The Natural Stone Specialist

Natural Stone Specialist

Report : Machinery


In the September issue of Natural Stone Specialist is the magazine's annual major review of developments in the machinery used by stone fabrictors and the companies that supply it.

There has been a jostling for position among suppliers of machinery to masonry companies in the British Isles in the past year that has seen some new companies joining the party. Pisani’s former machinery sales manager, Derrick Fretwell, formed Roccia Machinery and is now selling most of the brands formerly associated with Pisani, while Pisani are representing Simec. Carl Sharkey, of Laser Products Europe, has established Breton Machinery UK to sell the Breton machines previously sold by Ebor, while Ebor, now as CRL Stone, are reaffirming their commitment to the stone industry following a takeover by Americans CR Lawrence, although they have not replaced Breton in their range. Darren Bill, previously with Intermac, has branched out on his own as The Stone Processing Machinery Company and Andy Bell’s new company, Stone Machinery UK, are now selling ScandInvent’s CNC machines. Harbro Supplies are keeping their heads down following disquiet among customers who bought HTM robots from them, while James King, who sold some of the robots for Harbro after leaving Bavelloni, is now trading on his own behalf as High Technology Machines UK. The sector has sadly lost elder statesman Cesare Lopez, the respected figurehead of AJ Lopez & Co, with the company continuing to trade with Jim Cooper, Cesare’s brother-in-law, heading it. NSS reviews the changes among the suppliers and looks at some of what will be on show at the Marmomacc exhibition in Verona this month (29 September–2 October).

It has not been an easy year for those involved in stone machinery sales, neither the manufacturers nor their agents in the British Isles – or many other parts of the world. There have been ups and downs and one or two bright spots, but nobody is claiming 2010 is anything other than a difficult year for machinery sales.

Consumables have continued to sell and many masons say from their point of view it has not been too bad a year for business, although few are translating that into up-dating their processing machinery.

Even many of those who want to are still finding it difficult to borrow the money they need. In any case, there is nervousness about what the outcome will be of government cuts when they are announced in October and the rise in VAT in January, especially as news reports continually speculate on a double dip recession in America that inevitably reflects on the rest of the world.

In Italy, where most of the machinery sold in the UK is made, many of the manufacturers have been taking advantage of the government scheme that tops up the income of workers on short working weeks. The manufacturers are suffering from a fall in demand from markets that are a lot bigger than Britain’s, notably the USA but also the rest of Europe and much of the rest of the world.

Some of the manufacturers have been inclined to blame their distributors for failing to pick up more of the sales that are available and have been willing to change distributors. That has presented opportunities for some new companies to be formed.

One of them is Roccia Machinery, formed by Pisani’s former machinery sales manager, Derrick Fretwell, after Pisani made him redundant last year. He was later joined by Arran Langford, who had also sold machinery for Pisani. Roccia was formed with the backing of venture capital from Paul Coggins and Matthew Gilbert of City Business Finance, who continue to provide finance for stone companies wherever they buy their machinery from (see the box ‘City Business Finance continue to support the industry’ on the next page).

Roccia, who are moving into new 230m2 warehouse and office premises in Derbyshire this month (September), took over representation of much of the Italian machinery that Pisani had previously sold – including the flagship GMM brand that Pisani had represented in the British Isles ever since GMM were formed in 1993.

Pisani also lost MarmoMeccanica edge polishers, although not to Roccia. GMM bought polishing machine company Cemar in 2008, but Pisani did not include Cemar in their range because of their long-standing arrangement as agents for MarmoMeccanica.

Without that commitment to MarmoMeccanica, Roccia were able to take on GMM’s Cemar range of edge polishers. MarmoMeccanica ended exclusivity arrangements briefly before giving the sole agency to Stone Machinery UK, the new company formed by Andy Bell of National Masonry to separate his new machinery sales business from his consumables and used machinery businesses.

As well as GMM, Roccia also sell Bideseimpianti wire saws, Helios CNC workcentres, TechnoSplit guillotines, Italmecc dust control, Socomac materials handling equipment and small saws, and Manzelli Lifestyle vacuum lifts and cranes.

