Thursday, 24 October 2013

Albion Stone invest in new Breton ashlar line

Portland stone producer Albion Stone has invested nearly £500,000 on its new ashlar line with an in-line Smart-Cut SNC550 Optima bridge saw. 
It is part of a £3million investment by the company that Managing Director Michael Poultney says will ensure it continues to be the most productive stone operation in the UK.
And it wants to be in order to win more export orders. To that aim, it is even taking the unusual step among British stone producers of exhibiting at Marmomacc  this year (although it is not alone because Forest Pennant is also exhibiting there). Albion’s new line comprises a powerful grinding and polishing Levibreton KFG machine holding two,high-removal grinding heads and four polishing heads with 15kW spindles.
The line is followed by a flexible cutting line with belt workbench, which includes a photographic station reading the slab dimensions, pre-optimization and loading of the work program, automatic positioning of the slab and execution of the cuts.
Thanks to its extensive work area and patented system with vacuum cups installed on the special guard of the Smart-Cut SNC550 Optima CNC bridge saw, it is possible to perform any kind of polygonal cut, minimizing material waste. 
Albion says the new line is significantly more productive than the two it has replaced. Michael Poultney says: “Albion Stone conducted exhaustive research into the tile and ashlar lines currently available in the market place, including visits to several factories on the Continent.
We are confident that the Breton line will give us an excellent high quality product to the tight tolerances that our discerning customers now require.” 
Carl Sharkey says that from Breton UK’s viewpoint, working with such companies gives it invaluable experience. “We feel that Breton UK is in prime position to provide innovative and efficient solutions where stand-alone equipment is not enough,” Carl told NSS.
But success has brought its own problems and Technical Director Simon Bradbury says at the beginning of this year Breton Italy was coping with a large volume of orders that led to production delays and a knock-on of delivery delays that has left Breton UK playing catch-up.

“That said, we always have one eye on the future and are already well advanced with plans to expand our service team to enable us to provide the best response we can.”
And for anyone struggling to find an engineer for a quick response when needed, Simon says: “Not only can we look after Breton machines, but also Intermac, Sasso, GMM.”
And he says: “We hope to promote a little more proactive practice from machine owners with regard to maintenance.    

There are a lot of instances where spending a few hundred pounds every six months could have saved some customers literally thousands of pounds.”
Well, that’s all for today.


Sergio Prior

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