Second hand machine, new machines, cnc, cutting machine, milling machine, how to set up your machine shop to make countertops and vanitytops in granite, marble, limestone, engineered stone, or just any stone.
I want to share some of my experience with you regarding your manufacturing plant, things I think are important while buying machinery and installing them on the shop floor. I've had the privilege to see several stone shops in several countries, and have always used this learning experience to my advantage.
Regarding your plant I figure you should carefully evaluate what you tend to do and buy your equipment accordingly. So if you plan to work with marble or granite, their might be some differences ... or if you plan to do stairs and risers, or fireplaces ... you'll probably need a different layout and other equipment.
Things to take in mind when buying equipment and planning layout:
1. Select the features and the correct machine for the job
Try to select the correct machine to make the products you intend ... if you buy a more complex machine than you need, you'll be spending unnecessary cash ... don't forget corrosion is very big on stone machinery, as treated water will gradually destroy your perfectly working equipment. And if you buy a feature on a machine that you will not use, maybe you'll have an unpleasant surprise one day.
2. When buying new or used machinery make certain that the manufacturer has local maintenance teams to help you
In the stone business I have in the past bought new machinery, I must confess that my experience is in the engineered stone sector, and to get a good polish it's sometimes very difficult with prime stable machines. When buying a used machine, be sure you have the right maintenance and support from the machine manufacturer, this means be sure you have a local office that can satisfy your technical needs or you may be in for a nightmare. A new machine, in theory, will give you a peaceful time in the first 3/4 years, then corrosion will settle in.
3. A new machine will not be a turn key solution to your problem
Installing a new machine doesn't necessary mean that you solved a problem, normally you just created a new one. As perfecting the ability to work with the machine may take a few weeks and sometimes hiring trained personnel.
4. Prepare the installation of the machine to the utmost detail, make sure they follow instructions during installation
Due to the constant usage of water to lubricate cutting and avoid dust in the floor shop, when installing the machine, prepare a sub-level water sewage system, with a grid on top. A clean and dry workspace is possible, you just have to think ahead.
5. Space and Simplicity should be taken into account when designing your layout
When cutting stone or finishing it, lots of useless scrap stone will suddenly appear all over the place ... so study this carefully, you can install conveyor belts to transport the scrap stone out of you shop floor, be careful things might get a little to crowded and with intense traffic. Avoid using forklifts on the shop floor, you can live without them, you just have to figure it out.
6. Make sure you infra structure is enough to add your new machine, don't want to add some last minute expenses
Water treatment plant: make sure that your installed capacity is enough to supply your new machinery, or you'll have to increase capacity of your water treatment plant.
7. Outsource before buying an expensive equipment, make sure your payback is guaranteed
Before going out and buying new machinery, try to outsource certain features of your final product. Believe me not all features are widely accepted by the market, this way when you go out and buy tooling you'll be getting return immediately.
8. Design your machine layout following a logic flow of materials
When installing equipment on the shop floor make sure you define the flow of materials, and buy the machine with the correct production direction, most may be ordered with right or left hand material entrances. I've seen people buying the machine without even looking at this detail, and when the machine arrives ... you're installing it against the flow ...