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Development of a clean and energy efficient cutting system for the 12 millions tons of granite blocks yearly processed in enlarged EU (CLEAN CUT)
Start date: Oct 1, 2008, End date: Sep 30, 2010 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"The stone industry is of strategic importance for the EU economy, particularly its Southern member states including Italy, Greece and Portugal. A large proportion of the 60 million tons world production can be attributed to the EU countries, representing an estimated market of 20 billions of Euro, and of this 81 % is produced in the Southern European countries. Although the prospects for the sector future development appear to be promising, there is a number of problems, which have to be addressed in order for the sector to remain competitive and maintain its leading position in the global market. These problems are particularly relevant when considering stone processing and particularly granite slab production, being faced by low productivity, huge quantities of waste material, high energy consumption and environmental management of wastes produced. There is therefore a need for a new concept of granite slabbing machine with high energy saving per square meter, a low environmental impact, high versatility in work programming, high productivity, high quality surface finishing, as well as reduction in foot print. The solution to this need represents a huge opportunity for the SME participants and more in general for the competitiveness of the overall stone filiere, employing some 500,000 people in 60,000 companies, whose majority has less than 50 people. In this framework, the main objective of the project is to address a number of scientific barriers for the development of an innovative stone slabbing machine which is based on a set of diamond wires operated vertically and not horizontally, thus reducing energy consumption and overall machine foot-print, while enabling the processing of both regular and irregular sized blocks. The system do not use grits as for the current gang-saws and therefore the processing waste is fully recyclable."
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