Derrick and Arran will be on their principals’ stands at the Marmomacc exhibition in Verona later this month (29 September–2 October) when among the latest developments on show will be the new vacuum lifting device on the GMM Litox bridge saw.

A vacuum lifting device is a development added by a number of the machinery manufacturers. It enables more finished product to be cut from slabs by automatically lifting already cut pieces of stone out of the way of subsequent cuts. The slab to be worked is photographed and the cuts to be made plotted out on the photograph.

The Intra, introduced last year to fill the gap in the GMM range between the Brio and the Egil, will also be shown on the GMM stand. None has yet been sold in the UK.

Roccia took on the Helios agency in order to include CNC workcentres in their offering. With the market the way it is, the modest prices of the Helios range seemed appropriate. “It could be a good position to be in at the moment,” says Derrick.

The condition of the market might make it seem to be not exactly an auspicious time to be joining it. But Derrick says Roccia are beating their projections and have sold as much in six months as they anticipated for the year. “There’s still plenty of enquiries but margins are very low.”

After parting with GMM and other suppliers, Pisani, who have major depots at Feltham, near Heathrow in London, and Matlock in Derbyshire, kept their Stone Processing Supplies division to service and sell spares for the hundreds of machines they had sold over the years. Now they have returned to mainstream machinery supply in an exclusivity arrangement with Italian manufacturers Simec.

Simec are one of Italy’s largest machinery manufacturers with a massive range of stone processing and handling equipment, including complete processing lines.

Paul Gidley, Pisani’s Commercial Manager who heads machinery sales, said previously that Pisani felt it was the right time to take on a new range of larger bridge saws to complement the Steinadler bench saws they had continued selling after losing GMM.

He said Pisani had worked with Simec in the past and have sold their frame saws to the sandstone industry in the UK. “We know the very high quality they are built to.”

This is certainly top end kit and Paul says it was taken on with an eye to the future. “I never envisaged that in the first year we would suddenly set the world alight but we wanted to position ourselves for the recovery. The brand and the equipment is second to none. However, in the current market conditions it’s difficult to sell any machine, let alone the Rolls Royce.”

At Marmomacc, you will be able to get an idea of the level of sophistication of the Simec machines. They are exhibiting a 70-blade wire saw and a 22-head slab polisher, neither of which are likely to make their way into the UK any time soon but are impressive.

Probably of most interest to UK visitors to the Simec stand will be the Quick 625 monobloc bridge saw, previewed in this magazine in April and now on show for the first time. It has three interpolated axes and a revolving head – it can profile and produce circles and curves.

Simec have such a wide range of machines that they can’t show them all. Three likely to be of interest to the UK market will not be at Verona. They are: the Compact, a five-axes CNC machine blurring the line between a workcentre and a bridge saw with a price tag of £100,000-£130,000, depending on the options – and as with all the Simec machines there are a lot of options; the Touch five axes CNC workcentre, that can produce anything from a worktop to a Corinthian capital; and the Bordi ‘S’ horizontal edge polisher, with between five and 10 spindles and chamfering top and bottom.

Simec machines run on the company’s own Stonelab software designed specifically for the stone industry.

At the same time as Pisani decided to expand their machinery offering, Breton decided to form their own company in the UK with Carl Sharkey, who has been establishing an American laser templating device in Europe as Laser Products Europe for the past few years. He continues to run that business, but is now also running Breton Machinery UK, having moved into the same premises as Combined Masonry Supplies in Bradford, Yorkshire, who he is renting space from.

Ebor, who are now CR Lawrence of Europe and are spearheading the push by the American company into Europe, have opened an impressive new 7,000m2 warehouse and head offices in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, which represent an investment of £20million.

