As more solid surface fabricators take on stone fabrication, it comes up on our radar screen more often. It is something we cannot ignore and we strive to cover it as more of you embrace it and request information from us.
To try to keep up with this growing area, SolidSurface has been in contact with numerous companies with products for stone fabrication. While it is impossible to bring you information on every new or interesting development in the field, we have compiled information on some of the things being produced. Those of you working in stone or contemplating a move in that direction should dig in and take a look around.
Auto 'V' Grooving released a newly patented dry cut V grooving process for natural and engineered stone and solid surface materials. This exclusive v-grooving process is said to save fabricators 2⁄3 of traditional labor costs, without the mess and time delays of wet cutting. Auto 'V' claims that V-grooving replaces lamination at a fraction of the price and time. This new patented process is available on two models of stone v-groovers.
The SVG-30 model is used to V-groove stone for any level of production of 3cm or smaller. The ST-SS-2-FT model, v-grooves stone up to 12mm at 8 linear feet per minute and can v-groove solid surface materials by simply changing a cutter. Both models come with specially designed diamond cutters, a new dry cooling system and a high-volume, extra-fine vacuum system with a "HEPA" filter that makes for a dustless cutting environment.
CMS/Brembana was one of the first companies to produce CNC machines for stoneworking. Now it is a worldwide designer/manufacturer of CNC high-speed machining centers for natural and engineered stone and solid surface materials. The company's lineup of machines includes CNC routers, bridge saws, block cutters, waterjets, and polishing lines for working stone, glass and solid surface materials.
Available from CMS/Brembana is the Concept Y1700 CNC machining center, which combines speed and a compact structure. The equipment edges, polishes, routes, carves, engraves, saws, grinds, mills and chamfers. It has a monobloc base for sturdiness and a mobile-bridge structure to allow accessibility. Machine features include 3 and 4 axes, an 18.1 hp, 13.5 kW electrospindle with an automatic tilting head (for production of inclined drainboard) and a 26-position tool station with 26 tool holders. The machine has a working area of 142 by 66 inches, with maximum machinable pieces up to 137 by 62 in. Its footprint is 20 by 14 ft.
Fabricator's Choice provides fabricators with equipment to do the job, like AXYZ CNC routers. Stone countertop fabricators also find a range of equipment including Titan CNC Stone Routers and new Vulcan Bridge Saws. Big news for all fabricators is the launch of a PhotoTop digital templating system that works directly with CNC routers. The company offers hands-on training and product support. Stone fabricators can use the Vinyl Templatemaker, to produce waterproof template from digital files. The company also has a line of material handling equipment, hand tools, storage systems and water filtration and dust extraction systems.
Marmo Meccanica USA announced the availability of the HTO-1B, a fully automatic bridge saw suitable for quickly and accurately cutting granite and marble slabs. It is made with a double-beam bridge and oversized steel construction. Bridge movement is on cylindrical rollers contained in oiled guides. Rack and pinion gearing with helicoidal teeth helps ensure smooth movements, reducing play and wear. The bridge saw is programmable and can even operate without the operator present. It can program up to 792 different cuts. A 20 hp motor provides cutting speeds of approximately 120 lineal ft. of 3cm material per hour. The motor is connected directly to the cutting blade without the use of V belts. This direct drive system reportedly allows the HTO-1B's motor to obtain the characteristics of a 25 hp belt driven motor. The unit's cutting blade head can tilt from 0 to 90 degrees. Each saw is equipped with an hydraulic tilting table to assist in loading slabs on the cutting surface and a rotating table lockable at any angle position.
The company also manufactures edge polishing machines and CNC equipment for stone and engineered stone fabrication.