Archive | January, 2019

LOTTE Advanced Materials Acquires Leading Engineered Stone Producer

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LOTTE Advanced Materials Acquires Leading Engineered Stone Producer

Posted on 30 January 2019 by cradmin

With the acquisition of Belenco, Turkey’s leading manufacturer of engineered stone, LOTTE Advanced Materials increases production capacity for its Radianz quartz countertop brand. This acquisition significantly enhances LOTTE’s ability to manufacture and supply quartz surfaces on a global scale. Located in Turkey’s third-largest industrial complex, Manisa OIZ Industrial Park, the two production lines of the Belenco facility are capable of producing more than 230,000 slabs of engineered stone per year.

Belenco utilizes state-of-the-art, Breton manufacturing technology – a process that produces high-quality, technologically advanced engineered stone material for the building industry. LOTTE Advanced Materials has been a licensee of Breton technology since 2018, utilizing the process in the development of its new Radianz Cirrus Collection.

“Our goal is to be the worldwide leader in the manufacture and delivery of exceptional quartz surfaces, and the acquisition of Belenco represents a major milestone in achieving that objective,” said Dale Mandell, director of business development, LOTTE Advanced Materials USA, Inc. “LOTTE’s addition of Belenco’s capacity and technological expertise will benefit distributors, dealers, designers, and consumers for decades to come.”

You may also be interested in this article about Fletcher Building’s sale of Formica.

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Coverings Offers Complimentary Registration

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Coverings Offers Complimentary Registration

Posted on 28 January 2019 by cradmin

Attend North America’s Largest Stone & Tile Showcase

When it comes to stone fabrication, collaboration is key. Meeting with customers, negotiating with suppliers, understanding the latest safety standards, and learning new fabrication techniques keeps you thriving and raising the bar.

The tips, techniques, and experts who can help you maximize your time and sharpen your skills are all converging in one place in April, and they’re ready to help you succeed.

Join more than 26,000 other industry professionals April 9-12 in Orlando for Coverings 2019, The Global Tile & Stone Experience. Registration is easy and free, and once you’ve signed up, be sure to access the great Orlando hotel rates.

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Manufacturers, Importers, Fabricators Take Up Sides Over Quartz Antidumping Duties

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Manufacturers, Importers, Fabricators Take Up Sides Over Quartz Antidumping Duties

Posted on 26 January 2019 by cradmin

The biggest news to hit the countertop fabrication industry in 2018 was the imposition of new antidumping duties on quartz produced in China, and now stakeholders with opposing views have taken up sides by lending support to one of two groups: the Italy-based World-Wide Agglomerated Stone Manufacturers Association (A.St.A.), and the domestic group of importers and fabricators known as the American Quartz Worker Coalition.

The first organization is closely tied to the antidumping duties on Chinese quartz because one of its leading members is Cambria, the company that filed the original petition on the behalf of all domestic engineered stone producers. Among the other 13 prominent members of A.St.A. are Caesarstone, Vicostone, Cosentino, Santamargherita, RMC, Quartzforms, LG Hausys, and TopZStone.

A.St.A. took its present form as an international “association of manufacturers of agglomerated stones” in 2015, and since that time, it has grown to become a prominent organization in the countertop industry and other construction-related industries.

In December, A.St.A released an official statement reaffirming the organization’s commitment to the countervailing and antidumping duties imposed on quartz imported to the U.S. from China. Currently, the preliminary countervailing duties are 34.38 percent for most Chinese quartz imports and 178.45 percent for quartz from two particular manufacturers. The antidumping duties, announced last November also range from 242 to 341 percent.

 “A.St.A. World-Wide reaffirms its firm support of free and fair trade according to A.St.A.’s first and second articles of its statutes.

In particular, A.St.A. World-Wide supports the preliminary measures adopted by the United States Department of Commerce and by the United States International Trade Commission (USITC), as part of their investigations, to impose duties on Chinese producers to protect fair trade in the industry.

