Last month Intermac opened its doors to invite customers into its showroom in Charlotte, NC, to view the latest in technology and sit in on educational sessions to assist in growing their businesses. The Fall Inside Intermac event took place on October 23th and 24th, and drew attendees from as far away as Minnesota and Oregon. What attracted fabricators the most was the second day’s agenda, which focused on working with ceramics.

“Inside Intermac was such a success this year because we gave the event a strong educational focus,” said Michele Ragno, vice president of sales, stone division for Intermac America. “The variety of seminars hosted by industry leaders gave our attendees an opportunity to learn about topics that are essential to growing their businesses. Without a doubt, the most successful part of the event was our ceramic day, a huge hit within our industry and customer base. The agenda was filled with need-to-know information for companies that have an eye on expanding their capabilities now or in the future.”

Guest presenters on the first day included Mark Meriaux, accreditation and technical manager for the Natural Stone Institute; Intermac Finance Manager Stan Ragley; and Peter Hauser, sales manager Diamut North America. “Our biggest goal is to provide the highest quality CNC tooling that is the fastest and has the longest life,” Hauser told the audience. “The longer your tools will last, the less you have to switch out and the better the investment. It’s all a matter of knowing what’s beneficial to you.”

Day two was “Ceramic Day,” featuring a series of sessions designed to help attendees evaluate the opportunities in new ceramic trends. Starting the day off was a talk from Todd Ward, executive vice president of national accounts for Stonepeak Ceramics, a pioneering porcelain producer that integrated the production of large porcelain slabs into their Tennessee plant in 2018. Ward explained that the company has introduced 2 cm material, which allows them to vein-match through four different colors. He also spoke about the introduction of Stonepeak’s new semi-precious stone collection.

Next up was industry veteran Ron Hannah of Cadenza Granite and Marble in Concord, NC, who spoke to the group about his early embrace of cutting porcelain slabs and the success he is experiencing with it. “North American customers like everything to look brand new forever,” he said during his presentation, “What are ‘Large-format Porcelain Slabs’ and why are they suddenly the talk of the town?” “There are many methods to working with porcelain. The most important thing you need is common sense and to slowdown and focus. It’s all about patience and focusing on the details.”

Tenax USA added to the experience of Ceramic Day by demonstrating the inherent value of using top-of-the-line ceramic adhesives on final products. Filippo Emanuel, Tenax USA CEO, spoke on “Ceramic/Sintered Surface Solutions.” “The good thing about [these materials] is that they are difficult so it puts you in the right place to be at the forefront [of your market],” he said. “With the right products and machines, you can do it.”

Emanuel had a table set up where fabricators could come up to him afterwards to learn more about Tenax’s products. Hannah and Ward were also available for questions.

“After seeing such enthusiasm about the business opportunity porcelain is bringing, we are certain that the technology and knowledge we are offering will guide our pioneering ceramic fabricators to make strong business decisions that will maximize their growth in this new market,” said Ragno.