Manufacturing Success Story: Artistic Stone Works, Inc.

UWF Partnership Leads to Implementation of Slurry Biodegradation System

Company Profile: In 2003, Artistic Stone Works, Inc. began serving Northwest Florida with their stone fabrication facility. President Chip Gremillion employs a staff of 20 in this family-owned business. Their facility uses the latest in CNC automated technology, allowing staff to cut lead times and produce high-quality marble countertops.

Situation: Artistic Stone Works processes granite and marble slabs through the use of diamond-cutting tools and water, allowing for simultaneous slab cutting; this method produces water runoff. The Environmental Protection Agency audited the company as a result of this runoff. The EPA views water runoff as a pollution hazard, potentially leaching into the water supply and causing contamination. If the company did not conform to EPA standards, they were facing fines or potential plant closure.

Solution: The University of West Florida’s Engineering Department supported Artistic Stone Works with the planning and implementation of a three-step slurry biodegradation system. The first two precipitation steps eliminate 90 percent of stone slurry from the wastewater, and the final step is a biodegradation process. In a slurry biodegradation system, soil or sludge and water combine to create an aqueous slurry. This slurry aerobically biodegrades in a self-contained reactor or in a lined

Results:

  • $225,000 in new and/or retained sales
  • $150,000 in cost savings
  • $150,000 in investments savings
  • $400,000 in increased investmentslagoon. The implementation of this system complied with EPA requirements.

Testimonial: “Collaborating with the University of West Florida and their internal resources saved my business a great deal of money due to the university’s niche departmental fields. UWF has a strong network of heavy-hitting rounded advisors for business support. Since April 2017, UWF added FloridaMakes Business Advisors to their Florida Panhandle campuses. Artistic Stone Works just completed an OSHA audit and was fined for safety and silica dust emissions. The UWF FloridaMakes Business Advisors helped find an audial solution for OSHA safety compliance, which reduced emissions of low-level environmental contaminants. I highly recommend UWF FloridaMakes Business Advisors to any manufacturer for challenges faced,” said Chip Gremillion, President of Artistic Stone Works.