Working in the “new norm”

Working in the “new norm”

Despite the pandemic, Stone Resources recently opened its second shop – fully automated and equipped to operate efficiently to meet its customers’ needs.

Stone World has been the leading news source serving the international stone industry since its inception in 1984. Its articles cover the production and use of granite, marble, limestone, slate, quartz surfacing and other materials and our readership includes fabricators, architects, installers, importers, distributors and other stone industry buyers, sellers and producers.

Part of the FS Builder Resources’ family, Stone Resources continues to advance and expand its business through automation. With its largest location in Carrollton, TX, the stone fabrication company recently opened a second shop in Pflugerville, TX, a suburb of Austin. While it encountered several obstacles and delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the state-of-the-art facility opened the first week of October, only two months after its originally scheduled grand opening date.

Although its footprint is smaller than the Carrollton shop, which has been in operation for 17 years, every inch of workspace is being utilized to house a full lineup of the most technically advanced equipment, including two Robo SawJets and an Edge XL stone CNC router, edger and stone polishing machine – all from BACA Systems, a water recycling system from Water Treatment Solutions and a LTX COMBI line polisher from Marmo Meccanica. “We wanted to be all automated,” said General Manager Rich Adducci, who has been working in the industry for 30 years. “It makes it more productive. We can get as much done as we are doing in our facility [near Dallas] that has 30,000 square feet more space. Our production is going to be a lot easier and more automated than what we have been doing.”

Adducci explained that for its Carrollton shop Stone Resources was among the first 20 or so Robo SawJets BACA Systems had ever sold. “The production of the saw was awesome,” he said. “We had the machine side-by-side with a similar competitor’s waterjet and the production level was higher with less down time and lower preventative maintenance.

“We streamlined a lot in the Pflugerville location,” said Adducci. “We took a smaller facility and can produce a greater amount with less footprint.”

“In Carrollton, we have a mix of ‘old school’ and ‘new school’ equipment,” Adducci went on to say. “We have gone from just bridge saws and templating with hot glue guns and strips of wood or cardboard to digital templates and CAD straight into the system.”

Technology is the key component of a successful business for Stone Resources. “The Edge XL is the largest CNC table on the market,” said Adducci. “It is the machine’s first year to be out.”

The fabricator went on to say how both facilities have water recycling systems from Water Treatment Solutions. “That is the heart [of the shop],” he said. “I need three things to run – power, water and air. Water is very important. Without it, we can’t do anything. We built a pit for the brand new system so it can be easily cleaned. 100% of the water is recycled. We believe in their systems.”

Most of Stone Resources’ tooling is supplied by Colossal Diamond Tools, LLC. It is a firm believer in Terminator products. “Sebastian and Vincent [from Terminator] have helped me set up the blades and tooling for the whole shop.”

For templating, the company relies on two 2D3Ds, as well as four LT-55 Laser Templators — all from Laser Products Industries. “They are terrific,” said Adducci. “We love them.”

As for the staff, Stone Resources continues to grow its team so that it can provide the best service possible to its customers.

Stone Resources is a certified Silestone and Dekton manufacturer. When it comes to customer preferences, Adducci has noticed a trend moving more towards quartz rather than granite. In addition to Cosentino, the company’s suppliers include Arizona Tile, MSI and Vicostone.

Operating through the pandemic

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Working throughout the pandemic has presented obstacles for many businesses, including fabricators and others involved in construction. While it requires some strategizing to put new procedures in place, many companies such as Stone Resources continue to run a successful operation despite the current circumstances. 

“We work with local and national builders,” said Adducci. “A large part of our business is single-family homes, but we also do multi-family and commercial construction.”

Adducci explained that due to the pandemic, the company had to adapt. “We have had to change some things,” he said. “When we go into occupied homes, we have to be a lot more conscious of our surroundings. We use alcohol wipes and hand sanitizers, and wear gloves. 

“But we haven’t slowed down a whole lot,” Adducci continued. “We have worked through the pandemic and haven’t missed any days. We have been pretty fortunate.”

Adducci also spoke about how the pandemic complicated the construction of the company’s new shop. “During the building process of the shop, we were put down a month until things opened up,” he said. “We got it done though. It took two months longer than expected. We were shooting for July/August and opened in October. It created a lot more postponements and appointments. We would have people scheduled to come in for training and then they would cancel.”

Stone Resources focuses its energy on working in the “new norm.” “We do the best we can with what we have,” said Adducci. “We are holding our own.” 

This content is a feature from the Stone World.

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