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Six honored at IWF with Challengers Awards

Six exhibitors captured the seven Challengers Distinguished Achievement Awards at IWF 2014, which recognize innovative and new technology in the wood product industry.

Castle got the nod for speed and ease of integration.

Sixty-one products from 45 companies competed in the 2014 competition. The seven winners were selected from 20 finalists. The winners are:

Castle Inc. won for its pocket cutter/screw insert machine, model CSI-1.5.

The machine saves time, reduces waste and eliminates non-value-added labor and screw-handling motion trauma for high-production cabinet joinery, according to the company.

“By using our patented Screw-in-Pocket (SIP) technology CSI-1.5 cuts Castle’s distinctive screw pocket, drills a low angle pilot hole and inserts a screw below flush in 1.5 seconds,” the company said in a statement.

“The screw placement allows for material stacking without marring adjacent material during transfer. The fit of the screw in the pocket assures it will stay put during transportation. CSI-1.5 seamlessly integrates into operations utilizing One-Piece Flow manufacturing practices. CSI-1.5 provides faster machining and faster production time by eliminating screw handling at assembly.”

For information, visit or call 800-282-8338.

AikenControls, a division of Aiken Development, won for its nDepth 3-D Sensor.

The sensor provides advanced 3-D color and depth measurement for industrial applications in a single low-cost package, according to the company.

“The sensor combines both color and depth imaging with advanced processing to offer a powerful and practical solution for common automation tasks,” the company said in a statement. “By scanning for 3-D shape and depth, the sensor can detect missing parts, holes, wane, and other types of detects in material, regardless of color, to improve inspection and cutting processes. NDepth technology is simple to configure and easily connects to most existing systems and programmable logic controllers.”

For information, call 828-572-4040 or visit

Graco was honored for the ProMix PD2K.

“The ProMix PD2K mixes the material close to the gun so the flush zone is significantly smaller,” according to the company’s website. “This allows customers to use less paint, spend less on disposal costs and allows for faster color changes. And because there is limited mixed material in the system, the ProMix PD2K is ideal for short pot life materials. It is also compatible with acid-based materials.”

For information, call 844-241-9497 or visit

Weing/Holz-Her U.S. won two Challengers Awards for the Evolution vertical machining center and GluJet.

The Evolution is a revolution for its four-sided machining ability.

The Evolution offers true four-sided machining with a patented work holding system and short machining cycle times, according to the company. It features a compact footprint, taking up just 54 sq. ft. of floor space, yet accepts workpieces up to a height of slightly more than 36” (920 mm) and unlimited length.

The GluJet is a “melt-on-demand” adhesive application system for edgebanders, producing waterproof, invisible joints with thin film technology.

For information, visit or call 704-587-3400.

Timesavers won for the Yieldsaver-24, an automatic, opposed, self-centering knife planer.

The controls of Timesavers' Yieldsaver-24, a rough lumber planer.

The rough lumber planer features a compact design and the capability to automatically center each board as it is being processed.

“The opposed cutter heads, self-centering infeed shoes, and self-centering infeed drive rolls individually center each and every board,” the company said in a statement. “This ability eliminates fixed cuts from thin boards and roller splits of material. The Yieldsaver-24 ultimately produces the highest yields, best grades, and a high quality finish, while minimizing knife marks and snipe.”

For information, call 800-537-3611 or visit

Thermwood Corp. was honored for the Cut Ready.

Thermwood's Cut Ready was a show-stopper at IWF.

The Cut Ready is preprogrammed to cut cabinets, drawers, doors, moldings and more. The operator simply selects a design and the measurements on kiosk-type touch screen and the machine gets to work.

“For nested-based manufacturing, you usually have to create a CNC program to cut the parts. But the Cut Ready works differently,” product manager Jason Susnjara says. “There is no CNC programing needed ever. The machine knows how to make face-frame, frame-less or any other type of cabinet. You just select the design you want, adjust the size and make it. There is no software or programming involved.”

The machine is preloaded with more than 10,000 cabinet and closet designs, for example. After the dimensions are added and the stock is positioned on the table, the operator presses the start button or can use a remote control. The screen provides information on the job’s progress and time remaining.

Thermwood plans to add more design options in the coming years, which will be available as free updates to customers.

For information, call 800-533-6901 or visit

The runners-up

Colonial Saw — Lamello Tenso self-clamping glue aid

Earth Anatomy — Thin Stone Veneer

Friulmac Inc. — Randomax end matcher

Leitz Tooling Systems LP — Leitz DFC dust extraction hoods

Martin Woodworking Machines Corp. — Hebrock Airtronic

Next Wave Automation — Ready2Rout

SD Machinery — MagPi

Stiles Machinery — Kentwood random scraping machine

Stiles Machinery — Homag Group PowerTouch Control

Stiles Machinery — Holzma dustEX

Stiles Machinery — AirTec by Homag Group

Stiles Machinery — Microtec Scanner

Weinig/Holz-Her U.S. — Surface Structuring

This article originally appeared in the October 2014 issue.

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