Preventive Maintenance – Suction Cup Systems
posted on: Friday, June 23rd, 2017
Breton CNC contouring and Optima bridge-saw machines offer advanced technology that allows operators to easily move and process stone pieces via one of three state-of-the-art suction cup systems. Providing regular maintenance on these systems, as detailed below, will help ensure optimum performance and durability for your Breton machine.
Breton’s Three Suction Cup Systems
- Vacuum Suction Cup System for bridge-saw machines (e.g., Smart-Cut Optima and Worthy Optima)
- Breton Robocup System (available in all CNC machines)
- Blick Suction Cup System (available in all CNC machines)
Why Regular Maintenance is Important
Regular maintenance of the suction cup system on your Breton CNC contouring and/or Optima bridge-saw machine can help prevent several key issues that may impact the performance of your machine. Consider the following:
- Maintaining the suction cup gaskets in good condition will prevent stone pieces from moving on the work table and helps retain the machine’s proper profile on the stone surface.
- Regular maintenance prevents the suction cups from sucking in and retaining water that can contaminate your machine’s vacuum system, including the vacuum pump, oil tank, and solenoid valves.
- Routine observation and maintenance of the TOP neoprene gasket on each suction cup assures a good grip for polishing stone surfaces.
- Monitoring the BOTTOM gasket on each suction cup helps properly secure the cups with the workbench.
Step-by-Step Maintenance for Breton Optima Vacuum Suction Cup Systems
- Turn the “Maintenance/Work” key selector switch to the “Maintenance” position.
- Press the “Safety Guards Lock/Release” key.
- Open the safety guards.
- Check for any wear on the vacuum pod gaskets.
- Replace if necessary.
Step-by-Step Maintenance for Breton Robocup and Blick Suction Cup Systems
- Breton USA recommends inspecting suction cups on these systems 1x/week to check for visible damage and/or wear.
- For maximum performance, the suction cups should lay flat on the workbench and stone slabs should lay flat on the suction cups.
- Regularly monitor the wear on gaskets. If there is any noticeable damage, do not hesitate to replace them – ideally once a year.
Additional Maintenance for Breton Robocup Systems
- Regularly examine the pushing pin for wear. If the pin is cracked or considerably reduced in size, it should be replaced.
- At least one time every two weeks, inspect the two small holes in the middle, circular section of the suction cups and spray a corrosion-resistant lubricant, such as WD40, in the holes. Then clean the holes with air pressure.
For further questions about maintenance on your Breton CNC contouring and/or Optima machine, please contact our Service Department at: Service@BretonUSA.com
Click here for a printable version of these Preventive Maintenance Instructions from Breton USA.
Client Spotlight: Marques Countertops
posted on: Friday, June 23rd, 2017
Breton USA Marketing Coordinator, Mrs. Karla Baez Ocasio, recently had the opportunity to talk with Mr. Christopher Marques, Owner of Marques Countertops, for an exclusive interview. Here is what Mr. Marques had to say about his experience owning Breton equipment for his fabrication shop, which is located in Chalmette, Louisiana.
Tell us about your company?
We have been in business now for 21 years and are primarily a custom countertop facility with middle to upper-end clients. Our costumes generally have wants and needs that go beyond typical countertop applications. They want waterfalls and other elements that have a little more character and a little more individuality, and they want materials like quartz and higher end marbles, and that sort of thing.
Because almost everything we do is with digital templates, it’s important for us to have the most precise machines out there. That is why use Breton. We use all of the Breton software and we trust the Breton equipment to manufacture things with precision. Plus, we can use the same system for all of the products we make.
So we love using Breton equipment. We love the software, and we are very, very happy with the process and the tools that we have at our finger tips to make it all happen. The equipment is easy to operate, and it makes it easy to deliver to our customers the quality that we promise them. I couldn’t be happier.
Who are some of the top clients you work with?
A lot of what we do is through designers, architects, kitchen and bath dealers, and contractors. But probably 90% of that work is with the same 20 people. So the expectation is set. We know what they want, and they know we can deliver the quality they need.
