Information for, about, and of interest to the stone trade, including items previously featured in Latest News.


ETemplate Systems Going To College

    RALEIGH, N.C ETemplate Systems enters into a partnership with Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) of Des Moines, Iowa, and Salt Lake Community College, Salt Lake City, to provide its Photo Digital Measuring system for use in woodworker and countertop fabrication training curriculua.  
    “ETemplate is prevalent in woodworking businesses all across America, and it is a great service to the business community to have schools such as these who quickly step up to offer convenient training options for an essential production tool,” says Paul Hansen, ETemplate president.”ETemplate has rapidly developed into a mainstream product for the construction industry and we welcome the opportunity to work with any school that sees a need to incorporate digital measuring technology into their curriculum. We look forward to hearing from them.”
    The ETemplate system can be used for all kinds of construction measuring and templating and its automatic processes make it simple to use.  It is not limited by tripods, range, reach, or line-of-sight.
    ETemplate Photo was first introduced in March 2001, and is now in its tenth upgrade.
    ETemplate Systems is a member of the Marble Institute of America and the Stone Fabricators Alliance. It’s also a member of the American Woodworkers Institute (AWI) and the recipient of the IWF 2006 Challenger Award.  It is also a member of the International Solid Surface Fabricators Association (ISSFA) and recipient of the 2005 ISSFA Associate of the Year Award.

Intermac, AIM Ink Agreement

CHARLOTTE, N.C.Intermac America and Advanced Industrial Machinery Inc. (AIM) recently signed a distribution agreement, making Intermac and its agents the exclusive dealer of AIM cutting machinery in the United States and Canada.
The agreement provides continuity to AIM, which had the same relationship with AGM USA. Pesaro, Italy-based Biesse S.p.A. purchased AGM’s stone- and glass-machinery assets earlier this year, including its distribution of Intermac equipment.
Based in Hickory, N.C., AIM holds a quarter-century experience in machine design and manufacturing, with a line of industrial sawing and waterjet equipment for the fabrication of stone, marble, granite, synthetic stone and other solid surfaces.
Under the new agreement, Intermac America will serve as the distribution channel for AIM’s MasterCut saw and MasterJetSaw combination CNC waterjet/saw line of stone-cutting systems, as well as AIM’s Waterjet line, including the Masterjet series.
Customers can then interface with Intermac machines, such as the Master CNC series, to complete the process with precision straight-line and shaped edging.
“Our machines go hand in hand,” noted Bob Pharr, AIM President and CEO.
AIM will continue to handle sales, delivery and installation’ it’ll also be responsible for customer service, technical support and training at its Hickory headquarters facility for all of the machines it manufactures.

More MIA Accredited Companies

CLEVELAND – Three more companies are now Accredited Natural-Stone Fabricators, as noted by the Marble Institute of America (MIA).

And, they’ll be joined by many more, judging from the amount of companies now in the qualification process.

Radtke Tile and Marble of Carson City, Nev., Solidtops LLC of Easton, Md., and Great Lakes Granite and Marble of Redford, Mich. joined NBC Solid Surfaces of Springfield, Vt., in gaining the industry certification.

"Professional accreditation is extremely beneficial in our industry and worth the effort," says Fred Radtke, owner of Radtke Tile and Marble. "In the marketplace, differentiation is paramount. We understand the competitive edge accreditation brings to our marketing strategy."

Great Lakes Granite and Marble, meanwhile, is the first company in Michigan and the first granite shop headed by a past MIA president -- Richard Booms – to gain this accreditation.

The route to becoming accredited consists of three equally-weighted phases. Phase one requires the completion of a lengthy application which ensures that the company is in compliance with the ten standards of accreditation as laid out by the MIA Accreditation Task Force.

The second phase consists of a 200-question examination, testing the applicant's knowledge and use of materials, installation, fabrication, restoration, care and maintenance, administration, legal/contracts, jobsite and shop safety. The final phase is a comprehensive site visit, which includes a review of the facility, documents, and one or more installation inspections.

"Qualifying companies have one year to pass the exam and another year to complete the site visit … although so far, everyone has finished everything in one year," says Garen Distelhorst, MIA's executive vice president and accreditation program manager. "Currently, over 100 firms are in various stages of completing the process."

Letters: Undocumented Workers

Editor:

Just read your editorial in Stone Business and have a few comments of my own, being an actual granite shop owner.

As an owner that actually plays by the rules in an area of the country where illegal immigration is rampant I find some of your views short-sighted. I pay my employees a fair wage, provide a safe work environment and provide health care yet I have to compete with shops that exploit illegal immigrant labor, pay no benefits and pay almost slave wages. Do you suggest I break the law in order to stay competitive? What is a better solution ... have everyone in the business hire illegals and lower the over all wage for the profession or enforce the hiring laws that exist today and raise the overall wage?

Most of my staff are Latino and all legal and I can tell you that they do not like illegal immigration any more than I do. It means more competition in the job market and a reduction in the prevailing wage.

What do you say to the hard working legal immigrants and citizens who have had their wages plummet or their jobs taken as a result of the excess of illegal immigrant labor?

When did brick laying, masonry, framing, drywall hanging and almost any other form of manual labor become "jobs Americans won’t do"? I'll help you with this one ... when the excess supply of illegal immigrant labor drove wages down so far that only the illegals will work for that little.

Are you suggesting that the cost of schooling the kids, paying for health care and the myriad of other costs associated with illegal immigrants are offset by the money they spend here??

Transfer payments to Mexico from the United States is now Mexico's leading source of revenue. If the illegals are contributing so much to the economy where is that money coming from? Is this any different than outsourcing?

If these people are given legal status how do you plan to cover the Social Security payments to 12+ million additional retirees that did not come remotely close to contributing enough into the system?

What do you say to the parents of English-speaking students who can not learn at a reasonable pace because the non-speaking kids demand so much more of the teachers time? I have been told by that in some schools in Southern California non-English-speaking students are the majority.

You are right, the "fatheads" deserve ridicule, as well as anyone else who refuses to step back and look at the long term social and financial cost of illegal immigration. I wonder how much support you would have for the illegals if you lost your job to someone who would do it for half the cost.

Richard Nenzelm, Rock-It Surfaces, Vista, Calif.

Letter: Stone Safety Ignorance

     I have noticed that in your magazine, as well as others, that there appears to be no regard for safety equipment use. There are several photos of fabrication shops with workers operating equipment and hand tools with out their personal safety equipment.
     In the April ‘07 issue I find this difficult to understand. On page 34 the worker is operating a stone router without hearing protection, and again on page 53. Then there is an article titled “Learning and Sharing.” page 58. This is an article about a shop training seminar. There are photos on pages 58, 60 and 64. All of these photos are of people operating tools and equipment. There are also several observers with their faces close to the work tools.
     None of these people have hearing, eye or dust protection. This is intended to be a training seminar? What kind of shop training is it if there is not safety first?
     As an industry, we need to promote safe work practices. One of the most important things that a shop should have is a good safety program. I feel as a magazine you should not promote unsafe work habits. This is not the first time that I have noticed this problem, nor the only publication that has published these types of photos. There must be a way of either not using these types of photos or adding some statement about the non-use of personal safety equipment.
     Safety should be the number one concern of everyone.
     
     Tim Wiley
     Stone Center Inc.
     Portland, Ore.