Archive | September, 2013

Old Corian Video Showing the Manufacture of Solid Surface

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Old Corian Video Showing the Manufacture of Solid Surface

Posted on 26 September 2013 by cradmin

We looked long and hard to try to find a video that shows how solid surface is made, however it seems the industry is relatively tight-lipped about the process. Other than a few Chinese videos with no narrative showing minor aspects of manufacturing, there is very little out there. However, this “How it is Made” video from what appears to be the early 1980s has some interviews with the folks behind DuPont Corian solid surface as well as some insightful views at the company’s continuous casting manufacturing line. While it may be outdated a bit, you will get the idea. Thanks to Willis Distribution for sharing it.

If nothing else, the aged nature of it is good for a few chuckles. Enjoy:

Don’t forget to send us a link to your favorite industry-related videos so we can share them with the countertop world. Just email us at

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Wilsonart Launches 2013 Solid Surface Collection Inspired by Cityscapes

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Wilsonart Launches 2013 Solid Surface Collection Inspired by Cityscapes

Posted on 25 September 2013 by cradmin

gold glitz wilsonart solid surfaceThe rich textures, surfaces and sparkle of the urban landscape inspire seven new Wilsonart Solid Surface designs. The Cityscape Collection’s new patterns add drama and elegance to residential and commercial spaces. This seamless and sparkling surfacing material is sprinkled with quartz-like translucent or glittery chips, and is naturally resistant to fade, heat, mold, mildew and stains. Solid surface is renewable and repairable, and complies with FDA food contact requirements, and is safe for food contact and preparation; plus, sinks can be built directly into the countertop, making clean-up a breeze.

Four trends fueled the inspiration for the Cityscape designs of the 2013 collection: Industrial Chic: Rustic Glam; Classic Revival; and Graphics.

The new Cityscape designs include Garnet Glitz, Gold Glitz (pictured here), Night Stars, Clouded, Paris Fog, Chipped Chocolate and Maple Harvest, as well as a classic white offering in the form of Avalanche Melange. All eight introductions are designed to complement a range of materials: wood, metal, glass and laminate. The flowing surface and soft colors make them a suitable backdrop for sleek and modern accessories in contemporary spaces.

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2014 Concrete Decor Show Seeks Presenters

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2014 Concrete Decor Show Seeks Presenters

Posted on 24 September 2013 by cradmin

The 2014 Concrete Decor Show invites concrete industry professionals, such as those who work in the concrete countertop segment of the industry, to share their knowledge, experience and business expertise through teaching. Interested parties are invited to submit a proposal for an educational seminar, hands-on workshop or panel discussion for next year’s show, held Sept. 29th through Oct. 3, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas.

The Concrete Decor Show’s fifth annual conference is designed for construction professionals who work in any of the residential, commercial or public concrete markets. An important purpose of the show is to provide high-quality educational sessions for contractors, distributors and building professionals. Its five-day, multi-track format is focused on both hands-on workshops and educational seminars on topics that focus on current and emerging issues in management, design, application and maintenance.

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Fabricator Profile: Billings Marble & Granite

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Fabricator Profile: Billings Marble & Granite

Posted on 23 September 2013 by CRadmin2

Billings Marble & Granite

Billings Marble & Granite was founded in 1996 when owner Kenny Roesch made a decision to buy the company that installed the natural stone countertops in his own kitchen. Because Billings, Mont., is in a fairly isolated location, he and his son, who is now also his business partner, worked on the premise of becoming a regional distributor of granite slabs. Soon, they had acquired an inventory of 1,000 slabs and began working on the next phase of the business.

This next phase included the adoption of the latest technologies in the countertop industry. Roesch’s son, Tory, has a degree in mechanical engineering and a background in computer technology that has helped them in selecting a CNC machine paired with the advanced Park Industries Fusion system.

Soon, the business grew from 1,300 sq. ft. to 4,300 sq. ft., and in 2005, the company relocated to a 13,000-sq.-ft. warehouse and headquarters. Roesch attributes the success of Billings Marble & Granite to a combination of smart business, planning for the future and putting himself in the position of his customers… Read More of this Fabricator Profile Here

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Dye Sublimation Process in Solid Surface Using Vacuum Press

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Dye Sublimation Process in Solid Surface Using Vacuum Press

Posted on 20 September 2013 by cradmin

This video, produced by Global Vacuum Presses, shows the dye sublimation process in solid surface. Basically, dye sublimation allows any image or graphic to be transferred onto solid surface through a heat and compression transfer process. Dye sublimation generally uses a water-based ink that will convert from a solid to a gas under the correct conditions, this gas can then bond with solid surface when it has been heated to the proper temperature in which it becomes porous (roughly 350 degrees F). When the solid surface cools, the solid surface goes back to its nonporous state, permanently capturing the image onto its surface. The solid surface can then be fabricated just like normal.

