line. Here, a machine trims the ends and sides of the slab and shaves a thin layer
off the top and bottom. The slab then enters the polishing machine, where circular metal polishers work on the shine, moving from a coarse grit to finer grades
until the surface is smooth and shiny. Water is constantly sprayed onto the slab
during polishing to keep dust to a minimum and to cool and preserve the polishing tools. Water systems buried beneath the polishing lines capture, filter,
and reuse all of the water.
Once polished, the slab is transferred to an inspection area lined with banks
of lights. Here, workers check each slab for scratches, impurities, veining, and
pattern, working off a “standard”—a proven, perfect slab they can match against.
Once approved, each slab receives an inventory-tracking bar code on a tag affixed
to one end. A giant automated arm moving on a steel ceiling armature picks up
and stacks the slabs for pickup. Next stop: fabrication.
Cambria has certified fabrication shops throughout the United States and
Canada, as well as one just up the highway. In these locations, the fabrication
process begins with drawings from Cambria-certified installers for each job. The
drawings are turned into digital files fed into computers that guide the machines
that cut the profiles. The drawings are also put into a manila folder or job packet
that accompanies each profile throughout fabrication.
Meanwhile, the slab undergoes another inspection for gloss, color, tone,
and pattern. Workers may select several slabs for each job, which are stacked
on an A-frame and digitally photographed. Staff in the “nesting office” study
these high-definition images on computers to ensure the correct match-up
of colors and patterns as the profiles are cut.
6. One of Cambria’s most popular
uses is for kitchen islands and
countertops because the material
is nonporous and scratch- and