Archive | June, 2019

Rack Engineering Division Introduces Vertical Slab Storage Unit

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Rack Engineering Division Introduces Vertical Slab Storage Unit

Posted on 27 June 2019 by cradmin

Rack Engineering Division, a manufacturer of heavy-duty storage solutions and material handling products, recently released information about the newest addition to its product offering, the Vertical Slab Storage unit.

Rack Engineering Division’s NEW Vertical Slab Storage unit easily and safely stores slabs of marble, stone or granite. Materials can be stored in a high-density area while being at your fingertips for viewing and showing to your clientele.

Built for slabs as large as 60 in. high and 144 in. long, it has up to 2000-lb. capacity per shelf. The 2-in. wide shelves glide out easily and safely.

“The Vertical Slab Storage unit provides yet another industry access to our storage units high capacity roll out shelving, one of our best-known storage unit features.” Says Rack Engineering Division General Manager.

You may also be interested in this article about material handling equipment by Weha.

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USITC To Continue Investigations of Turkish, Indian Quartz Surface

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USITC To Continue Investigations of Turkish, Indian Quartz Surface

Posted on 26 June 2019 by cradmin

The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) determined June 24 that there is a reasonable indication that a U.S. industry is materially injured or threatened with material injury by reason of imports of quartz surface products from India and Turkey that are allegedly subsidized and sold in the United States at less than fair value.

Chairman David S. Johanson and Commissioners Irving A. Williamson, Meredith M. Broadbent, Rhonda K. Schmidtlein, and Jason E. Kearns voted in the affirmative.

As a result of the Commission’s affirmative determinations, the U.S. Department of Commerce will continue with its antidumping and countervailing duty investigations concerning imports of this product from India and Turkey, with its preliminary countervailing duty determinations due on or about August 1, 2019, and its preliminary antidumping duty determinations due on or about October 15, 2019.

The Commission’s public report Quartz Surface Products from India and Turkey (Inv. Nos. 701-TA-624-625 and 731-TA-1450-1451 (Preliminary), USITC Publication 4919, July 2019) will contain the views of the Commission and information developed during the investigations.

The report will be available after July 22, 2019; when available, it may be accessed on the USITC website at:  https://www.usitc.gov/commission_publications_library.

You may also be interested in this article about the determinations on Chinese quartz anti-dumping and countervailing duties.

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Xiasil Launches New Stone & Stainless Steel Sealer

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Xiasil Launches New Stone & Stainless Steel Sealer

Posted on 24 June 2019 by cradmin

Xiasil Incorporated launched a new product that is changing the way people seal and polish natural stone surfaces and stainless steel. The product, SimpleCoat, is made of a proprietary formula free of chemical solvents, water, petroleum distillates, BPA, parabens, phthalates, VOCs, fragrance, or dyes. It is 100 percent non-toxic and food safe. According to the company, it is easy to use and requires no curing time or special tools or techniques to apply.

“As an engineer, I’m always trying to figure out better solutions to both simple and complex problems that people face every day,” says Scott Hinton, chemical engineer and creator of SimpleCoat. “After being unhappy with traditional stone sealing and stainless steel polishing products on the market, I sought to find a better way to seal and protect the surfaces in my home.”

Because of the porous nature of stone, surface sealers are crucial for protecting natural stone materials. Unprotected stone surfaces collect dirt and grime in cracks and pores, which can harbor bacteria that can lead to irreversible staining, odor or damage.

For metal surfaces such as stainless steel, SimpleCoat reduces streaking, helps to prevent fingerprints, aids in reducing corrosion, and improves the overall shine and look of the surface. SimpleCoat’s coverage rate amounts to eight fluid ounces covering 3,000 sq. ft. of natural stone and up to 7,000 sq. ft. of stainless steel.

The development of SimpleCoat included extensive market research in the forms of a national market survey on the visual identity of the product, as well as product and user experience focus groups. The information gathered from this research helped to influence decisions about the product’s name, visual identity and marketing of SimpleCoat.