In addition, A.St.A. World-Wide considers similar measures should be adopted in other jurisdictions like the European Union to guarantee competition in equal conditions for the industry’s and of the consumers’ benefit.”

According to the statement, the organization represents 14 producers from 10 countries and 15,000 direct employees.

Cosentino also released its own statement on the matter.

“Our company stands in support of fair and free trade,” said Eduardo Cosentino, CEO of Cosentino North America and EVP Global Sales for Cosentino Group. “We fully support fair and free trade and sincerely applaud all efforts that have led to this decision and important cause. We are grateful for the opportunity to compete fairly in the United States, and with this announcement, we look forward to the restoration of a level playing field in the market.”

On the opposite end of the spectrum is a newly formed organization, the American Quartz Worker Coalition. According to a press release published January 23 of this year, the group is opposed to the duties on Chinese quartz imports, seeing the duties as “an attempt by one company, Cambria LLC, to convince the U.S. government to impose trade restrictions on imported quartz, a move designed to inflate Cambria’s profits.”

The Coalition claims to represent more than 200 U.S. fabricators and 5,000 workers across the country and believes that the duties will reduce the supply of available quartz by 50 percent, limiting consumer choice and threatening “tens of thousands of quartz-related fabricating jobs.”

“The U.S. quartz industry is an American success story,” said Matt Huarte, owner and vice president of Arizona Tile. “The industry has generated significant job growth, healthy profits and exploding sales over the past decade. Unfortunately, this success story is threatened by Cambria’s trade petition, which is simply an attempt to fatten its already high profits to the detriment of other manufacturers in the U.S. quartz industry, as well as U.S. quartz consumers.

“There are two very distinct market segments for quartz countertops in the U.S. – the luxury market and the mass market – with little competition between them,” said Rupesh Shah, co-president of MS International. “Cambria already dominates the premium luxury market with high-priced specialty products and is highly profitable as a result. U.S. fabricators, who serve the mass market and account for over 50,000 manufacturing jobs throughout all 50 states, rely on these imports to provide consumers with affordable quartz countertop products.”

“Cambria is petitioning the U.S. Government to diminish the vital role of fabricators in our industry, claiming that they play such a small and insignificant role in the industry that they should be ignored,” said Marisa Bedrosian, co-owner of Bedrosian’s Tile and Stone. “Nothing could be further from the truth. U.S. quartz fabricators are major employers and investors in this industry and, most importantly, are responsible for more U.S. labor to create quartz countertops than Cambria. It is easy to recognize the immeasurable value of our fabricators given that quartz countertops must be fabricated and installed to amount to any worth to a consumer.”

“The ‘Legend of Cambria’ is that fabricators don’t matter, and that is why we have come together to form this Coalition,” continued Bedrosian. “We will tell the real story and ensure that the facts about the entire U.S. quartz industry are heard and considered by the ITC. Hard working U.S. fabricators and other workers in our industry should be allowed to continue providing consumers with unlimited choices in quartz countertops.”

A final decision on this matter by the USITC is scheduled for May 2019.

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BLANCO Updates SILGRANIT Color App

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BLANCO Updates SILGRANIT Color App

Posted on 25 January 2019 by cradmin

BLANCO introduced their newly updated free kitchen design app, BLANCO SILGRANIT®. Made for homeowners, designers and fabricators, the app helps users evaluate the appearance of BLANCO sinks paired with popular countertops to select the perfect color combination for their kitchen design. Favorite combinations may be saved and e-mailed to others. Users may also photograph and add their own countertop selections to the app.

Compatible with iOS (iPhone, iPad) and Android (phones and tablets), the BLANCO SILGRANIT app also has a Store Locator feature, so users may find their nearest BLANCO dealer.

BLANCO SILGRANIT Color App Highlights:

  • Easy and intuitive iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch/Android App lets user mix and match BLANCO sinks with countertops to find the perfect pairing
  • 157 different BLANCO sinks in SILGRANIT, stainless steel and fireclay
  • 60 colorful countertop choices
  • Ability to search by sink or counter to start
  • Ability to photograph a counter and add it to the app
  • Users can store designs in a Favorites folder to share or save for later
  • The Store Locator function allows users to find where to purchase a BLANCO sink by simply entering their home zip code and connecting with a retail outlet where BLANCO products are available
  • Gallery displays kitchen design ideas and inspiration

You may also be interested in this article about Systemize Software from Moraware.

