Blake Anderson and his brother are taking over the reins of the family business in Anchorage, AK, and making improvements to their fabrication shop that will make life easier. Alaska Countertops started out as a solid surface shop in 1996, but it has grown its stone division to account for approximately 80% of its current business. With the addition of three new machines from Park Industries®, Alaska Countertops has quadrupled its productivity.
This year, Alaska Countertops added a Titan® 3700 CNC router to its lineup of machinery, and Anderson has been impressed with just how much the company’s productivity has increased because of one machine. “Four fabricators working by hand for a full day will produce the same amount as what our Titan will produce in a few hours,” he said when explaining the significant impact the machine has had on their labor savings. “The Titan speeds production up. It eats up everything we feed it.”
The Titan has provided Alaska Countertops incredible time and labor savings while delivering finished high-quality edges.
The FastBack® II edge polisher has been a massive upgrade for specifically flat-edge polishing at Alaska Countertops. Polishing backsplashes used to be an unfavorable time-consuming job that no one wanted, but with the Fastback II, that has all changed for the better. Anderson is amazed at the volume they are pumping out with the Fastback II and the quality of polish it produces.
“This thing just prints money,” he said. “The Fastback II runs material through at 65 to 70 inches per minute to a perfect polish. You cannot get anywhere near that hand polishing. I’ve never seen a better polish in my life.”
The shop also improved upon its water conservation efforts with the HydroClear™ Pro 95. Anderson had an inefficient high-maintenance water system prior to the new water recycling system. When comparing the two, he shares the differences they have found, “The HydroClear Pro 95 has our water running incredibly clear,” he said. “It looks like drinking water after going through this system. The water from our prior water treatment system looked like mud in comparison.” The water is much clearer and they are able to run at a high production pace with a shop full of five machines. Anderson and his employees find the HydroClear Pro 95 simple to operate, as well as the maintenance to be next to none.
“From hand fabrication to running a fully automated shop today, we have quadrupled our productivity with less people touching the material,” said Anderson. “It is crazy how much we can pump out and get into peoples’ homes.”
Anderson had a great experience visiting Park Industries for training on the machines and thought the trainers made learning easy. He now enjoys the simplicity of programming everything versus hand dropping sinks and hand polishing.
“I wish we would’ve done it five years ago,” he said. “It’s just crazy how much easier it makes life. From start to finish, working with Park has been a smooth process. Park has great people and machines that bring your shop to the next level.”
Video: Alaska Countertops Fabricator Spotlight