Wooden Globe AwardsEvery year, the WMIA honors excellence among woodworking companies by presenting the annual Wooden Globe Awards. WMIA members nominate their customers, and awards are presented in three categories: Innovator, Educator and Commitment to Excellence Through Technology.
In addition, the WMIA's distributor members present the Partner of the Year award to a woodworking machinery supplier who best exemplifies the spirit of partnership.
Benefits of ParticipatingFor the Nominator:
A chance to showcase a successful customer utilizing his equipment and be invited to WIC free of charge.
For the Winner:
A chance to showcase his company and products to the WIC audience and, just as important, to the trade press That will spread the word through their publications.
Great long-term exposure for both parties.
2014 Wooden Globe AwardsAn automated whiskey barrel maker, a 160-year-old wood manufacturer that reinvented its plant for high-speed store fixtures production, and an inner city woodworking training center that filled 645 jobs received the 2014 Wood Machinery Industry Association Wooden Globe awards at WIC 2014.
The winners were honored during the 2014 Woodworking Industry Conference in San Juan, PR.
The WMIA presents its Wooden Globe Awards annually for achievements in three areas: innovation in development of high technology; commitment to excellence integrating and implementing technology; and to education, an area on which the Wood Industry Machinery Association places a high value.
Click here to review the awards criteria.
Click here to review the 2013 entry form.
Educator: Chicago's Greater West Town Training PartnershipThe 2014 Wooden Globe for Educator of the Year was given to Doug Rappe, training director at Chicago's Greater West Town Training Partnership, which has placed 645 under-employed men and women drawn from economically disadvantaged sections of Chicago's inner city. The program is funded by governmental sources and private grants, and provides 450 hours of training in the course of 14 weeks to individuals who pass a rigorous screening program.
The curriculum honored by this award always includes hands-on training high technology machinery supplied by WMIA member companies. Rappe and his colleagues operate Greater West Town Woodworkers Training Partnership in a LEED certified former factory building. Read more about The Woodworkers Training Program at http://woodworking.gwtp.edu/
Innovator of the Year: Jack Daniel's CooperageThe Wooden Globe for Innovator of the Year went to Larry Combs, Sr. VP and GM of the Jack Daniel's Cooperage, which makes 3,000 barrels a day for the Brown Forman distillery.
The Jack Daniel's Cooperage is the one of the world's largest producers of whiskey barrels. A subsidiary of Brown-Forman, the cooperage makes white oak barrels for maturing Jack Daniel's, Early Times, Old Forester, and Woodford Reserve. Brown-Forman is the only major distiller in the world that owns and manufactures its own barrels.
In his introduction to the award, Hoosier Woodworking Machinery's Jason Neafus, WMIA marketing Committee Chair, recounted the history of the project that brought automation to a very traditional hand-craft cooperage operation.
"The project started over four years ago, over a glass of whiskey, on the rocks. . . my guest on the other side of the table that night was Larry Combs, from Brown-Forman. Larry has always been extremely passionate about his company, and using innovative thinking to better Brown-Forman.
"Over the years, the conversation continued to grow, and when the demand for more barrels resulted in a new cooperage plant. innovation took place at Jack Daniel's Cooperage. With the help of Michael Weinig, James L. Taylor, and Brown-Forman Engineering, we were able to build a better barrel, faster, more safely, and with less labor."
Jack Daniels Cooperage reinvented its barrel manufacturing process at its new Alabama facilities utilizing two Weinig CNC stave jointers as well some Weinig P2400 planers.
The stave jointers have exceeded output expectations and produced geometrically correct staves which greatly contribute to the ease of raising a barrel. Jack Daniels expects to achieve further downstream benefits with the consistent quality of the finished product.
Previously the manufacture of staves had been an archaic process where yields have been unreliable and manual shaping was the norm. The Weinig stave jointers have brought manufacturing to new level of automation as well as increasing safety and yields.
While some of the technology is proprietary, Combs showed a video (see "Birth of a Barrel" below) and described the adoption of Weinig solid wood machining that allows the cooperage to produce annually 25 million 2½-inch barrel staves, cut to exact curvatures and angles, within tolerances required for the barrels, reducing waste. It replaced a traditional hand jointing method with integrated materials handling - some of it proprietary. (See more on barrel making here.)
The 2014 Wooden Globe for Commitment to Excellence through Technology went to Darren Hamner, operations manager of Rodgers Wade. Founded in 1856 as a furniture maker, Rogers Wade is now part of Harrison, Harper & Walker, a construction services company. Both are based in Paris, TX. Rogers Wade provides millwork to its parent company, as well as store fixtures to national and global brands. Hamner showed a video tour of his plant, which has a complex materials flow through various adjoining structures built up over its long history.