They kept the Ebor name initially for the stone side of the business but have now changed over to the CR Lawrence name. Director Dave Beckett says it makes more sense. “We answered our telephones as CR Lawrence, invoices came from CR Lawrence, but we called ourselves Ebor…”

The stone interests are now known as CRL Stone. The company say they remain committed to the stone sector and still represent Commanduli, the makers of edge polishers, in the UK and Ireland. Just at the moment they are not too worried about Breton’s decision to split with them as they were not selling any machines anyway.

On the glass side of their business CRL have 50,000 products presented in nine catalogues, each of more than 500 pages. They have now nearly finished a catalogue for CRL Stone. It will be about 200 pages. Much of what is in it is on the consumables and materials handling side, including personal protection equipment. CRL Stone say consumables are still selling well.

The split with Breton has been amicable because the last thing CRL Stone wanted was any inconvenience to customers who had bought Breton machines from them.

As well as losing Breton to Carl Sharkey, CRL have also lost technician John Hatzer, who decided to stay with the Breton machines that he knows so well.

Establishing Breton Machinery UK was a major move for Carl but it is paying off. He has sold three CNC workcentres in the three months since Breton Machinery UK were established – an S/NC600 an NC260 and one of the new generation lower price (£95,000) CNCs currently being called the NC Quartz (it has had various names during development). It is not even in production yet but the first one out of the factory is coming to the UK.

Breton hope to have an NC Quartz on show in Verona but say they might not be able to get it built in time. It has a working area similar to the NC260 at 3.3m x 1.65m x 300mm and a magazine of 36 tools. Also like the 260, the head can be inclined and is hydraulically locked into place, but the spindle and control system are more economical versions of the 260’s.

Carl says he has two more enquiries on the boil that he hopes will translate into signed orders during Marmomacc.

He says his success is a question of being in the right place at the right time. Two of the orders came from customers who had bought templating machines from him – one has just bought the new photo-template system – and one was an existing Breton customer who originally asked if there were any second-hand machines available. Carl says he is not getting involved with sales of used machines and said he would quote for a new Breton and take a Thibaut T108 in part exchange.

One machine that Breton will be exhibiting at Marmomacc is the S/NC550 Optima saw, which is a more competitively-priced version of the 600. It incorporates a lift-and-cut system for moving slabs from a rack at the back of the machine on to the bed and moving cut stone out of the way of subsequent cuts. Carl says he currently has a quote out on one for £88,000.

The older generation Breton machines, such as the £45,000 FE600 bridge saw that has been revamped to give 90º turn on the head and a rotating table, are also attracting interest. The FE600 is installed on masonry walls, saving £10,000 on steel supports.

To complement the CNC machines, Carl Sharkey is now also selling diamond tooling from Tyrolit Vincent as their sole agent in the UK.

The latest from Laser Products Europe is a new tripod that has been introduced to make templating floors and stairs easier. A new American PC has also been introduced.

Andy Bell, whose National Masonry business has grown to such an extent that he split it into three separate companies at the end of last year, including Stone Machinery UK Ltd to sell new machines, has seen the economic downturn as an opportunity.

He told NSS: “Recession has been the perfect boost for Stone Machinery UK. It suits our style and has forced potential buyers of machinery to look beyond their usual machinery dealer. We sell machinery at low margins because during the good years we paid for our premises so we have no overheads to speak of and can offer unrivalled deals on both machinery and consumables.”

Stone Machinery UK’s latest move is an association with ScandInvent, the Swedish manufacturers of the C3 and C4 workcentres, the E3500 edge polisher and the novel SX5 cantilevered bridge saw.

Stone Machinery UK were established when Andy gained exclusivity of MarmoMeccanica edge polishers, although he was selling them before that. He says he has more than doubled sales of them. “In the past 12 months Stone Machinery have had at least two edge polishers on order with the factory at any given time and we have always sold them way before they arrive in the UK. That’s how popular they are.”

He has plans in place to bring the same sort of success to the ScandInvent C3 and C4 CNC machines. They are entry and mid-level workcentres, pitched at the right level for the current market when many companies are finding it difficult to raise finance.

Glenn Groom, ScandInvent’s General Manager in the UK, says ScandInvent have sold an average of more than one machine a month in the UK this year but the association with Stone Machinery UK will leave him more time to develop other areas of the ScandInvent business.

