The demand for flexible stone and thermal panels is explained by their versatility and ease of installation. These materials are widely used in landscape design, for finishing private households, homestead buildings, commercial buildings, facing fireplaces, stairs and pools.
They are durable, waterproof, aesthetic. Due to the lack of competition, low initial investment and ease of launch, a business idea with the production of these building materials can become a profitable business.
Technology for the production of flexible stone
Flexible stone is a natural material with a thickness of 0.3-1 cm, the production of which uses marble chips or quartz sand / sandstone, acrylic and polyester resins, coloring pigments and decorative components: colored sand or quartz, pebbles.
Mineral raw materials are processed with the help of an artificial dye, fixed with a special composition and decorated to give the material a relief of natural stone. For its best flexibility, a polymer latex is used, applied directly to the fiberglass.
The material is produced in the form of a canvas of standard sizes 120×260 cm or tiles of different colors and textures, having dimensions: 5×60 cm, 20×30 cm, 40×80 cm, 60×30 cm. Large slabs 100×250 cm are made with an MDF backing.
It is possible to produce a flexible stone using two technologies, depending on the scale of the business and the planned investment:
Standard , involving a minimum of material costs and equipment, allowing you to equip a workshop in any utility room, for example, in a garage. The technological process will consist of the following stages:
- preparing a textile base for coating;
- processing of mineral raw materials (marble chips or quartz sand) with pigments;
- preparation of the adhesive composition;
- applying material to fiberglass and gluing;
- drying the stone to hardening;
- cutting into sheets and rolls of the desired size.
Bulk technology , which requires significant investments, but also makes it possible to earn more. The material produced in this way is more expensive and belongs to the premium class. It is advisable to open a workshop near sandstone deposits, which are necessary in the production of flexible stone. Manufacturing steps include:
- applying a cut of sandstone to fiberglass, which has an unusual pattern and resistance to external influences;
- processing the base with a binder;
- drying, during which a material is formed with an “imprint” of a natural stone layer.
The result is stone wallpaper on a textile basis, which ensures reliable fastening of the material to the surface. Such wallpapers have a number of advantages:
- resistance to abrasion, moisture and temperature extremes;
- ease of installation, lightness and flexibility, allowing you to adapt to any shape of walls, niches, partitions and other protruding structures;
- environmental friendliness;
- antistatic effect, preventing dust settling;
- long service life – up to 35 years.
What are thermal panels
Another material based on flexible stone, which is worth doing, is facade thermal panels . They are designed for exterior decoration of houses and small structures, they are analogous to siding, but they look more attractive. They consist of a facing part and a heater, thanks to which they retain heat well. The main raw materials for their production are polystyrene granules, ceramic tiles, adhesives, marble chips or sand. The manufacturing technology is multi-stage and requires the use of special equipment.
When used as a lining of a flexible stone, the foam is glued to its sheets. In the case of manufacturing panels with marble chips, a layer of glue, chips and a protective coating are successively applied to the expanded polystyrene. To obtain clinker thermal panels , tiles are laid in the mold cells lubricated with an anti-adhesive agent, the ribs between them are sprinkled with sand, poured with liquid polyurethane foam, closed until dry, after which the monolithic layer is removed.
How to organize a mini production of flexible stone and thermal panels
First of all, you will need to draw up a business plan listing the necessary steps, financial calculations, organizational issues and possible risks. It will be necessary to find suitable premises, personnel, equipment, familiarize yourself with the production technology and think over distribution channels for finished products.
If you have a small amount, you can open a mini workshop for the production of flexible stone and thermal panels using standard technology . The production process is similar to cement or plaster casting, when the proportions of raw materials are selected independently, i.e. there are no ready-made solutions here.
Market and competition analysis
Before starting a business, it is necessary to analyze the level of demand and competition in this area of the market. Visit construction stores, study the proposed assortment and prices. Currently, the number of direct competitors is small, which allows us to occupy a free niche in the market, gradually increasing production volumes and developing the business.
Competitive struggle is mainly carried out with substitute finishing materials such as decorative plaster, plastic panels, wallpaper, paint and others. Focusing the attention of buyers on the benefits of the product, it will be possible to expand the target audience. In order to reduce costs at the initial stage, it is possible to produce a stone to order according to the needs of a particular client.
Search for distribution channels
It is worthwhile in advance to outline a circle of potential buyers , and even better to find a wholesaler for the sale of large volumes of finished material. In addition to wholesale intermediaries, you can sell products to construction stores and companies, market points, finishing teams, interior designers and private individuals involved in repairs.
Business promotion will be facilitated by advertising in newspapers, thematic print media, Internet sites, bulletin boards, distribution of business cards and leaflets in construction outlets. In the future, it is possible to open your own online or offline store.