SimpleCoat is being sold exclusively on Amazon and is available for purchase now.

You may also be interested in this article about new products from Omni Cubed.

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Investindustrial Acquires Majority Share in Neolith

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Investindustrial Acquires Majority Share in Neolith

Posted on 21 June 2019 by cradmin

An investment subsidiary of Investindustrial VI L.P. has signed a partnership agreement with the current owners of Neolith, Jesus and Jose Luis Esteve. This partnership was initiated to support the next phase of development of the Neolith brand. Although Investindustrial will acquire a majority shareholding in the Company, the Esteve family will retain a relevant minority interest. They will also continue to lead the management team and Chair of the Board of Directors.

Terms of the shareholding purchase were not announced.

Neolith was founded in 2009 with the aim of designing and producing large format sintered surfaces with unique characteristics serving multiple end-markets, including bathrooms, wall claddings, furniture, floorings, facades and with a particular focus on high-end kitchens. The Company’s success and rapid development has benefited from 40 years of experience of the Esteve brothers in the natural stone sector.

Jesus Esteve, Chairman of Neolith, said, “We are delighted to be partnering with Investindustrial as we look to grow the company further in the international markets outside Europe. Given Investindustrial’s background and deep knowledge in the high-end design sector and its global reach, we strongly believe it is the right partner to further support the international expansion of the company while strengthening the management team and reinforcing the product development.”

Investindustrial is a leading European group of independently managed investment, holding and advisory companies with €6.8 billion of raised fund capital, which provides industrial solutions and capital to mid-market companies in Europe. Its mission is to actively contribute to the development of the companies in which it invests, by creating growth opportunities and offering global solutions through an entrepreneurial pan-European vision.

Andrea C. Bonomi, Chairman of the Industrial Advisory Board, commented, “Neolith operates in an industry well-known to Investindustrial due to our prior and current investments in the sector. We are proud to partner with the Esteve family since we believe they have the right entrepreneurial approach and together we can lead Neolith to the second phase of investment, both to increase capacity at their local headquarters and internationally, and product development on a long-term basis.”

You may also be interested in this article about the sale of Formica.

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Fabricator Spotlight: Metro Stone Works - Trends and Fabrication for the Laundry Room

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Fabricator Spotlight: Metro Stone Works – Trends and Fabrication for the Laundry Room

Posted on 20 June 2019 by cradmin

 

Metro Stone Works Family “Power” Team From Left to Right: Jeremy Powers, Nicholas Powers, Karen Powers, Nick Powers, Colby Powers

We asked Nicholas Powers, partner for Metro Stone Works, a family-owned and operated fabricator in Northern Virginia, what they are seeing in laundry rooms today and how fabrication is trending in this design space.

Are laundry rooms trending for you?  

We have noticed that laundry room countertops are trending and this seems to be the case in both the remodel and the new home construction segment as well.  Some builders are including the laundry room top as a standard granite top now.

What counter surfaces are most popular in laundry room? (Quartz, Granite, Porcelain, etc.)

For us, granite countertops have been the majority for laundry room tops, but engineered quartz has steadily increased over the last few years and is getting closer to 50/50 in terms of sales in comparison to granite for laundry room tops.

What finishes/colors are trending for you?  (White, Dark, Gloss, Matte, Pattern?)

Whites and greys, of course, are dominating in sales in terms of countertops currently. The majority of our sales are still “gloss finish” but both honed and even leathered finish sales have seen an increase within the past two years. The current trend for pattern is still the marble White Carrera or Statuary look. This has been the case and continues to be the strong demand as far as the pattern goes.

What do you recommend to designers/consumers for laundry and why? 

In a laundry room where detergents and bleach would be around, it’s hard to say one material is “better” than the other in that scenario. While engineered quartz is more “stain resistant” than most natural stones, both products can still be penetrated and etching and/or staining is still possible. With that said, both products are very durable and make for a beautiful and sustainable countertop for a laundry application.

Another material to think about in a laundry application would be Soapstone. Although Soapstone is a soft material that will scratch, it gives it a patina or in other words a lived-in finish. Soapstone is a good material and it is non-porous so it will not stain.

