Wooden Globe Awards

Every 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 Participating

For 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.

2015 Wooden Globe Awards

A U.S. company making European-style windows in half the time it normally takes, a third-generation casket company whose use of technology has engineered significant labor savings, and a university program that has inspired hundreds of students to great industry careers received the 2015 Woodworking Machinery Industry Association Wooden Globe Awards at the 2015 Woodworking Industry Conference (WIC), held in San Antonio, TX.

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 Woodworking Machinery Industry Association places a high value.
 
Click here to review the awards criteria.

Wooden Globe Winners2015 Wooden Globe Winners (l-r): Lou Tobia, Jr., New England Casket Co.; Todd Bachelder, Menck Windows USA, Inc.; Charlie Phillips & Doug Hague, Pittsburg State University

Educator: Pittsburg State University's Wood Technology Degree Program

The 2015 Wooden Globe Award for Educator of the Year was given to Doug Hague and Charlie Phillips, assistant professors at Pittsburg State University (PSU) in Pittsburg, Kansas. Though wood technology majors represent just 0.8 percent of the more than 1,200 undergraduate degrees awarded this past May at PSU, all of them were hired before their diplomas arrived. Located 140 miles straight south from Kansas City, PSU offers three undergraduate degrees in wood technology. The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) is a two-year endeavor; the Bachelor of Science in Technology (BST) and Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) are four-year pursuits. These curriculum tracks fall under the public university's College of Technology and its Technology & Workforce Learning Department.

PSU's wood tech program starts with the basics. "We have people enter who have never held or read a tape measure," Hague said. "We quickly progress through exposure learning and reinforcement learning, and then get into applied learning." The capstone course in furniture manufacturing proves students can develop a project from design concepts to engineered drawings, estimate costs, then organize job schedules and materials, produce documentation, fabricate, finish, complete an installation, invoice, and compile final job cost and analyze actual hours worked."
 
Hague and Phillips conduct a Boot Camp for industry suppliers at PSU twice a year. It is a five-day intensive on secondary wood processing fundamentals for supplier sales professionals, managers, product managers, and execs, devised to thank industry suppliers that have generously supported PSU's wood tech program. The duo were nominated for the Wooden Globe Award by J.J. Besonen, Wood Machinery Systems, Minnetonka, MN, who attended the inaugural program in January 2015 and was impressed by Hague and Phillips' desire for students to fully understand machines and the direction the industry is going. For more information on the Boot Camp, visit http://wtii.net/.

Innovator of the Year:  Menck Windows USA Inc.

The Wooden Globe Award for Innovator of the Year went to Todd Bachelder, CEO of Menck Windows USA Inc., Chicopee, MA. Menck was nominated by Steven McNeilly, product manager & application specialist, Weinig USA.

The market opportunity for European-style, tilt-turn windows manufactured in the United States has seen growth for 10-20 years. The value of the imported window market is estimated to be between $100 and $150 million. To get the competitive edge, Menck led a $10 million investment in the belief a U.S. window and door factory could compete with European suppliers in quality, while having a big advantage in speed of delivery.

It can take three months or more to design, manufacture, and deliver windows from Europe. By contrast, Menck's automated, 75,000-square-foot facility cuts that cycle time in half, "maybe even to four weeks," Bachelder said. Advanced automation technology, primarily for Weining USA, is Menck's competitive edge: "We are producing windows with less than half the manpower typical in custom window and door shops," Bachelder said.
 
Energy-efficient features are a major reason that European-style windows are gaining traction in the U.S. They reduce energy costs and carbon emissions, making them particularly attractive to architects and builders involved with LEED construction and the U.S. Green Building Council. Menck's tilt-turn windows offer European styling and dual functionality: the sash opens two ways, providing flexible ventilation. Turn the handle 90 degrees to swing the window sash open into a room for a clear view and full breeze; a 180-degree turn of the handle tilts the sash inward to vent from the top. The mechanical performance, multiple locking points, and dual gasketing make the windows a more complex item to manufacture.

Menck USA purchased nearly all of its wood processing equipment from Weinig USA, including rip saws, chop saws, and an S4S moulder. Most notable is a Weinig Conturex CNC profiling center, which performs multiple processes automatically, overseen by just one worker. "It's basically 90 tools in one piece of equipment, making it ideal for single-cell production," Bachelder remarked.

For more information on Menck USA, visit www.menckwindows.com/.


Commitment to Excellence in Technology:  New England Casket Co.

The 2015 Wooden Globe for Commitment to Excellence through Technology went to Louis Tobia, Jr., vice president of New England Casket Co., East Boston, MA. New England Casket reduced time per casket side to 6.5 minutes from 28, a 70 percent reduction. Custom technology from Doucet Machinery made the difference leading to the company's nomination for this award by Pascal Doucet, Doucet's vice president of sales.

According to government statistics, nearly 2.6 million people die in the U.S. every year; of those, some 1.5 million are what the funeral industry terms as casket deaths. This makes the casket market very competitive; Tobia said that the company his Italian immigrant grandfather founded now "competes against three other large companies and a handful of smaller casket manufacturers as well as imports from China."
 
Keeping costs down is a key to efficiency, and, to its, credit, New England Casket Co. has been able to do so, without laying off any of its 62 full-time employees. How has the company stayed competitive for more than three-quarters of a century, since the late 1940s? In the 21st century, at least, the Tobias have tried to add at least one new piece of upgraded equipment every year. Contributing to the company's lean operations is custom-developed, highly automated woodworking equipment from Doucet. "We can produce up to 60 caskets per shift, and we now can get to that number with less labor," Tobia explained.

In August 2014, a Doucet CSS Casket Side Saw and Router was installed in New England Casket Co.'s 100,000-square-foot facility. To assemble and miter casket sides to a specific size, Doucet helped to develop a specific machining process. Prior to the new machine, "there were five separate operations for the sides-and-ends work cell. Now, we can do it with one man on one machine, at the touch of a button," Tobia said. In "man minutes," that equates to a 70 percent savings.

Learn more about New England Casket Co. at www.newenglandcasket.com/.



2015 WMIA Partner of the Year Award: WEIMA America

Partner of the Year The team from WEIMA America holds their 2015 Partner of the Year Award, along with Erich Mazurek, Maze Machinery, LLC

WEIMA America, Fort Mill, SC, was presented with the 2015 Partner of the Year Award, presented annually to a company that stands out in partnership with its distributors in areas such as service, sales, education, and promotional support. WEIMA America was nominated by Erich Mazurek of Maze Machinery, LLC.
 
Madison Burt, vice president of sales, accepted the award on behalf of the WEIMA America team. "It is very rewarding to be acknowledged for your individual successes," he said. "But it's even more so when it's for your entire team."

The WEIMA distributor network has played a significant role in improving the company's reputation as a manufacturer and business partner since that time. "Businesses don't do business with each other. People do business with people," Burt remarked. He went on to acknowledge the collaborative efforts of the sales, marketing, finance, and technical departments within WEIMA America and their commitment to each and every representative of the WEIMA brand.
 
In 1999, WEIMA America was established as the North American headquarters of WEIMA Maschinenbau, GmbH. Since then, WEIMA has made a name for itself in the wood industry and many other fields, including plastic and paper. The company returned as the Official Recycling Partner of the 2015 AWFS Fair, held in Las Vegas this July. The "Destroy Responsibly!" campaign has been an important part of the show's efforts to create a greener footprint, not only at the show, but also within the Las Vegas community.

For more information, visit WEIMA America's website, at weima.com/usa/.