Search for raw material suppliers
Information about wholesale suppliers of raw materials for the production of flexible stone is available on the Internet. You can buy everything you need at the construction market or store. It is worth studying all the offers and choosing the most profitable ones. It is better to work with several manufacturers to avoid downtime if one of them has a supply problem.
The amount of raw materials is calculated based on the scale of production and plans for the sale of finished products.
To reduce the cost of the material, it is permissible to purchase cheaper raw materials: marble sand or quartz dust, but this will adversely affect the appearance of the product.
The area of the premises for the workshop depends on the volume of production.
For large scales, you will need at least 100 m2, for work at home – from 30 m2. It must be divided into several zones:
- place of preparation of the solution;
- area with a machine for its application;
- area of work with raw materials;
- drying area;
- a warehouse for storing finished material, occupying a large part.
The room must have a general level of illumination, low humidity, temperature 15-250C, exhaust ventilation, all communications. Well, if it will be located in an industrial area. In the case of a lease, it is better to conclude a contract for a long time.
For the production of flexible stone and thermal panels, it will be necessary to hire a technologist who will monitor the process and accept the finished material, two workers to perform the required operations and a person to the warehouse.
We also need a driver with his own car, a cleaning lady and a manager. Bookkeeping can be outsourced. With a small scale, it is enough to have 1-2 assistants, and take over all organizational and administrative functions.
Registration of documents and permits
The business should be registered with the tax service as an individual entrepreneur or LLC. In a small production environment, the first option is suitable, which involves a minimum of documents and reporting. For registration, you will need to provide a copy of your passport, an application in the form P21001, a receipt for payment of state duty. The specified OKVED code is 23.99, the taxable base is the simplified tax system at a rate of 6% on income or 15% on the difference between income and expenses.
Although the material is not subject to mandatory certification (it is enough to do it according to the Technical Condition), it is still better to issue a voluntary GOST R certificate. This will increase the chances of signing supply contracts. In addition, you must obtain permission from the Sanitary and Epidemiological Station and the Fire Inspectorate.
What equipment is required
At first, all operations can be performed manually, but the purchase of equipment will speed up the work and facilitate the process. To make a flexible stone using standard technology, you will need to purchase:
- sifter for raw materials;
- drying chamber;
- cutting machine;
- inventory: mixer, drill, etc.
For thermal panels:
- pre-expanders and dryers with control panel;
- distribution bunker;
- block molds for the formation of thermal panels;
- steam heater with steam accumulator;
- installation of evacuation for cooling the finished material;
- other equipment: for installation, air outlets, compressors, etc.
At least 300 thousand rubles will have to be spent on the purchase of equipment . , of which – 20 thousand rubles. for the purchase of raw materials.
How much to invest at the start
Depending on the scale of the business, from 400 thousand to a million rubles of initial investment will be required . If there is a suitable premises and the purchase of minimal equipment, 380 thousand rubles is enough.
In the case of organizing the production of flexible stone and thermal panels in a rented premises, with staffing and purchasing everything necessary, a large amount will be required – an average of 950 thousand rubles.
|Item of expenses||Amount in rubles|
|Rental and preparation of premises||140 thousand|
|Purchase of equipment||780 thousand|
|Purchase of raw materials||20 thousand|
|Permits and contingencies||10 thousand|
How much can you earn
The cost of flexible stone is 100-150 rubles/m2, thermal panels – 200 rubles/m2. Sale price 1000-1300 rubles. and 1200-1800 rubles per square meter, respectively. Due to manual work, the margin is kept at a high level. By selling 100 m2 of both, you can earn at least 220 thousand rubles. monthly. With such indicators, the initial investment will pay off in a few months of work.
Possible business problems and risks
We must not forget about the possible risks for this business.
The most common of these include:
- Seasonality of demand, falling on the spring-summer period. To stimulate sales during the cold season, a program of discounts and bonuses, promotions, and sales should be provided.
- Inadequate quality of raw materials affecting the properties of the product. To minimize the risk, it is worth buying materials from the same supplier without saving.
- Increasing competition, which can cause a decrease in demand and revenue. Low cost, original design and other competitive advantages will help to avoid the problem.
- Production and human factors: equipment breakdown, employee errors, violation of production technology, etc. Labor discipline, process control, and the purchase of equipment from proven manufacturers will reduce the risk.
As you can see, the business for the production of flexible stone and thermal panels is fast-payback and highly profitable.
It is easy to organize even for a beginner. The manufacturing technology is simple, and the advantages of the material are obvious. Starting with a mini-workshop and mastering the intricacies of the case, you can think about expanding and full-scale production.