Or­ford MNA 618 Sher­brooke Ma­gog 819-847-3911 1 855-547-3911 Straight Blades

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS -

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.

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