While the video is somewhat commercial, in that it uses a specific brand of vacuum press, it gives a pretty good, in-depth look at the process and what amazing innovations can be accomplished using this underutilized method:

As always, if you see a useful or interesting video you think should be shared with the countertop industry, let us know by emailing info@countertopresource.com.

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Elite Industry International Offers Granite, Marble Slabs

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Elite Industry International Offers Granite, Marble Slabs

Posted on 18 September 2013 by cradmin

black cosmic granite slabElite Industry Group International Ltd., based in Xiamen, China, offers a variety of granite, marble and other natural stone slabs. They are available in both 2cm and 3cm thicknesses in such colors as Black Cosmic (pictured here), Kosmos, Costa Esmerelda, White Supreme, Andromeda White, Aran White and Leopard. The company also offers prefabricated vanity tops. Elite has been selling slabs to the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom since 2002 and immediate shipment is available. For more information, visit www.elitestonequarry.com.

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MIA: ‘OSHA’s Proposed Silica Rule a Serious Concern for Construction Industry’

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MIA: ‘OSHA’s Proposed Silica Rule a Serious Concern for Construction Industry’

Posted on 17 September 2013 by cradmin

In response to a notice by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that it intends to reduce the current silica dust exposure rate by 50 percent, the Marble Institute of America (MIA) is urging OSHA to maintain current levels. According to a release from the MIA, the current silica levels “are appropriate if adhered to.”

“Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) show a greater than 90 percent reduction in the silicosis mortality rate from 1968 to 2010,” stated the MIA release. “It is doubtful that a further reduction of the allowable exposure limits will impact those numbers.”

The MIA statement goes on to say that OSHA should focus more on compliance with current standards through urging wet cutting and stone industry education.

“The natural stone industry advocates the use of proper equipment, training, vigilance and continual monitoring to minimize the risk of silicosis,” states the release. “The MIA has produced videos, handouts, and training guidelines on awareness and prevention and is providing many of those resources free-of-charge to stone companies online at www.marble-institute.com/silica.”

“We consider ourselves partners with OSHA in this effort, and believe strongly that safety is paramount,” said James Hieb, MIA Executive Vice President. “Independent studies have estimated costs for construction industry compliance will well exceed $1 billion per year. Don’t hamper economic growth for companies who are in compliance at the current levels.”

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Trade Commission Seeks Input on Trade Barriers from ISFA Members

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Trade Commission Seeks Input on Trade Barriers from ISFA Members

Posted on 16 September 2013 by cradmin

The United States International Trade Commission has invited ISFA and its members to participate in a study to catalog issues and experiences that small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) are having in exporting to the European Union (EU). Of particular interest are any non-tariff measures that disproportionately affect the ability of SMEs to export.

The Commission will conduct an investigation and prepare a report that catalogs trade-related barriers that U.S. SMEs perceive as disproportionately affecting their exports to the EU, compared to those of larger U.S. exporters to the EU.  The Commission’s report will cover barriers faced by U.S. SMEs exporting both goods and services, and will focus primarily on barriers identified by U.S. SMEs that have experience in exporting to the EU. Also as requested, the report, to the degree practicable, will identify barriers by economic sector or by special issue and will focus on sectors with high concentrations of SMEs..

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PR and Small Business: Four Practical Parallels

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PR and Small Business: Four Practical Parallels

Posted on 13 September 2013 by CRadmin2

There are numerous preconceived notions about the field of public relations and the everyday life of a PR professional. Many Americans may envision a Hollywood landscape of exclusive events, material excess and prestige while others visualize an individual furiously hammering phones and email, determined to lock down an interview with an elusive editor. While the idealized pomp and circumstance of the publicity field may have found its way into some people’s schemata, the fact of the matter is that it’s closer to the latter and shares many of the cornerstones that define any customer-centric small business.

Your countertop company may be seeking ways to employ public relations principles in your business model but is unclear on how to properly implement them or fails to see how the application of PR tactics can prove beneficial. The truth is the fundamental pillars of running an effective and efficient publicity campaign are mutually inclusive with the methods that carve out a lucrative niche in your community with your small business.