He says ScandInvent approached Stone Machinery UK because many of ScandInvent’s customers had also bought MarmoMeccanica edge polishers. He repeatedly heard the names of Stone Machinery UK and Andy Bell from masonry companies, which led him to believe Stone Machinery would be a useful company to work with.

The main contact for ScandInvent C3 and C4 CNC workcentres is now Stone Machinery UK. ScandInvent will continue to focus on sales of the edge polisher, which Stone Machinery will not be pushing because of the conflict with their MarmoMeccanica agency.

MarmoMeccanica are also launching a monolithic bridge saw at Marmomacc and after the exhibition Stone Machinery UK will be adding the whole MarmoMeccanica bridge saw range to their UK agency, but believe the unusual ScandInvent SX5 saw will complement that range rather than compete with it.

The new MarmoMeccanica monolithic saw is a 3.6tonne heavy duty machine, fully automatic with a tilting table, laser, turning head and touch screen controls. It will sell in the UK at approximately £36,000 – and the first one off the production line will be coming to the UK because Stone Machinery UK have already sold it.

ScandInvent believe there is potential for them to broaden their range of products as well, but are not introducing any new hardware in Verona this year. They have, however, developed their Scandsoft software on the C3 so that the computer-aided design and manufacture facilities are now integrated more closely for easier and more user-friendly operation.

It is also now possible to add on a stock management program to track work from the raw material to the finished product using a bar code or identification number and to use a camera to show customers exactly how their finished worktop will be cut from the slab.

One of the benefits to ScandInvent of the arrangement with Stone Machinery UK is that Andy Bell has an established business in used machinery through the separate company of National Masonry Ltd, so can take machines in part exchange for new ScandInvents, as he has with MarmoMeccanica, to make it easier for masonry companies to invest in a new machine.

Andy Bell: “We ‘feel’ we are now the biggest retailer of used stone machinery in the UK. We consistently have in excess of 40 pre-owned machines on our books. It seems whenever a client calls for a particular machine we always have something second-hand to suit him. Consequently we have driven the price down to accommodate the lack of availability of financial borrowing.

“Recently a client came all the way down from Scotland to pick up a fully reconditioned saw from us. When I wasn’t in the room he pulled my colleague, Mick, to one side and discretely asked him: Why is it so cheap? He couldn’t believe we could sell him a fully stripped down, reconditioned and rebuilt machine at such a low price. There’s no catch, we just responded to market demands very quickly and have not tried to hang on to large margins. Those days are well gone. Welcome to the new era of Stone Machinery UK.”

He says the Italian Mondial Mec bench saws he has been selling for 18 years also continue to be popular and sell well. “They are strong, reliable, simple and economically priced. It’s a winning combination.”

Darren Bill, who has been selling Intermac CNC workcentres to the stone industry, will continue to do so, although in future through his own company, The Stone Processing Machinery Company.

Intermac are part of the Italian Biesse Group with their UK headquarters in Northampton. Darren says he has sold half a dozen of their CNC workcentres this year, which is better than last year although not on the scale of sales in 2007. “The market is definitely beginning to move,” he told NSS. “CNC sales are over the worst.”

He says that gaining the right to sell Intermacs was instrumental to him branching out on his own. “It was critical for me to get that tied up,” he says. He will also be supplying Intermac’s own tooling.

It is not the first time since Intermac set up their own business in the UK in 2002 that they have reached an agreement with another company to sell the machines. In 2006 they worked with Pisani, hoping to benefit from Pisani’s considerable strength in the market place to sell the machines while Intermac would continue to provide the technical back-up. The arrangement fizzled out after a couple of years with Intermac feeling they were a bit of a side issue for Pisani.

Darren Bill wants Intermac to be his headline brand, although he has every intention of offering a full range of workshop machinery. “I’m actively looking for an edge polisher and bridge saw,” he says, adding that he is in discussions with makers and intends to have agreements in place by Marmomacc so that he can introduce his ranges to UK customers in Verona.

