Proper training for any personnel on how to safely move slabs is Rule 1 for any shop fabricating stone/e-stone.
Pole racks can eliminate the danger of losing mass quantities of bundles. By spacing out the poles every four to six bundles, the risk factor goes down dramatically.
Bundles are subject to the domino effect, which is not only dangerous, but costly.
Bar coding is especially helpful in knowing where your excess scrap pieces are and what the dimensions of each piece are. Using this technology, if you have to use a small piece, you’ll know what the size of each scrap piece is and what job it came from. This is NOT an inexpensive system, and is in the $20,000 t range (the last time I checked anyway). I would suspect there will be (if not already) systems coming out that will be more affordable to the masses, and in 10 years, who knows?
UV LIGHT CONSIDERATIONS
With the acceptance of more and more engineered stone by typically natural stone fabricators like myself, the e-stone market share has got to be growing. Additionally, much of the natural stone side of our industry is seeing “resining” becoming a the norm. UV light reaction can be a concern because most the materials that we use have some sort of topically applied resin or, in engineered stone’s case, polyester binders. Many of these can react and have reacted when exposed for long-term stints to natural sunlight. Here in Arizona and many other fair weather states, just about everyone stores their slabs outside.
Remember that many of the stones we now get can and will react with long-term exposure to the sun, so take precautions and check with the people from whom you buy your slabs from. And if they don’t know, don’t take a chance; keep the slabs out of direct sunlight for long periods of time (weeks).
Even if you don’t have a high-tech system of storing, bar coding and handling your slabs, remember this: Think SAFETY FIRST and BE ORGANIZED.
Kevin M. Padden is a fabricator, trainer and consultant to the natural stone industry. He is the owner of KM Padden Consulting and the AZ School of Rock, 480-309-9422; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.azschoolofrock.com.