique edge of being able to process the most delicate and exotic stones from around the world.”
The company decided to get the Breton KG 4600 because it has always used Breton polishing machines, and in their opinion, they are the best machines. “Also, it’s the right mix of men plus machine plus materials, which has always worked for us, hence there was no question of changing either the supplier or the philosophy,” said Sumit Gupta.
The company sells its products through their authorized Tab distributors and importers worldwide that are strategically picked in various locations. Its breakdown of sales by products is 60% slabs, 15% tiles, 15% cut to size and 10% blocks. Approximately 50% of the company’s market is in the U.S. Of the rest, 40% is Europe and 10% is the rest of the world.
As for stone materials, Tab sells 60% granite and 40% quartzite, marble, soapstone and other stones. “Investing in the right technology removes any doubts about the fluidity of production,” said Amit Gupta. “This means negligible processing issues, such as damage to the material, re-processing and re-polishing, thickness tolerance, etc. We believe 50% is the machine and 50% is the expertise and carefully choosing of which type of tool is right for processing which type of material, whether it is during cutting or polishing. Automatic resin lines reduce any dependence on the redundant system of drying the slabs in sunlight, which is both primitive as well as slows down any process. In terms of the factory, automatic and self-monitoring machines reduce the dependence on having to employ too many people to supervise every process, hence increasing efficiency, as well as overall housekeeping of the operations.”
Some of the company’s recent projects have been malls in Europe, U.S. Embassies worldwide, large public projects in Romania, Germany, the UK, Mexico, Qatar and many others.
The main plant in Hosur is 30 acres, with multiple sheds totaling 600,000 square feet. Capacity is not fully utilized due to market conditions. Tab can produce up to 400 containers of slabs and about 50 containers of tiles per months. Shipments are presently 70 to 80% of capacity. “Currently, Tab has a very high production capacity in slabs, which is suitable to support the sales targets of the company,” said Amit Gupta. “As the demand and supply of the raw material from around the world keeps changing as per the market indicators, there is always an excess capacity in the production compared with the demand. Hence, there is no need for immediate expansion in the production. However, we always keep looking at new avenues to innovate, so we are always on the lookout for anything new and exciting.”
The company has approximately 1,000 workers worldwide and considers itself to be one of the best employers out there. “The working environment in the company is considered to be one of the best in the country,” said Sumit Gupta. “We run the best practices known in the business environment such as using SAP to integrate various processes, being ISO 9001:2008, CE, first in India to be CE certified for stone processing, ISO 14001, OSHAS, etc. Tab also claims to be 100% green, as it is the only company in India so far that is using and recycling all possible effluents coming out of various production processes — the most notorious being the stone slurry, which we are using to make bricks, pavers and other building materials. Tab also received a certification from Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), IGBC is the Indian equivalent of LEED, for its efforts to convert its processes green and for zero effluent policy. Tab supports many social causes as part of its corporate social responsibility, which includes running a school for the underprivileged children near the factory, among many other such activities.”