He also wants to sell handling, dust control and water recycling equipment. “I’m aiming to have the full stable,” he says.

Darren is setting up his company in partnership with Philip Birchall’s The Glass Machinery Company in Stoke Heath, Shropshire, and will be moving some machinery into the showroom there alongside Philip’s glass machines.

Intermac will be exhibiting in Verona and will be showing their latest Master 45 Plus, a five axes machine with a 4m work area for producing work such as memorials and fireplaces.

The four axes Master 33 Plus with a 3m table will also be on display, with varied applications to illustrate how flexible this machine is. And, to complete the line-up of Masters, there will be the three-axes Master 30, also with a 3m table, for the kitchen worktop market.

Demonstration sessions on the stand will include the machining of a black granite kitchen top with a square hole and polished flat edges, a process that has now been fully automated.

Intermac will also be showing a waterjet cutter, the Primus 184. It is a five axes machine that can make 45° mitres for kitchen worktop joints as well as making millimetre accurate cuts for top quality inlays.

With Darren Bill having left Intermac, the UK representatives on the stand this time will be Stone Process Manager Derek Byrne and Diamut UK Tooling Manager Simon Vickery.

New Stone Age in Keighley, West Yorkshire, are introducing a new range of MGI compact bench and bridge saws from Italians Motogen for the small to medium-sized workshop.

The range includes: the Smeralda 350, which has a 350mm blade and can be supplied in various cut lengths from 700mm up to 2m with a head that can incline up to 45º; the Enzo 350 bridge saw, which also has a 350mm blade but has cut lengths of 2.5m or 3m and a head driven by an inverter that can, again, incline up to 45º; and the Enzo 500, a Compact monobloc bridge saw carrying a 500mm or 600mm blade driven by a 15kW motor. The Enzo 500 is programmable and the head can both tilt and swivel through 90º.

The saws will be on show at Marmomacc and James Turton of New Stone Age will also be there in support of MGI and the other companies whose products he sells in the UK – including BM and Bombieri & Venturi (B&V) saws and Marchetti CNC workcentres.

James says that New Stone Age are “treading water” as far as sales are going this year, although they are at least better than last year.

B&V have developed a more sophisticated end dressing machine for stone to complement their side dressing machine and have developed CNC bridge saws with 700mm and 1200mm blades for cutting and linear profiling. James says they are easy to use via the touch screen and have a price tag that starts at about £50,000.

A new name in the UK machinery market in 2007 was that of Gisbert, a Spanish range that took Essex consumables suppliers D Zambelis into machinery with a range of CNC workcentres, bridge saws and monoblocs, and edge polishers. Being at the lower end of the price scale and with the Spanish being willing to build their machines to bespoke dimensions to fit into customers’ workshops, they quickly found a market and have continued to be popular in the downturn.

Gisbert are not exhibiting at Marmomacc this year but they have introduced a new CNC workcentre to their range, the FG3000. It fits in at the top of their range, although it has tended to be the smaller FG150 or 200 that have sold well in the UK. Zambelis have a promotional price on the 150 until Christmas of £35,500, including training and installation (but not transport, which usually adds £500-£750, depending where you are).

The three-axes FG 150, which was launched at the Natural Stone Show at ExCeL London in 2008, has proved popular because it can take the normal range of CNC tools and can make a sink cut-out in a single pass. Tool change is manual, but is achieved with a simple push of a button. The new tool is snapped into position by pneumatics. Since its launch, a 4º tilt has been added to the head for producing inclined drainers.

Stella Zambelis spent a week in Spain with Gisbert during the development of the machine to make sure it had the features wanted by her customers in the UK.

At the other end of the Gisbert range, Zambelis have taken an order for a s270,000 block cutter from Portland limestone quarry company Stone Firms.

Stone Firms have sold off their old factory for development as a supermarket and moved into the former Easton Masonry premises on the Dorset island. They wanted to replace their old 3m Terzago and have chosen the Gisbert for the job.

