Archive | December, 2019

Natural Stone Institute Completes 25th Home with Gary Sinise Foundation

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Natural Stone Institute Completes 25th Home with Gary Sinise Foundation

Posted on 26 December 2019 by cradmin

The Natural Stone Institute, in collaboration with the Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. program (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment), has recently provided natural stone and fabrication services for two more homes. The R.I.S.E. program builds specially adapted smart homes for severely wounded veterans and first responders. To date, Natural Stone Institute members have been involved in 25 completed homes.

Natural stone and fabrication services for US Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Jesse Cottle and his family in Idaho were provided by Arizona Tile, Daltile, Salado, and Valley View Granite.

Jesse Cottle joined the US Marine Corps in 2003. On July 19, 2009, during his fourth deployment, Jesse and his Explosive Ordnance Disposal team were on foot patrol clearing improvised explosive devises in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. An IED detonated under Jesse, blasting him into the air. After being sent to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Jesse underwent seven surgeries on both legs. He was then sent to Naval Medical Center San Diego for outpatient care, where he met Kelly, the woman who would soon be his wife. The couple has two young daughters: Grace and Isla.

Natural stone and fabrication services for US Army Sergeant Stefan LeRoy and his family in Florida were provided by Real Stone & Granite Corporation.

Stefan LeRoy enlisted in the Army in 2010. On June 7, 2012, while deployed in Afghanistan, two IEDs detonated and Stefan rushed to aid those injured by the blasts. While carrying an injured soldier to a Medevac helicopter, Stefan was struck by a third explosion. He lost both of his legs immediately. Stefan was transported to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he spent over a month in the hospital. He spent two years learning to adapt to his prosthetics, drawing strength from his friends and other amputees at the hospital. Sixteen months after his last surgery in September 2014, he ran the Boston Marathon.

Since 2016, 59 Natural Stone Institute members have donated their time, products and services to this cause. A list of all donors can be found at www.naturalstoneinstitute.org/RISE. Stone companies interested in getting involved with future projects are encouraged to contact Pam Hammond at [email protected]

You may also be interested in this article about MSI’s partnership with Spectrum Quartz.

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OSHA Requires EIN From Employers

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OSHA Requires EIN From Employers

Posted on 23 December 2019 by cradmin

As of January 2, 2020, OSHA requires all employers to electronically submit an employer identification number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) along with the report for fatality, injury and illness, Form 300A.

This requirement only pertains to employers with 250 or more employees, and some other businesses over the threshold may be exempt. For all the latest information on the Injury Tracking Application (ITA), please consult the federal OSHA website, and remember, your state may require different or additional information.

While the EIN requirement is new, OSHA also requires employers to submit a 6-digit NAICS code that reflects what the business does. The deadline for electronic reporting of OSHA Form 300A is March 2, 2020. Again, complete instructions are provided on the OSHA website via the link above.

OSHA provides a secure website for the electronic submission of Form 300A. Employers may either enter the data manually via the online form, or they may upload a CSV file to process multiple establishments. Employers using an application programming interface (API) will have the ability to transmit all required information through the Internet.

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Video: Ideas for Dealing with Worker Shortages

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Video: Ideas for Dealing with Worker Shortages

Posted on 20 December 2019 by cradmin

Many in the countertop industry are experiencing trouble finding new workers, and this is true in a variety of industries. Much of this has to do with low unemployment and an aging workforce. This video put forth by Knowledge Force Consulting offers some ideas how to get your hands around this growing problem in incremental steps.

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Kick These Old Planning Habits in the New Year

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Kick These Old Planning Habits in the New Year

Posted on 19 December 2019 by cradmin

According to InEight, a top producer of construction project management software, companies have four bad habits that should stop in the coming year. The overarching goal of project planning is to create a model that “best reflects what we believe will be a reality”. However, many software tools teach us bad habits that are better left in the past.