It makes business so much easier when you can develop those sort of wonderful relationships, where our customers don’t have to worry about what we are going to produce and what they are going to get. And I credit that all to the systems we have in place.
How long have you been a Breton USA customer?
To answer that question, let me first give you a little background. About 12 years ago, I was in the market for some new equipment, so I searched out some different manufacturers. At the time, I wanted to go with Breton, but I talked myself out of it and decided to go with a different company. But over the course of a couple of years, we soon realized that the equipment we had purchased from this other company was not going to last very long. There were more problems and bumps on the road than we cared to deal with on a daily basis. So we decided we were going to get rid of all of that equipment and replace it with new stuff.
That second time around I got with Gerry (Breton USA National Sales Manager, Mr. Gerry Van Der Bas), and there was no talking me out of it. We bought all Breton equipment within about an hour, and I’m not going to tell you this, we have never regretted it once. What really separates Breton apart is how they handle any problems and issues. They are very good about answering our calls, getting us parts, and walking us through issues and problems.
To this day, we could have a software issue come up and give them a call, and there is always someone there to answer the phone. They will walk us through the problem, and most of the time it’s just a matter of a few minutes before we are back up and running. While in the past, when I was with other companies, it often would take days or even weeks to fix even small problems.
In any manufacturing process there are going to be issues that come up, but having that kind of support really helps set Breton apart.
Did Breton USA honor the promises we made during the sales cycle?
Absolutely. There were things in the sale process that Gerry recommended we do, and we did them and they were good calls. For instance, he’d say, “You know I don’t think you really need that, you are just doing countertops. Instead of spending that money on such and such an accessory, I’d rather see you upgrade your software.” And he was right on target every time.
Even today, I’ll call Gerry or someone else at Breton to ask a question, and if they don’t know the answer they will put me in touch with someone who does.
How was the installation process?
We have a Contoubreton NC260 and a Smart-Cut 550 Optima bridge saw. It’s been five years now, but the installation process was very smooth. We received a binder with step-by-step instructions that covered everything in great detail. Installing equipment costs a lot of money, so you can get a little nervous, but with Breton I knew the entire time we were installing the machines that it was being done correctly and with precision.
How about the training you received from Breton USA?
Following installation, Breton USA made sure we were trained and could run the machines on our own before they left. We definitely used the support line for the first six months on a very regular basis, but they were always very helpful and able to answer our questions. In fact, it’s been a little long now, but I even think they sent a tech back out to do some follow up training at a later date, just to make sure everything was where it needed to be.
Do you think that your relationship with Breton USA has benefitted your clientele?
Yes. I think having Breton equipment has allowed us to do things that are very, very precise. And, for us, that’s important. We are very meticulous in everything what we do and how we do it. We want that precision and accuracy to show in our finished projects, and it does. Our customers appreciate that and they come back again and again because we can deliver above and beyond what our competitors are capable of doing.
Do you find that jobs are easier to get out the door now that you are automated with Breton?
Absolutely, I think the equipment is second to none. I don’t think there is a better line of equipment on the market.
We’d like to thank Christopher Marques for taking the time to talk with us and for sharing his experiences owning and operating Breton equipment. We wish him and his company continued success in the years ahead!
To learn more about Marques Countertops, click here.
Breton USA Proud to Sponsor Stone Shop Administration Classes with MIA+BSI and Stone World
posted on: Friday, June 23rd, 2017
Breton USA is proud to be a sponsor of a one-of-a-kind series of classes on Stone Shop Administration being offered this fall by MIA+BSI and Stone World Magazine. Designed for business owners, marketing professionals and other employees interested in growing their businesses, networking with suppliers, and/or learning “best practices” about running a successful fabrication shop, the classes feature a “town hall” environment that is tailored to the attendees and that covers topics most important to fabricators.
Among the items attendees will learn are:
- How to create a plan for diversifying sales to ensure growth both this year and 5 years down the road.
- What business metrics a fabrication shop should measure.
- What indicators facilities should forecast in order to better predict next year’s market.