This year Zambelis have also taken on distribution of the Italian Marmoelettromeccanica Master 2800 and Master 3500 worktop miller-routers and original tooling.

And they have also expanded their machinery aftercare / training service by tieing up with Kirk Sime, a UK-based CNC engineer who has spent many years installing and providing training for CNC machines.

Another relative newcomer in the machinery supply sector, who came quietly into the market from their base in Finland last year and are still here, are Kasins. They aim to supply off-the-shelf, value for money machines – such as the Monkey saw that is £20,000 and is intended largely for memorial masons.

Their latest launch is the Lion 1900 (all their machines take animal names), a compact face polishing machine with a work area up to 1900mm x 3500mm. It is quick to install as it requires no foundations and, once again, is intended to be attractive to memorial masons, although not exclusively to the memorial sector.

It has been developed in conjunction with stone workers in Finland, which Kasins say has resulted in it being user friendly and easy to operate. For rectangular work, only two reference points are needed.

It is so new it had not made it on to the Kasins website as we went to press, but they say it is coming shortly. The rest of the range can be seen on the website, most of them with a video presentation.

One of the longest established suppliers of machinery to the stone industry, AJ Lopez & Co based in London, are still recovering from the loss of proprietor Cesare Lopez, who died unexpectedly last month (August).

Cesare’s brother-in-law, Jim Cooper, and the team at AJ Lopez & Co are continuing to run the company.

The firm of AJ Lopez & Co was established in 1960 by Cesare’s father, Anthony J Lopez, after he had moved to England from Milan, Italy. It sold abrasives at first but expanded into machinery sales in the 1970s, initially selling floor polishing machines supplied by Achilli.

AJ Lopez & Co continue to represent Achilli in the UK, but are now also well known for other brands that Cesare introduced to expand the business, notably Terzago saws, Donatoni equipment, Fantini stone extraction machines and Fraccaroli & Balzan water recycling plant.

Combined Masonry Supplies have found that the willingness of their German principals, Kolb, to adapt their saws, edge polishers, Genius workcentres and handling equipment to

customer requirements is giving them an edge over the Italians, who are generally less inclined to be flexible.

Director Richard Chandler says: “Off the shelf solutions from the Italians don’t always suit and what Kolb have to offer in the way of bespoke solutions gives us a USP in this market.

“We’re in serious conversation now with someone who likes our approach – mainly because we weren’t telling him what we have but were asking him what he wanted. All we need from a customer is what they are trying to achieve and dimensions of the area where they are trying to achieve it and we will come up with a proposal.”

Richard says customers are looking for a bargain and are asking about used machines. As processors have gone bust you might expect there to be a glut of used machinery available, but he says there is less than might be expected because a fair bit is bought up by the directors of failed companies and never reaches the market place.

However, Combined Masonry Supplies do take used Kolb machines in part-exchange when they sell new Kolbs and can supply used machines.

In 2008 Kolb introduced a semi-automatic version of their Genius manual workcentre. Called the genius Plus, it can produce a sink cut-out and polish to the coarse level automatically and the drives can be decoupled to use the machine for hand operation. As many companies think hand finishing is best anyway, it was conceived as a low cost alternative to a CNC workcentre for companies not producing too many worktops.

It hit the market at the wrong time because all of a sudden investment in the worktop market stopped. But Combined Masonry Supplies have now sold the first Genius Plus to a company in north Wales.

Last year Combined Masonry Supplies were instrumental in the development by MetalQuattro of a beefed up version of their Tiger saw for the monumental trade. The development came about as a result of comments from customers, who complained that because of the way memorials are fixed these days, headstones can be chipped at the bottom when they are removed for subsequent inscriptions. As most memorial masons do not have bridge saws, the stones had to be sent away for the bottom to be sawn off to remove the damaged area.

Richard Chandler realised that a more powerful version of the Tiger that could take a 500mm blade and make a 1.5m cut could solve the problem. The saw MetalQuattro produced in response, which is called the Monumental, only costs £4,000 and is an economical solution to the problem.

