Orford MNA 618 Sherbrooke Magog 819-847-3911 1 855-547-3911 Straight Blades
High-end technology is thought about as front end. Our two last articles showed businesses that use technology to produce products using state-of-the-art equipment.
GranQuartz is in the sale and distribution business of equipment and supplies for the granite industry. It is part of an international network of independent companies servicing the stone industry worldwide. They deal with hundreds of customers across Canada, some showing up at the door to buy needed supplies either at the Beebe head office or in Toronto or Calgary.
André-Jean Bédard, the marketing manager, admitted that the industry is divided in two sectors, the modern shops who have embraced the latest technology and its hefty cost and those who have not.
But his business is centered 100% on the latest technology to help his sales staff. These online catalogues can only move the goods if presented as current as they are, so there is an employee who, day in and day out, refreshes the catalogues, both the online and yearly print edition. Marc-André Spackman has a real little photo studio on his desk, taking pictures of new items, editing the site continually while sales people are on the phones taking orders, needing the latest information and pricing. Not in a fancy Montreal Old Port modern office but in a plain unassuming building in Stanstead.
But if this is what we more or less expected from a distributor of anything, it was the invitation to see the welding shop that was the real surprise.
In another building, the company repairs cutting saws; we were not prepared for what we saw.
Stone cutting blades are like any modern wood saw except their tips are made of diamond dust rather than the carbide of wood ones. Like yours, they break. You throw them away most of the time. Stone cutting blades are mostly in the 16 inch sizes, some smaller, some way larger. Count on around $400 for a standard size one for natural stone, a bit more for the new highly dense artificial one. Their tips get used, sometimes teeth get blown away.
Granquartz’s solution is to repair the blade using state of the art computer controlled equipment. Think of it as your local garage rebuilding parts on the spot to the same exact original specification of the car manufacturer. But at a huge discount from the original one. It’s a Stanstead tradition after all: Butterfield started with the invention by Lewis Young of a specialized tool to repair and tighten
worn out wagon wheel axles. Sometimes remembering our collective DNA helps a lot. Stanstead is a town of invention.
A blade is by definition a thin object, so rebuilding one to the same specification as the original means dealing with precision. A blade just slightly out of alignment, tips badly welded, is a lethal weapon. And a loss of money. What the company does is weld new tips, using computer controlled machines, bringing them back to their original trueness, balancing them to the microns, and letting the customers save money.
All this almost invisible to anyone unless invited, at the last moment, to see some welding.