From a block of stone to a luxury bathroom

International firm CFM, based in Pero Pinheiro (Portugal), specializes in the design and construction of machinery for sawing and milling stone. CFM is part of the Construal Group, which comprises Construal in Portugal and Canada, Feist Machine Service in the US, and CFM in Portugal. Construal is able to supply a wide range of products from a single source, thus allowing the company to take advantage of many synergies. CFM and NUM can now look back on a decade of successful and constructive cooperation.

CFM was founded in Portugal on September 1, 2006. Headquartered in Pero Pinheiro, CFM is located near Lisbon, the Portuguese capital, and currently has 26 employees. Its portfolio includes consultancy and servicing, machine construction, and retrofits which provides modernization and upgrading of existing systems in over 18 countries and on 5 continents.

The company specializes in the design and construction of machinery for sawing and milling stone such as granite or marble. This equipment allows CFM to cover the entire machining process, from cutting the rough block of stone to shaping and ultimately the finished workpiece. The cooperation between CFM, at the time a department within Construal, and NUM was initiated in 2003. CFM was looking for a partner to help it meet a wide range of customer and application requirements, and NUM was awarded the contract thanks to its overall solution portfolio and extensive expertise. The engineers created a stone-working solution that can run on various CNC controller generations, such as NUM10xx, Axium, Flexium, and Flexium+. At present, Flexium and Flexium+ controllers are used on the machines and have the ability to machine on inclined planes.

The successful partnership between CFM and NUM has also produced the FP machine type, a CNC gantry machine with 5 axes, a tool changer, and a saw blade with a diameter of up to 1.3 m. The machine has an impressive height of 4 m, a floor area of almost 40 m2, and an imposing weight of 7 tons. In light of its size, the machine can cut enormous blocks of stone. Although the saw blade can accelerate to 650 rpm within 30 seconds, the entire machining process for a bathtub can still take up to 30 hours. Impressively, the 6 mm-thick saw blade is able to cut stone into any shape while ensuring an outstanding surface quality.

The machining process is generated via an external CAD/CAM (EasySTONE Premium) and then sent to the NUM Flexium+ CNC controller with MDLUX drives that control the 5-axis machine. On this basis, the stone is then machined with an impressive spindle power of 22–30 kW. The FP machine offers various options: a laser for cutting marks, variable wheel speeds, a tilting table, vacuum pumps and cups, a tool changer for up to 24 tools, and a nesting program with camera.

This robust and low-maintenance gantry machine was designed for cutting and milling marble and granite. It features excellent cutting quality, performance, and flexibility, yet is also easy to operate. CFM co-owner Fernando Calçada: “The easy operation of the machine is a major advantage. It means that requirements and objectives can be efficiently met in accordance with the needs of the market.”

At Construal Group, the customers are in good hands. CFM supports its customers worldwide with engineers, training, and remote maintenance services. Complex and specific customer requirements are implemented in close collaboration with NUM, on a flexible and customer-centric basis. NUM’s high-end product, the Flexium+ controller, is at the forefront of automation technology. The end customer can make full use of and also individually customize the options offered by the Flexium+ CNC controller. NUM makes it possible to develop a tailored product for both CFM and its end customers.

The machinery made by CFM produces impressive workpieces, such as unique fireplaces or striking bathroom fittings including bathtubs and washbasins, complete with solid coverings – all naturally made of stone. CFM co-owner Fernando Calçada: “Nature provides a wide range of incredibly diverse structures and colors. Every stone has its own unique appearance. Natural stone is a true eye-catcher and gives spaces an incomparable flair.”

The perfectly shaped and high-quality workpiece produced by the CFM machines guarantees the user a clear competitive advantage. Investing in a CFM machine means investing in a sustainable and long-term solution with upgradeable technologies that can be adapted to meet future needs.

(September 2018)