BLANCO’s LIVEN™ sink in SILGRANIT® offers a deep bowl and accessories ledge.

What makes for a good laundry sink?

Most sinks we sell in laundry countertops are either stainless steel, cast iron, or a stone composite sinks (such as BLANCO’s SILGRANIT® ) The majority of the sinks we sell in a laundry room top are undermount sinks. In discussions we have had, most customers look for a deep single bowl sink that they can rinse/clean items in. It’s also a nice option to have a small “ledge” within the sink for placing sponges, brushes, etc.

BLANCO’s LIVEN™ Laundry Sink in a recent project for Metro Stone Works

What edge is best for laundry work? (Surface edge)

We consider the decorative edge details to be more of a personal preference as opposed to being “suitable” for a certain type of room. All edges we offer are suitable for a laundry room top.

 

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Video: Safety for Customers Viewing Slabs

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Video: Safety for Customers Viewing Slabs

Posted on 19 June 2019 by cradmin

Safety is always at the forefront in the industry and providing for the safety of your customers is no exception. Here we have a great video from the Natural Stone Institute that may be shown to customers visiting your facility. The video explains some of the safety issues they may encounter and procedures to follow while shopping and viewing slabs.

You may also be interested in this video on protecting workers from silica exposure.

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Caesarstone Announces Global Growth Acceleration Plan; 7% Workforce Cut

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Caesarstone Announces Global Growth Acceleration Plan; 7% Workforce Cut

Posted on 18 June 2019 by cradmin

Caesarstone Ltd., an Israel-based developer and manufacturer of engineered quartz surfaces, recently announced its Global Growth Acceleration Plan, which includes a 7 percent cut to its global workforce.

The restructuring came as the company announced a net loss of $405,000 on revenues of $128.1 million in this year’s first quarter. Caesarstone executives stated that the U.S. market had become soft during the first quarter of the year as a result of a large amount of Chinese exports in anticipation of the implementation of unfair trade tariffs.

In an effort to identify operational inefficiencies and support growth objectives with a more strategic alignment of resources, an analysis was performed by the management, and a plan developed.

The cost reduction measures outlined in the Plan are intended to move the Company towards a more efficient and lean structure. Accordingly, the Caesarstone announced an immediate reduction in its global headcount by approximately 7 percent across all business units and regions. Through these actions the Company expects to gain efficiencies in a range of areas including production, supply chain and general & administrative functions. As part of the workforce reductions, the Company shut down one of the two production lines at its U.S. manufacturing facility in Richmond Hill, Ga. This reduction is expected to provide for increased production efficiency and reduced inventory levels over the next 12 months.

Additionally Caesarstone plans to expand its U.S. sales force by 15-20 percent over the next year. Large metropolitan areas and underrepresented markets will be the targeted sales locations.

Yuval Dagim, Chief Executive Officer, stated, “We believe that this plan will yield better allocation of our resources while more efficiently positioning our business for sustained profitable growth. Through this plan, we are implementing our new matrix organization structure, shifting our resources to invest in the right talent and technology to more efficiently manage our go-to-market, supply chain, and production processes.”

You may also be interested in this article about the latest news on Chinese Quartz Antidumping & Countervailing Duties

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Weha Introduces New Material Handling Equipment

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Weha Introduces New Material Handling Equipment

Posted on 17 June 2019 by cradmin

Weha has recently made two new introductions to its offering of material handling equipment; the T-31 Anchor Machine and the Cut Stone Trolley.

The Weha T-31 Anchor Machine does not require the stone to be flipped over to cut the Anchor Slots. Once the counter top or vanity is on the work table then cut out and polished, simply put the T-31 Anchor machine inside the bowl, slide in the Anchor machine to the depth that you need, and make the anchor slot. According to the company this drastically speeds up the time it takes to make the slots, reduces labor to flip the counter top, cuts down one less time of handling the counter top and reduces the risk of breaking the top.