  1. Starting From Scratch – When you begin a new project with a critical path method (CPM) tool, nothing much happens. You are presented with a blank workbook in which to create a master schedule. Construction organizations are becoming increasingly concerned about losing project expertise through software and other employee conditions, such as retirement. Instead of starting from scratch, the right software will allow companies to achieve knowledge-driven planning with all new project schedules.
  2. Work-Driven Planning – Work-driven planning is a top-down scope that breaks a project down into deliverables and what is needed to deliver them. The work required is modeled by a CPM, but this work is often not the only ingredient in getting things done. A separation of scope and work to be done allows planners to report what matters most during the planning process. While getting estimates wrong is seen as one of the worst results in project planning, it can be just as bad to miss scope and detail in the planning phase. On the other hand, deliverable-based planning helps to explain what is being done in addition to how it is being done. This creates a model that “truly reflects and includes all of the scope we are being asked to build.”
  3. WAG Planning – WAG planning is an acronym for wild-ass guess planning. In the modern age, this simply does not suffice. Each project is a unique endeavor, but if you break it down far enough, there are enough similarities with past projects that you can find the commonalities. WAG planning only precipitates re-planning, which gets you nowhere in the long run. With the right software, however, you can benchmark similar projects based on duration, cost, sequence of work and common issues or risks. Historical benchmarks alleviate the need for WAG planning and let you get into calibrated planning, which allows for differences in location and the scope of a project.
  4. Planning Alone – Planning a project and coming up with an accurate estimate should not be a job for a salesperson alone. That is a tremendous amount of responsibility to carry for someone who is not involved in the work. Planning is not simply a “done-by” timeframe. It is important for the customer to know exactly when each step will be carried out. Rather than silo planning, strive for consensus planning. Your workers will be able to buy-into a project by giving details on what can go wrong and how long it will actually take.

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Walker Zanger Introduces Pietta Donovan Collection

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Walker Zanger Introduces Pietta Donovan Collection

Posted on 18 December 2019 by cradmin

Walker Zanger announced their latest collaboration with emerging Australian designer Pietta Donovan.

The Petta Donovan collection consists of ‘70s-inspired patterns and distinct colorways. These cement tiles are adorned in kaleidoscopic shapes, sharp lines and curvilinear corners.

The handmade craftsmanship and quality of pigment used to color each tile reflects both form and function. These tiles are ideal for installations where the playfulness and flexibility of each tile’s pattern can truly come to life on a grand scale.

You may also be interested in this article about new Hanex Solid Surface colors

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MSI Partners with Spectrum Quartz

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MSI Partners with Spectrum Quartz

Posted on 17 December 2019 by cradmin

MSI has announced the establishment of a joint venture with Spectrum Quartz to create a quartz slab manufacturing production facility in the United States.

In May of this year, Spectrum Quartz (part of Hirsch Glass Corporation) announced plans to build a quartz manufacturing plant on a 42-acre site in Latta, South Carolina. MSI and Spectrum Quartz subsequently discussed combining the manufacturing expertise of Spectrum Quartz with the financial backing and sales and distribution network of MSI.

The team has been working tirelessly over the past several months to transform the existing 360,000 sq. ft. building into a state-of-the-art quartz manufacturing facility. The first two quartz lines are slated to begin test production later this month, with commercial production expected in the first quarter of 2020. Two additional lines will be operational shortly thereafter with ample space for further expansion. The venture is expected to create hundreds of jobs and give a significant boost to the economies of Latta and Dillon County as a whole.

According to Rup Shah, President of MSI, “The future for quartz manufacturing in the United States is very bright. The demand for quartz continues to grow at double digit rates as quartz takes substantial market share away from other countertop surfaces. Even with this investment in manufacturing, demand will continue to exceed supply for the foreseeable future. We expect to focus on producing colors catering to the luxury segment of the market, adding to MSI’s diverse palette of approximately 100 colors of Q Premium Natural Quartz. We believe that the combination of Spectrum’s manufacturing expertise and MSI’s unparalleled sales and distribution capabilities will create the leading North American quartz manufacturer.”

Shah added, “We have worked with Alex Xie, President of Hirsch Glass Corporation and Spectrum Quartz for several years and we quickly realized the enormous potential of both parties working together on this venture. We share a common vision for the future of the U.S. quartz market as well as common core values. In addition, Spectrum Quartz not only has incredible manufacturing expertise but also patent protected technology that will allow us to create the next generation of innovative colors and designs.”

You may also be interested in this article about the 2020 Design Inspiration Awards winners

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Coverings Extends Competition Submission Deadlines

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Coverings Extends Competition Submission Deadlines

Posted on 16 December 2019 by cradmin

Realizing it’s a busy time of year, the deadline for Coverings 2020 CID Awards and Rock Star nominations have been extended to Friday, January 10.