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Weha Introduces White Lion Quartzite Turbo Blades

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Weha Introduces White Lion Quartzite Turbo Blades

Posted on 23 January 2019 by cradmin

Weha has introduced White Lion Quartzite Turbo Blades. Although these blades are made specifically for cutting Quartzite, the company states that they are incredible on engineered stone and quartz as well as granite.

Made with very high diamond content and a bond to keep sharp, the Weha White Lion Quartzite Turbo Blade will cut fast and clean.

Key features of the blades include:

• Can be used wet or dry on all materials
• 10mm high diamond rim for maximum life expectancy
• Bond built specifically for quartzite
• Cooling holes to keep the blade running true and extend life
• Quad holes for quad adapters
• 7/8” – 20 5/8” 4 pin quad holes for quad adapters

The blades are available in 5 in. and 6 in. sizes.

You may also be interested in this article about the Wet/Dry Stone Cutter by Alpha Professional Tools.

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OSHA Posts New FAQs on Controlling Silica

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OSHA Posts New FAQs on Controlling Silica

Posted on 21 January 2019 by cradmin

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has published two new lists of frequently asked questions (FAQs) on controlling respirable crystalline silica: one for the construction industry and another for general industries.

The new FAQs were developed through a concerted effort between OSHA, industry stakeholders and unions, and they are meant to provide guidance to both employers and employees. The FAQs offer concise information on the new silica standard and required controls, including the following:

  • Exposure assessments
  • Regulated areas
  • Methods of compliance
  • Communicating silica hazards

The questions and answers are organized by topic and include an introduction to provide background information on subject.

The FAQs can be read online through these links, and downloadable PDF versions are available on each page.

Construction Industry FAQ

General Industry FAQ

Crystalline silica is a common mineral found in the earth’s crust. Materials like sand, stone, concrete, and mortar contain crystalline silica, and it is also used to make a variety of products, including glass, pottery, ceramic, brick and engineered stone.

Respirable crystalline silica consists of very small particles more than 100 times smaller than ordinary sand. It is created when cutting, sawing, grinding, drilling and crushing stone, rock, concrete, brick and mortar. Activities such as abrasive sandblasting, sawing, sanding, drilling, grinding mortar and manufacturing bricks, concrete blocks or stone countertops may expose workers to silica.

People who regularly inhale these very small crystalline silica particles are at increased risk of developing serious silica-related diseases, including the following:

  • Silicosis
  • Lung cancer
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Kidney disease.

To protect against exposure to respirable crystalline silica, OSHA has issued two respirable crystalline silica standards: one for construction and the other for general industry and maritime.

For further assistance with the control of respirable crystalline silica, please contact your state OSHA office.

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DuPont Launches the Second Issue of its Global “Corian® Design Magazine”

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DuPont Launches the Second Issue of its Global “Corian® Design Magazine”

Posted on 17 January 2019 by cradmin

DuPont has launched the second issue of the Corian® Design Magazine, a global publication developed by its Corian® Design business celebrating the innovative spirit of the Corian® brand, which continues to move forward and break new ground in the international markets of interior design and architecture.

“Corian® is a remarkable brand and a versatile material that over the years has been synonymous with quality and innovation. Last year, we announced a new business and brand vision under a new name: Corian® Design. This brand repositioning saw the introduction of a dynamic tagline – Make Your Space™ – that invites architects, designers and consumers to unlock the potential built into our offerings. Starting in 2018, we have undertaken a series of steps to transform our business. We have expanded our product offering across all regions, aligned ourselves to respond more quickly to industry trends, deepened our commitment to digitalization, strengthened our cooperation with business partners and customers, and launched our global Make Your Space™ communication campaign. To help champion the advantages inherent in our product line, we also have created the Corian® Design magazine, aimed at design-conscious individuals curious to see what our materials, products and solutions could do. This second issue is showing that our vision and strategy is materializing at 360 degrees,” said Julie J. Eaton, Vice President and General Manager of the Corian® Design business.