The T 31 Anchor Machine can also be used upside down to make anchor slots on top. For example. If you cut out a vanity or sink on a CNC machine with the top face down, before you remove the top from the pods you can easily take the T 31 Anchor Machine and cut out the slots before it ever leaves the CNC. If the top is completely polished, this would eliminate any need to put it on a work table to cut the anchor slots.

The design of the Weha Cut Stone Trolley allows a back-friendly placement of workpieces. By tilting the side adjustable strut you can store shorter workpieces. To keep the pull bar from getting in the way, it is hooked in an upright position when not in use.

Features of the Cut Stone Trolley include: Load Capacity of 3086 lbs; 46-in. height; 42-in. width; 48-in. length; two fixed and two locking swivel wheels with an 11-in. tire size; 2- x 1 1/8-in. wood struts; and 22 1/2-in. from floor to shelf .

 

You may also be interested in this article about the new kappa 590 Premium Sliding Table Panel Saw from Felder Group.

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Federal Brace Expands Hammam Lavatory Support Line

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Federal Brace Expands Hammam Lavatory Support Line

Posted on 12 June 2019 by cradmin

Federal Brace has expanded its Hammam Lavatory Support line with a smaller, more versatile version of the bracket. The design of the Hammam provides sturdy support while remaining unseen behind a floating vanity or under a floating counter. With the addition of the 20-x24-in. Hammam, now you have flexibility in height and location of the support bracket within the vanity system. Dream bathrooms are now even more attainable with the expanded Hammam support system. This ADA compliant support is available in two sizes/finishes, with an invisible or floating surface configuration.

You may also be interested in this article about the new Viatera Colors from LG Hausys.

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USITC Affirms Chinese Quartz Antidumping & Countervailing Duties, Not Retroactive

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USITC Affirms Chinese Quartz Antidumping & Countervailing Duties, Not Retroactive

Posted on 11 June 2019 by cradmin

Today, June 11, 2019, the United States International Trade Commission (USITC)  determined that the U.S. quartz surfacing industry was materially injured by reason of imports of quartz surface products from China that the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) has determined are subsidized and dumped on the U.S. market at less than fair value.

However, the USITC also made a negative finding concerning critical circumstances with regard to imports of these products from China.  As a result, imports of quartz surface products from China made prior to the initial finding will not be subject to retroactive antidumping or countervailing duties. This is a critical element, as numerous businesses could have been subject to millions in fees dating back 90 before a ruling was issued, which may have driving many businesses under.

Chairman David S. Johanson and Commissioners Irving A. Williamson, Meredith M. Broadbent, Rhonda K. Schmidtlein, and Jason E. Kearns voted in the affirmative.

As a result of the USITC’s affirmative determinations, Commerce will issue final antidumping and countervailing duty orders on imports of this quartz surfacing from China on June 24. Importers of these products could be liable for antidumping duties of up to 265.81 to 333.69 percent and countervailing duties of up to 45.32 to 190.99 percent, which were the preliminary amounts. However, it is possible the final duty determinations by the Department of Commerce on June 24 may be lower than the preliminary duties.

These fees are in addition to the 25 percent tariffs put on Chinese quartz products by President Trump.

The Commission’s full public report Quartz Surface Products from China (Inv. Nos. 701-TA-606 and 731-TA-1416 (Final), USITC Publication 4913, June 2019) will be issued on or about July 18 and will be available on the USITC website at: https://www.usitc.gov/commission_publications_library. It will contain the views of the USITC and information developed during the investigations.

Importers should also be aware that some crushed glass surface products may now be included in the scope. Under a revised exclusion for such products, only those that meet each of the following criteria will not be subject to the duties: 1) the crushed glass content is greater than any other single material by actual weight; 2) there are pieces of crushed glass visible across the surface of the product; 3) at least some of these pieces are larger than one centimeter wide; and 4) the distance between any single glass piece and the closest separate glass piece does not exceed 3 in.

The full press release issued by the USITC regarding the affirmative Chinese quartz dumping and countervailing duties ruling can be found here.

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