The 100-Wire Stone Saw

125_Mirage_4000The global economic downturn hit the construction industry in Spain, along with the country's stone industry with it. One company, however, is moving ahead ... with the help of a very large saw.

  

 


By Paul Daniel

TUI, Spain – The global economic downturn hit the Spanish construction industry particularly badly, and with it domestic-stone production. But there are always companies – such as Granilouro – that buck the trend.

The global economic downturn hit the construction industry in Spain, and the domestic stone industry with it. One company, however, is bucking the trend ... with the help of a very large saw.Granilouro (Granitos del Louro S.A.) was founded in 1988; the objectives set at the time of formation have all been surpassed. And, Granilouro was the first company in the sector in Spain to achieve ISO 9002 Quality certification and ISO 14001 Environmental assurance certification.

200_Mirage_4000Click to enlargeThe head office and factory are situated south of the granite-quarrying region in north-west Spain that’s famous throughout the world for such varieties as Rosa Porriño and Gris Mondariz. But Granilouro´s strategy has always concentrated on the processing or transformation side. Blocks are purchased from leading producers and fashioned into slabs, tiles, paving products, cornices, balustrades, columns, chimneys, etc.

During the past decade or so Granilouro has won major contracts for cladding and paving both in Spain and overseas. One project in Logroño, Spain – completed in 2007 – involved 30,000 m² (322,917 ft²) of paving and tiles plus 18.000 linear meters (59,055’) of curbstones and special pieces using local granites; a subsequent project at the CTBA Plaza (Four Towers Business Park) in Madrid also used 30,000 m² of imported black and grey granite paving, plus some special pieces.

Very much with an eye on global markets, Granilouro directors Antonio and Roberto Castro constantly monitor all new granite-processing developments. The company purchased its first multi-diamond wire (MDW) machine in 2002; this five-wire machine was so successful that a 12-wire machine was acquired in 2003. The technical advantages of MDW sawing, compared with steel-shot gang saws, for slabbing granite were fully appreciated by the Granilouro management. 

There are now at least eight MDW models on the market from well-known Italian companies including some with an impressive pedigree. A meeting between Granilouro and Massa, Italy-based Barsanti Macchine S.p.A. management and engineers led to an agreement to build a four-column machine specifically for Granilouro´s requirements – and, as a result, yield the highest production capacity in the world to date.

A VERY SPECIAL MACHINE

The commercial launch of a MDW machine with 100 diamond wires is a ground-breaking development. And the fact that the machine has been supplied by Barsanti –  a company that produced its first gang saw machine in 1898 – adds to the historic importance.