In the second issue, the Corian® Design vision is presented through a series of interviews with global managers of the business. Julie J. Eaton describes the new brand and business model, while other managers present the opportunities in the residential market, the Corian® Exteriors initiative, the hospitality segment, the Corian® Quartz repositioning and the introduction of Corian® Solid Surface with Resilience Technology™.

The “One-on-One” section includes interviews with leading personalities, such as interior design star Bobby Berk from USA and Thomas Klee, CEO of Rational kitchen industry, from Germany. Roberto Pagone, Investment Director for Southern Italy of Rete Ferroviaria Italiana, tells the story of the high speed train station in Afragola, Naples, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, featuring exterior cladding solutions based on Corian® Solid Surface; Arch Reza Azard of Projectiles studio from Paris, France, talks about his experience in the design of museums.

The “Portfolio” section offers a wide variety of fascinating images, linked also to recent global color trends, featuring the most recent aesthetics and colors of Corian® Solid Surface and Corian® Quartz in kitchen and bathroom environments as well as in public and commercial spaces.

The “Spotlight” section showcases case histories from the world about Corian® Solid Surface and Corian® Quartz, such as the YMCA in Calgary, Canada, designed by GEC Architecture; the Menai Science Park building by FaulknerBrowns Architects in Wales, U.K.; the interiors of Midwest Inland Port Financial Town trading centre in Xi’an, China, a project by Hallucinate architectural studio; the Adidas store in Santiago, Chile, a project by Oarquitectos; the Dining Hall of the Montana State University campus in the USA; the Tuto Mazara temple in Punjab, India, a project by Singh Modelers.

The “Report” section presents different examples of collaborations between the Corian® Design business and leading firms with unique skills and know-how: Futrus (furnishing solutions for healthcare environments) and MR Walls (decorative, customized wall cladding solutions), both from USA, and Rexa Design (contemporary bathroom solutions) company from Italy.

The Global Digest section includes a series of short articles on significant projects featuring Corian® Solid Surface or Corian® Quartz, from Australia, Belgium, China, France, Guatemala, Israel, Italy, Japan, Poland, Russia and the UK.

You may also be interested in this article about Natural Stone Institute’s Stone Industry Education Series.

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LPI Releases Newest Version of Laser Templator Software

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LPI Releases Newest Version of Laser Templator Software

Posted on 16 January 2019 by cradmin

Laser Products Industries (LPI) has released Laser Templator v526, the latest version of its custom-designed 2D measuring and templating software program for its hardware counterpart LT-2D3D.

The most notable enhancement in v526 from v521.1 released last September, is with its speed. According to the company, opening and saving job files for large, complex jobs is more than 30 times faster, while small- to mid-sized jobs is up to 6 times faster. Functions, such panning and zooming, now operate at a higher frame rate for improved responsiveness allowing the user to experience smoother transitions. LPI states that the improvements are geared towards providing an enhanced user experience and make digital templating with the LT-2D3D even easier.

“We are constantly looking for ways to improve our products and that includes listening to our customers and the industry,” said Erik Louis, executive vice president of engineering and operations for LPI. “Last year, we added a CNC integration function to our software to be able to export files that seamlessly integrate with specific CNC brands for a true measure-to-cut experience. This new version now adds speed, which makes measuring and templating small and large jobs even more efficient.”

The Laser Templator software is designed to be user friendly and allow users to easily create and send CNC-ready files directly from the jobsite without having to possess any CAD experience. Laser Templator comes with every new LT-2D3D system. Customers currently using the software can upgrade to v526 for free by following the prompts on their tablet to download the new version. A list of all the new features and improvements to the software is also available upon download.

You may also be interested in this article about LT-2D3D Laser Templator Training Videos.