The Coverings Installation & Design (CID) Awards celebrate outstanding achievements in the design and installation of tile & stone in both residential and commercial projects. Projects are judged on design and installation excellence, giving special recognition to unusual, creative, and innovative uses of tile & stone.

Showcase your talents and receive the recognition your projects deserve. Enter at no cost by the new extended deadline of Friday, January 10.

The Coverings Rock Stars program honors the best and brightest young talent in the tile & stone industry. Since its conception, the program has recognized dozens of young leaders who have connected at Coverings through mentorship and networking opportunities.

Know someone who’d be perfect for this program? Or, is that person you? Submit nominations by the new deadline of Friday, January 10.

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Hyundai Adds New Colors to Hanex Solid Surfaces

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Hyundai Adds New Colors to Hanex Solid Surfaces

Posted on 13 December 2019 by cradmin

Hyundai L&C has recently added two new colors to the Hanex Solid Surfaces offerings.

Bianco Classico

Inspired by the natural beauty of travertine, Bianco Classico features a light cream base with accents of cool gray and soft beige for a timeless, distinctive look with endless versatility.

 

 

Oyster Pearl

Oyster Pearl blends subtle nuances of grays and whites for an elegant, sophisticated style that pairs perfectly with bold accents and pops of color.

You may also be interested in this article about Neolith with full body veining

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Natural Stone Institute Adds to Toolbox Talks for Quarriers

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Natural Stone Institute Adds to Toolbox Talks for Quarriers

Posted on 12 December 2019 by cradmin

The Natural Stone Institute, in coordination with the National Building Granite Quarries Association (NBGQA), has added three toolbox talks for quarriers to the Natural Stone University. Topics include the following:

• Fall Arrest System Regulations
• Highwall Management and Use of Drones
• Quarry Slab Tipping Safety

There are now a total of 27 quarry-specific toolbox talks available in the University, covering topics ranging from personal health and human safety to the safe use of equipment such as wire saws and preventing silicosis.

Mike Loflin, Industry Research & Information Manager for the Natural Stone Institute commented: “These quarry-specific resources are an important addition to our library of safety resources. The information provided is the cumulative work of the NBGQA safety committee. The NBGQA safety committee consists of some of the most talented safety officers, operations managers, and human resources professionals in the natural stone industry. Over the last several years, the committee has identified issues and provided seriously needed safety solutions for the quarry sector of the dimension stone industry. We are proud to partner with NBGQA to present these resources free of charge to the industry through the Natural Stone University.”

To access these toolbox talks and other educational resources, visit www.uofstone.org.

You may also be interested in this article about Solid Surface Fabrication Standards

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Neolith Introduces Full Body Veining Technology

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Neolith Introduces Full Body Veining Technology

Posted on 11 December 2019 by cradmin

Neolith® is taking the design of its sintered stone material even further with revolutionary Full Body Veining technology: a game-changing innovation that achieves an essential degree of detail the industry has struggled to achieve over the last decade.

Since Neolith first arrived on the market in 2009, the brand has strived to manufacture surfaces as true to the original source material as possible, but with the enhanced strength and characteristics of Sintered Stone.

The brand is known for creating patterns which faithfully imitate materials found in nature such as marble, stone, metals and wood.

Neolith Full Body Veining achieves veins throughout the entire slab and not just the surface, replicating the 3D veining found in genuine stone such as marble. The hyper-realistic effect will be visible in the slab’s edges and will thus be implemented in the 1/2- and 3/4- in. thickness models.

This new technology is an industry milestone, and comes after seven years of intense research and development. Two prototypes were recently showcased by Neolith in Verona, Italy, where visitors to the brand’s Xth Anniversary installation had the chance to see the level of refinement with the slabs’ veining.

Carlos García, Head of Product Design at Neolith, commented: “Neolith’s introduction of its new Full Body Veining technology is a significant step in the brand’s design evolution and means a new generation of Neolith models will soon be released. Where before the veining stopped at the edges of the slabs, they now continue throughout the material, giving a more authentic appearance.

Both the technology and new Neolith Full Body Veining collections will be launched in 2020.

You may also be interested in this article about the new Dekton collection from Cosentino.

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