Locations and dates for the classes sponsored by Breton USA are listed below. Click on the location of your choice for complete details and registration information:
- Boston, MA – July 20, 2017
- Denver, CO – September 14, 2017
- Tulsa, OK – October 5, 2017
- Atlanta, GA – November 2, 2017
Thank you to MIA+BSI and Stone World Magazine for making Breton USA part of this wonderful program!
Innovative Technology: Fuego Multiaxis
posted on: Friday, June 23rd, 2017
Since Classical times, the ability to cut and sculpt stone for architectural and artistic uses has been a hallmark of Western civilization and has led to some of the world’s greatest masterpieces. Yet, ever since the days of ancient Greece and Rome, the technology to produce such marvels has required thousands of hours of human labor and been dependent upon the skilled craftsmanship of individual artists.
That is, until now.
Utilizing diamond wire and technology that allows it to interpolate up to 10 axes, Breton’s Fuego Multiaxis is designed to shape and dimension stone blocks up to 1,800 mm (more than 70 inches) in a variety of complex profiles that include cylindrical and conical columns, shells for column finish, silhouettes for décor, stairs, frames, and much more.
This incredibly innovative machine has two opposite “carriages” that move vertically independent of each other on guides with ball screws that are protected by bellows. One trolley is equipped with a motor and driven pulley, each of which is 1,000 mm (33 inches) in diameter, while the opposite one has two 1,000 mm driven pulleys. A pneumatic cyclinder maintains tautness on the pulleys while the machine’s electrical cabinet contains a digital inverter that controls the power of the main motor and the motors required for axes’ movement. A color touchscreen provides operators with easy-to-use, hands-free control of all functions.
The Fuego Multiaxis can also be customized with Rhino Stone Wire software, developed exclusively by Breton. This cutting-edge CAD/CAM plug-in allows users to create semi-finished products starting from either 2D or 3D objects. It includes a three-dimensional kinetic simulation to immediately check the overall outcome of the machining process.
This major step in our extensive product line of traditional stone equipment is for clients who demand works of art of the highest complexity while providing maintenance and consumable costs that are considerably lower than is possible with traditional methods, which often involve multiple machines and material movements.
Watch the Fuego in action:
For questions or requests, please email email@example.com or call us at (941)-360-2700.
Worthy Optima Makes Its Debut at STONEX Canada 2017
posted on: Wednesday, June 21st, 2017
A compact, 5-axis bridge saw so advanced that it comes equipped with a blade sensor to cut nearly perfect miters on almost any stone surface? A suction cup-based pick up system so powerful that it allows operators to move cut pieces anywhere on a work table at the mere touch of a finger? It may sound too good to be true, but that is exactly what visitors to the Breton USA booth discovered at the recent STONEX Canada show, held May 16-18 in Toronto, Canada.
The show was not only the first of its kind in Canada, but it also marked the North American debut for the new Breton Worthy Optima, the latest evolution in technology from the world’s leading producer of superior quality CNC machinery for the stone cutting industry.
As with its predecessor, the Breton Worthy, the Optima features a full 360° rotating head and a tilting, single-piece work table that requires no foundation. Both allow for maximum control and portability when it comes to jobs ranging from slab cutting and block shaping to block slotting, engraving of inscriptions and hole boring. But that’s not all. This machine also features a sensor system that is so technologically advanced it can determine the precise blade depth needed for complex miter cuts on virtually any stone surface.
“You could tell there was a lot of interest in this new machine,” said Breton USA National Sales Manager, Mr. Gerry Van Der Bas, who along with Vice President Mr. Gianrico Filippetto and Marketing and Events Coordinator Ms. Karla Baez Ocasio represented the company at the event. Joining them were Direct Sales, Mr. John Fallon, and Sales Agents, Mr. Ennio Stocco and Mr. Kav Houshmand. “We had numerous people who visited our booth just to see what all of the buzz was about.”
Of course, STONEX Canada was about more than just showing off Breton’s latest machine. The event gave the Breton USA team a chance to do business with a number of our longtime customers and to meet some new ones as well. It also allowed us to further develop and establish our ongoing commitment to the Canadian market. All were deeply appreciated by the members of our team.