Up in Cumbria, Accurite, who sell Italian Denver machinery, have been glad in the current market that they have an established source of their own-brand budget saws from China. They have also expanded their used machinery business and Managing Director Mark Brownlee says sales of used machinery have never been better, although prices are being driven down all the time.

Mark says that until the credit crunch hit he sold six new machines for every second-hand sale, but that ratio has now reversed. Accurite are not selling as many machines as they were but the increased proportion of them that are second-hand puts pressure on the five people in their workshops because it can take a month to recondition a used machine instead of just a day to install a new one. The workload has reached a point where it is causing a bottleneck and another technician is now being recruited.

Accurite have just had part of their workshops re-clad, a gantry crane added and roller shutters installed. The work has cost them 30% less than when they were first quoted for it 18 months ago. The building will be used to demonstrate the machines because customers like to see them working.

The Accurite own-brand Chinese-made Rapid, Premiere and Jumbo saws and Gloss jenny lind polishers fit into a price point between the Denvers, which are moving up-market, and the used machinery. And, says Mark: “We can’t get them in quick enough.”

He told NSS: “We have another eight coming in on Thursday and two of them are already sold.” In order not to lose sales, he has installed second-hand machines into customers’ workshops while he has been waiting for the saws to arrive from China. He has even entered the export market and sold a Rapid to a company in France.

Accurite wire the machines themselves and have developed their own software to run them. “If I can’t teach someone how to use it in 20 minutes I would be surprised,” says Mark. “You just answer questions – just keep pressing ‘OK’. It’s so simple.”

Accurite had planned to introduce own-brand dust extraction and water treatment plant this year, but haven’t. Mark says it is still on the cards but he is waiting for an improvement in the market. And he believes that improvement is on the way. “I think we have gone to the bottom and are going to rise out of it now – it’s just a question of how quickly we rise out of it.”

Denver will be exhibiting at Marmomacc and on their stand they will have a ‘live’ demonstration of the Unika-5 workcentre, demonstrating its ability to produce sculpture. The full range of Denver CNC routing machines, with three to five axes, will be shown along with the Slot and Skema Logic monoblocs and the Vision surface polisher for re-facing or texturing materials.

Just added to the machinery offered by the Waters Group, based in Cornwall, is the keenly-priced Farnese mitre saw made in Australia, where it is proving popular with 90 already sold.

This new saw has been designed to work in conjunction with the Mitre Forma clamps sold by the Waters Group.

The mitre saw is reputedly accurate, fast and easy to use with minimal training. A straight edge is achieved by a stop on the front edge and pneumatic clamps that flatten the stock against the table. The saw is 3,850 x 600mm with a cutting stroke of 3,250mm using a 350mm blade on a 3.7kW three-phase spindle.

Farnese are not be exhibiting at Marmomacc, although representatives of the company will be visiting the show.

The main range of machinery sold by Waters is from French manufacturers Thibaut, who will be exhibiting at Verona. On their stand they will have the new T918 multipurpose CNC workcentre, the new Version Three of the T812 and the TC650 saw with its latest up-dates. There will also be a competition to win a family visit to Eurodisney or a stay in a luxury Parisian hotel.

One of the main additions to the TC650 are vacuums on the head for manoeuvring stock out of the way of subsequent cuts without human intervention. There is also a new tool for cutting into angles where a blade cannot go, giving the saw the capacity of a waterjet but at a lower price.

The new version of the T812 multi purpose CNC brings the machine into the range of customers on more limited budgets while retaining Thibaut’s TCad/TCam software.

The T918 combines the functions of three machines. It can be used as a face polishing / texturing machine, sawing centre and a multi purpose CNC machine.

All Thibaut’s CNC range now has front doors to give open access to the machine for easier loading and unloading.


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The picture here shows the Gisbert BC2000 edge polisher, part of the Gisbert range of workshop machinery sold in the UK by D Zambelis in Essex.
The picture here shows the Gisbert BC2000 edge polisher, part of the Gisbert range of workshop machinery sold in the UK by D Zambelis in Essex.