The president of a publicity agency and the manager of a local  fab shop have the same overriding goal in mind: client retention. On paper, the operational ways and means may appear vastly different – connecting with reporters and editors vs. connecting with the community – but the similarities that these brands of businesses share far outweigh the differences. You can adhere to a variety of principles when aiming to build and maintain a rich customer base, but there are four that are absolutely essential to ensuring long-term success and profitability.

 

1. No Matter What, You’re Always Marketing

Public relations executives recognize that their brand and its associated image are the lifeblood of their professional identities, and any blemishes incurred can derail the potential for lucrative returns. In the same vein that a PR firm would continually promote its services as results-driven and effectual, a small business must utilize ’round-the-clock marketing to promote its goods and services through a scope of success and viability and safeguard against any possible harm to its reputation. Whether you’re a clerk at the point of sale or the owner representing the company at the local chamber of commerce meeting, your actions or inaction can throw a monkey wrench into the gears of your vision and goals. There is never a moment, on or off the clock, when you are not representing your company; maintain marketing vigilance.

 

2. Timeliness is Next to Godliness, So Take to the Internet

Nowhere is the phrase “strike while the iron is hot” more pertinent than in the public relations industry, where reporters are on tight deadlines and the window of opportunity to have your client featured may be as minute as the time between your pitch hitting their inbox and the next. Where print publications and broadcast agencies can be viewed as a PR agent’s customers, as they require information in a concise, time-sensitive manner, your physical customers demand and expect the same level of timely service.

With the explosion of social media platforms and the newfound ability of point-and-click problem solving, the area of customer service has become acutely streamlined. Small businesses should unquestionably appoint an online CSR to meet many of their clientele where they are – on laptops in living rooms and offices – to address their issues and expedite resolutions. Long lines, brain-jarring jingles while on hold and service delays are ill-fated means of the past and rapid roads to business closure; accelerate your customer-service practices by logging on and establishing a strictly monitored social media presence.

 

3. Flexibility Creates Longevity

Obstinacy has no place in the realm of small business. More often than not, start-ups in their infancy transform into thriving companies on the backs of minor freebies or throw-ins, as these are the kinds of actions that are appreciated and remembered by customers. With a daily influx of new businesses developing creative ways to entice your business, maintaining a first-rate level of flexibility is priority one to building brand loyalty in your community. The extra steps you take will not go unnoticed by your clientele and will do worlds to preserving your long-term bottom line.

 

4. Begin with the End in Mind

Goal setting is intrinsic to any functional publicity campaign, and while every client would relish a weekly feature in a major news publication, the actuality is that achieving that outcome is a distant outlier to the likely results. Tempering expectations and working with each individual client to zero in on realistic, attainable goals should be conducted at the outset of a PR endeavor, and it directly corresponds to the process that should occur when setting your annual business benchmarks.

Beginning with the end in mind means exactly that: Go into any new undertaking with an understanding of an array of possible outcomes and focus in on the most plausible. Your small business will not evolve into a national conglomerate overnight, and you may endure a few unsteady quarters before you finally perfect your formula for profitability. There is a growth curve with any small business, and you should let your goals reflect that reality when you jot down your targets for the year.

Contrary to an unsubstantiated belief, public relations professionals do not reside in some corporate ivory tower conducting the bulk of their business in swanky lounges and on the greens of golf courses. The majority of publicity work is based on the same foundations of the small business – a stout presence in the community, timely and flexible customer service and a goal-setting strategy designed for realistic achievement. By employing these four PR-to-small-business parallels and making them a hallmark of your operation, you establish a customer-centric game plan that will build lifetime loyalty and success.

 

About the Author:

Russell Trahan is President of PR/PR, a boutique public relations agency specializing in positioning clients in front of their target audience in print and online. PR/PR represents experts of all kinds who are seeking national exposure for their business or organization. Russell and PR/PR will raise your business’ awareness in the eyes of your clients and customers. For more information, please visit www.prpr.net or email mail@prpr.net for a free consultation.

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Caesarstone Canada Launches 6 New Quartz Designs

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Caesarstone Canada Launches 6 New Quartz Designs

Posted on 12 September 2013 by cradmin

Coastal Grey Caesarstone CanadaCaesarstone Canada introduced six new designs to its Classico collection. These latest designs are inspired by natural stone. Among the new hues are four additions to the Supernatural series, including Vanilla Noir, Alpine Mist, Coastal Grey (pictured here) and Bianco Drift. Both Vanilla Noir and Alpine Mist are characterized by striking veins while Coastal Grey and Bianco Drift were designed with a granite texture. Also joining the Classico collection are the additions Clamshell and Summer Rye. Both of these patterns fuse together a blend of soft-tones with intricate details.

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