These days being good at what you do is important, but so is the way you get it done – as in implementing sustainable manufacturing processes that are earth-friendly. At Edstein Creative Stone in Taree, New South Wales, Australia, conservation has become an integral part of the way the company does business.
“In 2008 Edstein Creative Stone became a member of the NSW Sustainability Advantage Program,” says Edstein’s Nigel Ferguson.
“Through participation in the program it has achieved Silver status in recognition of its achievements, which include saving 25 mega-liters of water yearly through rain water harvesting and water recycling; reducing energy consumption by 25% between 2008 and 2012, with a further 15% saving planned within the next 12 months; diverting 432 tons of stone waste from landfill to recycling per annum; and sorting and recycling of all plastic, paper and cardboard waste products at each of the company’s three sites.”
Established in 1896 when the Edstein family established a monument masonry business in the Hunter Valley in New South Wales, Australia, the business remains a major supplier of monument products throughout the state of NSW. In the early 1980’s Edstein began supplying granite products to the kitchen and building segment and has experienced strong growth in this segment over the past 10 years.
Today the supply of stone bench tops for domestic and commercial markets makes up 75% of the company revenue with production at approximately 60 tops per week. The business operates from three sites, with the factory located in Taree, NSW on the North Coast; the main sales outlet in Newcastle; and the newest outlet at Gosford on the Central Coast of NSW. Edstein has a total of 49 employees.
“In September 2012 the company will complete a two year expansion project that will see the factory building expanded to 1600 sq meters,” continues Ferguson.
“The facility will house a new Burkhardt fully automated sawing line acquired from Germany in addition to a new Comandulli Omega 100 Edge Polisher. In 2011 we installed a Twin Table Thibaut M10 CNC machine, which is the first of its type in the southern hemisphere. These machines work in conjunction with our existing GMM Rotex Saw, Thibaut T818 CNC, Thibaut GB110, Comandulli Synthesis and Farnese Mitre saw. The expansion project will provide potential capacity improvements to allow production to exceed 100 tops per week.”
In addition to continually looking at ways to improve production processes, internal procedures and methods are also constantly reviewed to improve customer service levels. In 2011 the company adopted Sekon production software to implement a more streamlined CAD production generated from onsite measurements gathered by its Proliner digital templating system. The software produces the electronic files required for its nesting-based sawing and CNC production files as well as any working drawings for manufacture and installation.
“In 2004 we started using Moraware’s JobTracker software for control of job processing,” says Ferguson.” Whilst there was some early resistance from segments of the business, today we could not survive without the control that JobTracker provides. Due to our large market area, we have many infield staff. The ability to log into JobTracker remotely to access job data has been a key to our success.”
The future looks very promising for Edstein, especially since the stone segment continues to experience strong growth in the building and home renovation markets throughout Australia. Edstein projects 40% of its bench top business will be in new construction, and 60% in renovations/remodeling, providing a good balance for future growth. The soon-to-be-finished expansion project provides a great platform for sustainable production with increased levels of automation, providing consistent quality at a lower production cost.
Want to know more? At Moraware, we make software for countertop fabricators. CounterGo is countertop drawing and estimating software. JobTracker is scheduling software that helps you eliminate the time you waste looking for job folders. RemnantSwap is a free place to buy and sell granite remnants with fabricators near you.