Each year, WMIA also recognizes extraordinary companies and institutions with the prestigious Wooden Globe Awards. These awards are presented for notable success and achievements, accomplished in part through the use of high technology machinery and software supplied by WMIA-member companies.
The Innovator Award is presented to a company which currently produces a unique and innovative wood-based product or utilizes an innovative process to produce a wood-based product using high technology machinery supplied by one or more WMIA-member companies. Decore-Ative Specialties, LLC was this year’s recipient, nominated by Bacci America, Inc.
Founded in 1965, Decore-Ative Specialties provides custom cabinet components to the kitchen, bath, closet, garage, office, and re-facing industries. The company’s product offerings include RTA cabinets, cabinet doors, drawer fronts, drawer boxes, moldings, accessories, finishing, and hardware.
For many years, there have been a variety of opinions regarding the best techniques for sizing, squaring, profiling, and sanding custom manufactured cabinet doors and drawer fronts. Traditionally, most custom manufacturers utilize one machine type— manual or CNC shapers, double-end tenoners, or single-end tenoner shaping and sanding machines—to size and profile cabinet doors when producing “one kitchen at a time.” Even with the benefit of automatically positioned CNC rails and pods, the standard fixed table, moving gantry CNC router is limited to an average of approximately 350 shaped and sanded doors per eight-hour shift in a true “Batch One” manufacturing environment, which is dramatically inadequate for today’s custom production market.
Todd Shapiro, Decore-Ative’s vice president, attempted to identify a manufacturer that could custom build a point-to-point with the capabilities of producing 500 pieces of sized, shaped, and sanded cabinet doors in an eight-hour shift. Working with Bacci through many iterations, one of Shapiro’s colleagues recommended that Bacci add a second spindle head at the back of the gantry, so that both heads could work simultaneously and mask set-up times. Bacci designed a twin table, two- head machine, the Bacci Master/Pro CNC Machining Centre. The first Master/Pro was installed in early 2015 with exceptional results thus far, and to date, Decore-ative Specialties has purchased four Master/Pros in total, with the last one being a triple table design, with production estimates of 700-800 custom sized, shaped, and sanded cabinet doors and drawer fronts per eight-hour shift.
Koetter Woodworking, Inc. received the Commitment to Excellence through Technology Award, presented to a company which provides a shining example that continued investments in high technology machinery provide the necessary competitive advantage to compete successfully in today’s global market. Nominated by Jason Neafus of Hoosier Woodworking Machinery, LLC, Koetter Woodworking is a one-stop source for mouldings, doors, stair parts, custom millwork, and architectural millwork that is family-owned and operated. 2009 marked Koetter’s 50th anniversary.
During the 2008 recession, Koetter Woodworking had to lay off hundreds of employees due to the economy. After experiencing the difficulties of this, the company decided that they would invest in technology and machinery when the economy started to recover. Since then, the company has invested in over 7 million dollars of woodworking machinery and technology to maximize profits and maintain a competitive edge in the industry. They have purchased Weinig Luxscan scanners, a Weinig Raimann 610-6m ripsaw, Dimeter 450 Quantum saws, a Dimeter S 90 saw, Weinig Powermat moulders, Weinig Rondamat grinders, Friulmac double-end tenoners, Northtech double-end tenoners, Timesavers wide-belt sanders, and EnvisionlT (an online profile library and architectural design program).
Nominated by Bill Esler of Woodworking Network, the Woodwork Career Alliance of North America (WCA) received this year’s Educator Award, which is presented to an educational institution or company with a structured curriculum tailored to training individuals for careers in the woodworking industry.
Woodwork Career Alliance has established an industry employee skills criteria verifying competency in 50+ tools and machines. Employee skills are tested and verified by Accredited Skill Evaluators using industry standards. Employees receive a WCA Passport (maintained in an online database) in which their skills credentials are recorded, giving employers the confidence that they are hiring a productive and skilled employee.
WCA now has over 1,000 Passport holders in 28 states and 2 Canadian provinces. The WCA system has been adopted by individual states and some regional initiatives. Most recently the State of Wisconsin embraced WCA as a recognized credential, and is awarding schools up to $1,000 for each student who receives this credential.
Over the past two years, WCA’s Education Committee has successfully integrated the former WoodLINKS USA, forming both a pipeline and a gateway for high school and community education center students to enter productive careers within the wood manufacturing industries.
The exemplary achievements of the Woodwork Career Alliance are represented in the dedication of Scott Nelson and Patrick Molzahn, who tirelessly advance the WCA program to the benefit of the greater wood manufacturing industry overall.
Entry materials for the 2017 Wooden Globe Awards program will be available in the fall.