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NBMDA Announces 2019 Board of Directors

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NBMDA Announces 2019 Board of Directors

Posted on 15 January 2019 by cradmin

The North American Building Material Distribution Association (NBMDA) announced its Board of Directors for 2019. The role of the Board is to govern, establish policy and make strategic decisions about the future of the organization.

Officers
• President: Missy O’Daniel, Web-Don, Inc., Charlotte, NC
• President-Elect: Tom O’Neill, Wurth Line Craft North America, Vernon Hills, IL
• Vice President: Emily Vella, Atlantic Plywood, Woburn, MA
• Treasurer: Wayne Moriarty, Atlantic Plywood, Woburn, MA
• Immediate Past President: Michael Donnelly, Metro Hardwoods, Sioux Falls, SD

Distributor Directors
• Craig Goodman, Amerhart LTD., Milwaukee, WI
• Matt Huber, Allegheny Plywood, Pittsburgh, PA
• Mark Mah, UCS Forest Group, Mississauga, ON
• Steve Petersen, Lumbermens, Inc., Grand Rapids, MI
• Don Plunkett, Plunkett Distributing, Fort Smith, AR

Supplier Directors
• Davis Edwards, Timber Products, Germantown, TN
• Carl Gaynor, Axalta Coating Systems, High Point, NC
• Brian Joyce, Blum, Inc., Stanley, NC
• David Noe, Rev-A-Shelf, Louisville, KY
• Chris Schlabach, VT Industries, Holstein, IA
• Kevin Shotbolt, Arauco North America, Markham, ON

“It is my pleasure to announce the 2019 NBMDA Board of Directors. We are thrilled to have such an exceptional group of distribution professionals to lead NBMDA into 2019 and beyond,” said Kevin Gammonley, NBMDA Executive Director. “I am confident that this year’s Board of Directors has the insight and experience to help NBMDA achieve its goals and thrive for years to come.”

You may also be interested in this article about ISFA’s 2019 Board of Directors

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Natural Stone Institute Announces 2019 Stone Industry Education Series

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Natural Stone Institute Announces 2019 Stone Industry Education Series

Posted on 11 January 2019 by cradmin

The Natural Stone Institute and Stone World magazine announced the schedule for the 2019 Stone Industry Education Series. Stone Summits will be held in ten cities across the United States.

The ten Stone Summits scheduled for 2019 will cover a wide variety of topics relevant to natural stone fabricators, including maximizing shop efficiency and profits, using metrics to measure success, understanding OSHA safety regulations, and creating a plan for finding and retaining top talent. 2019 Stone Summits will be facilitated by a team of experienced industry leaders including GK Naquin (Stone Interiors), Tony Malisani (Malisani, Inc.), Duane Naquin (Stone Interiors), and Eric Tryon (Premier Surfaces.)

Participants who register by February 1 will receive a 20 percent discount. For more information, please visit www.stoneindustryeducation.com.

2019 Stone Industry Education Series:
February 28
Texas Stone Summit: Analyzing Shop Performance
Arizona Tile
Dallas, TX

March 21
California Stone Summit: 12 Business Axioms
Pacific Shore Stones
Modesto, CA

May 2
Utah Stone Summit: 12 Business Axioms
Arizona Tile
Salt Lake City, UT

May 23
Connecticut Stone Summit: Stone Shop Management
Boston Granite Exchange
East Haven, CT

June 13
Ohio Stone Summit: Knowing Your Business
MSI
Cleveland, OH

July 11
Missouri Stone Summit: Stone Shop Management
Universal Granite & Marble
St. Louis, MO

July 25
Virginia Stone Summit: Knowing Your Business
MSI
Virginia Beach, VA

September 19
Michigan Stone Summit: Analyzing Shop Performance
Universal Granite & Marble
Detroit, MI

October 10
Florida Stone Summit: Stone Shop Management
MSI
Tampa, FL

November 7
Washington Stone Summit: 12 Business Axioms
Daltile
Seattle, WA

See our Calendar for more industry events.

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