AWISA is much more than a furniture production trade fair; it’s a showcase for everything the industry has to offer, including stone, glass and advanced products manufacturing. At this year’s show in Sydney all of the major players were on display. It’s not the biggest show for stone manufacturing but the furniture industry is increasingly becoming more product-oriented and stone features strongly in modern design. The trend for living areas with multiple uses has taken the kitchen from a place to cook, to a meeting place for friends and family. The kitchen is no longer isolated, but linked to the rest of the home and the materials used are more important than even for interior design.

At AWISA this year in July there were many suppliers of stone fabrication equipment and accessories. These included Breton; CDK; Farnese; Intermac; TQ Stone products and the Wood Tech Group. Products included bridge saws; CNC processing machines; edge polishing machines; tooling and from CDK, laser site measuring and template production. More cabinetmakers are ‘getting into’ stone fabrication to supplement their cabinet production or to offer their customers a more complete service; and because they already use CNC equipment, usually find the evolution much easier than they imagined it would be. Michael and Kerry Evans of Pacific Kitchens in Far North Queensland say “We wanted another slice of the market but more importantly, needed to offer our customers a more complete, seamless service. Now we deliver the cabinets and stone tops together and our customers are very happy.”

This year Breton presented their patented Combicut dj/nc 550 combination machine with both a saw and water jet cutting. Working through 5-axes, this machine enables the manufacturer to cut the slab to size, followed by the cutting of shapes on vertical and inclined angles with the water jet tool. Breton claims you don’t have to move the slab during the entire process. The Combicut is two machines in one but does not allow the production of shaped profiles. For shaped cutting of bull-nose, shark-nose and other shapes, Breton presents the NC 300 K26 EVO; a meaty product name but a machine with a generous polymeric table and front access through two generous fold-away safety doors. Breton’s software allows the production of all kinds of stone products including 3D relief cuts.

CDK Stone presented two machines this year, the patented GMM extra CNC Bridge Saw and the IDEA Top 33.16 CNC processing centre. CDK is a one-stop shop for everything stone and offer no less than six bridge saws; eight CNC processing machines; four edge processing machines; water jet and mitre saw as well as software, tools and accessories and software. CDK Stone’s GMM extra CNC Bridge Saw presented at AWISA is fitted with automatic measurement of the slab thickness and tool wear. It has a hydraulic tilting table and can be fitted with a camera to photograph the slab for working out the optimum cutting pattern from the material. Like most Bridge Saws, the GMM can be fitted with a milling spindle. The IDEA Top 33.16 CNC processing centre is built by the Italian Cobalm company and comes with an electro-welded steel frame with a polyurethane coating to prevent rust, a problem with any machine where water is used in the production cycle. Jonathan Height, Joint Managing Director CDK Stone said “Our exhibit featured interactive displays, live demonstration of machinery and an enormous five-meter wide LED screen featuring products that have cross industry uses.” Jonathan added “CDK Stone is more than just machinery and we were pleased to also display our extensive range of high quality, CNC tools from leading German suppliers.”

Farnese is relatively new to Australia and is part of the Proform Company who have been supplying CNC wood working machines for at least sixteen years in Australia. Their presentation at AWISA was the 5-axis TECHNICUT Bridge Saw with touch screen control and a laser cutting guide. TQ Stone products is also a new company. Based in West Australia and established in 2010. TQ Stone supplies a range of equipment from small hand-operated stone cutting saws right up to CNC Bridge Saws and CNC processing centres. The Wood Tech Group also provides a range of stone processing machinery from Denver, a company based in San Marino (Italy). Their Denver Tecnika Monobloc Bridge Saw on display at AWISA is a bridge saw with an optional ISO40 single spindle for shaped work, and touch-screen control.

Intermac is part of the Biesse Group that supplies the Donatoni Jet 625 on display at AWISA. Donatoni has been a Biesse company for several years now, demonstrating the group’s commitment to supplying a broad range of quality Italian stone processing machines to the World. The Jet 625 is a high-output Bridge Saw with five axes with a single milling unit for contours. Also from Intermac is the Montresor LOLA edge polishing machine. While Montresor is a new company of the Biesse Group, it has been producing quality stone processing machines since the late 1960’s. Montresor operates as a joint venture between Intermac and Donatoni with the union as recent as July last year. While these developments are quite recent, all of the companies involved have long and successful histories. The most widely used machine from Intermac is of course the Master series of CNC processing centres and the group has hundreds of machines across Australia.

Jonathan Height from CDK Stone said of the stone exhibits at AWISA “Surfaces and interior design is becoming a greater focus at AWISA. CDK Stone was delighted to participate in AWISA and actively promote awareness of the stone industry to the vast amount of trades represented. We aim to help expand knowledge of stone and its many applications.” AWISA has in the past been seen as a wood show but this is changing as the show evolves into what the Australian manufacturer needs. AWISA is now a furniture production show and whatever falls into that arena is well-represented there.

Pictured: One of CDK Stone’s CNC processing machines presented at AWISA 2019