For those who attended the event, we enjoyed seeing you and invite you to continue the conversation by emailing us at MachineSales@BretonUSA.com. If you were unable to attend, we would like to hear from you as well. Please drop us a line at any time and let us introduce you to the best and most advanced technology in the stone cutting industry!
Thank you once again to STONEX for hosting such a successful inaugural event!
Breton Showcases Machine Tools at EASTEC 2017
posted on: Friday, June 16th, 2017
Breton’s growing line of advanced machine tools were front and center at the recent EASTEC 2017 exposition held in West Springfield, Massachusetts. This year celebrating its 35th edition and featuring more than 700 exhibitors, EASTEC is New England’s premier event for fabricators, manufacturers and machining companies in fields that include the aerospace, defense, aeronautics, automotive and energy industries.
Representing Breton USA at the event were National Sales Manager, Mr. Daniel Rochowiak, as well as Mr. Chuck Culliton and Mr. Ron Arpaia from our northeast agent, Ross Machinery Sales, Inc. All shared their extensive knowledge of Breton’s innovative line of machine tools designed specifically for the manufacturing and industrial sectors with event attendees.
“This was our second time attending EASTEC, and you could tell that people were interested in Breton USA and the Breton machines and equipment we support,” said Mr. Rochowiak about the event. “The wheels really started turning when we showed them all of the possibilities Breton machines offer.”
If you were unable to attend this year’s event, or if you simply want to learn more about Breton’s technologically-advanced line of 5 and 6-axis machine tools, we invite you to contact Breton USA’s machine tools sales division at MachineSales@BretonUSA.com. Our expert team will be happy to answer your questions.
posted on: Thursday, June 1st, 2017
Windy City, here we come! Breton USA is off to Chicago for the 18th Annual Amerimold trade show, being held on June 14 and 15 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in nearby Rosemont, Illinois. Dubbed “The Event” for the mold manufacturing industry, each year Amerimold brings together the foremost experts in the industry, like Breton, to showcase their products and services to owners, executives, engineers and managers at OEMs and contract manufacturers from around the globe.
With an average attendance of more than 2,700 registrants, this trade show offers mold manufacturers unique insights into all of the latest trends and best practices currently shaping the industry, as well as an unrivaled look at the latest equipment available to meet their needs. All are designed to help attendees compete and succeed in the thriving global marketplace. And with more opportunities to network than ever before, this is one show that you don’t want to miss!
Come visit the Breton USA booth (#410) at Amerimold 2017 and let our expert staff introduce you to the latest technology and equipment from Breton. Designed to deliver the maximum in speed, accuracy and precision, Breton’s machines truly are reshaping the future of the mold manufacturing industry.
Click HERE to register for the show.
We hope to see you there!
Breton Attends Exclusive Artisan Group Event
posted on: Tuesday, May 30th, 2017
Breton USA, North America’s leading producer of superior quality machinery and equipment for the Stone Working, Machining Tools, and Engineered Stone Plant industries, recently attended the 6th Annual Meeting of The Artisan Group in Spicewood, Texas.
Held on April 27, the exclusive event featured a select group of 30 machining maufacturers, tooling suppliers, financial institutions and stone distributors who were specially invited to display their products and services to an elite gathering of 40 of North America’s top independent countertop professionals.
Each member of The Artisan Group is fully accredited by the Marble Institute of America and utilizes the most technically-advanced and automated products in the stone fabrication industry.
“It is an honor for Breton USA to have once again been invited to attend the Annual Meeting of The Artisan Group,” said National Sales Manager, Mr. Gerry Van Der Bas, who along with Direct Sales Team Member, Mr. John Fallon, represented the company at the event. “Members of this group, as well as each of the vendors invited to participate, represent some of the top leaders in our industry.”
During the event, the Breton USA team had the opportunity to reconnect with our valued customers who currently own and use Breton machinery while introducing Breton’s complete line of equipment to new clients as well.
Culminating the event was a special dinner hosted by AG&M at the nearby Treaty Oak Brewing & Distilling, where the show’s attendees and participating vendors had the opportunity to relax and socialize in a sophisticated, casual atmosphere.
Thanks once again to AG&M and all of the members of The Artisan Group for a terrific event.
We hope to see everyone again soon!