Upgrading stone manufacturing technology
In the past year, VM Kaldorf has become part of the Franken-Schotter Group and has invested in new technology for its quarries and production facilities
Situated one hour north of Munich, VM Kaldorf is located at Kaldorf, which belongs to the community of Titting in the district of Eichstaett in Bavaria, Germany. Since January 2018, VM Kaldorf is part of the Franken-Schotter Group. The company remains an independent entity within the franchise, operating with its own management, team and brand name. Currently, VM Kaldorf is a Jura limestone stone quarrier and producer that employs 150 people at its own quarries, factories and administration office. While the company operates four of its own quarries, the group currently operates eight quarries in total.
“We specialize in Jura limestone and offer this stone in gray, beige, gray-beige blend and vein-cut,” said Johannes Semmler, the managing director for VM Kaldorf. “We offer a vein-cut from two different benches — one is a dense bench which is a good alternative when architects are looking for a filled travertine, as this stone doesn’t need to be filled. We also have a Jura travertine which is more porous and has the open character of a traditional travertine. Additionally, we offer a type of Jura limestone called Dietfurt Gala, which is frost resistant and a special selection called Dietfurt limestone.” Altogether, the Franken-Schotter and VM Kaldorf group quarries approximately 400,000 tons of raw blocks per year. While having a very strong domestic base in Europe, about 26% of VM Kaldorf’s exports go to the U.S., making it one of their biggest single export markets, along with China.
“After the crisis in 2007/2008, figures dropped and have not regained the pre-crisis level yet, also due to the fact that limestone stocktaking has decreased ever since,” said Semmler. “In the past two years, the exports to the U.S. have been pretty constant. But we see the market going up, and we expect good sales in 2018/19 due to a couple of good projects ahead of us.”
In 2018, VM Kaldorf alone invested in six loaders and quarry trucks to modernize the machine park and to increase capacities to keep up with the rising demand of Jura limestone. Also, in the Kaldorf quarry area, the group operates about 90 pieces of large machinery — starting from forklifts and loaders, excavators, dumper quarry trucks, to hydraulic drills and splitters, wire and belt saws.
“The FS/VM Kaldorf group supplies the full range of natural stone works, from blocks and raw pieces to slabs and cut-to-size,” said Semmler. “It includes pavers, tiles, copings, also fully engineered wall cladding and dimensional solutions. We also offer gardening and landscaping products. “The factory equipment ranges from block cutters to gang and wire saws to slab and tile cutting lines, as well as bridge saws and state-of-the-art CNC centers and robots,” Semmler went onto say. “In addition to that, the group offers facade systems, technical planning capacity and is BIM-ready.”
Recently, Franken-Schotter finished one of their most ambitious projects to date at 35 Hudson Yards in New York City. Franken-Schotter delivered more than 23,000 assembled stone elements in a tolerance of +/- 0.7mm ready to be assembled on curtain wall units. The stone was a Jura Beige limestone with a honed finish. Some of the recent projects VM Kaldorf has completed is the Copenhagen Opera House in Denmark, with a facade of honed Jura Beige; and the New Museum of Liverpool, also clad in honed Jura Beige. They also completed the Asia Society Texas Center in Houston, TX, with flooring of polished Jura Beige, while the interior wall cladding was done in honed Jura Beige. The facade of the building features Jura Beige, also in a honed finish. The Al Hamra Tower in Kuwait showcases interior cladding in Jura vein cut, as well as interior flooring and the facade in Jura Beige, supplied by Franken-Schotter and VM Kaldorf. The UTC shopping mall in Sarasota, FL, has flooring in Jura Beige with a honed finish, while the Four Seasons hotel in Bahrain features splitface corners and splitface facade panels, both completed by Franken-Schotter. Finally, in Calgary, the company completed “River” – featuring facade panels in Jura Beige with a honed finish. VM Kaldorf also supplied façade panels and floor tiles in Jura Grey and Beige honed for the John Wayne Airport in Orange County, CA. They also did the Medical Center Decards Sinai in Los Angeles, CA, providing floor tiles in Grey honed.
In the future, the FS/VM Kaldorf group thrives to strengthen the position as Germany’s leading manufacturer by providing top-quality products and services to their clients worldwide, be it an owner, developer, designer or architect. They will continuously invest in quarries, factories and technical solutions and services that will add more value to its clients’ projects.