The Woodworking Machinery Industry Association presented its 2013 Wooden Globe Awards at this year's Woodworking Industry Conference in Tempe, Ariz. The recipients were Kotter Woodworking of Borden, Ind., Stanley Furniture of Robbinsville, N.C., and North Salem High School in Salem, Ore.
Innovator of the Year
WMIA presents its Innovator of the Year award to a company that produces a unique and innovative wood-based product or uses an innovative process to produce a wood-based product using high technology machinery supplied by one or more WMIA member companies. This year's recipient, Koetter Woodworking was nominated by WMIA member Hoosier Woodworking Machinery.
Koetter Woodworking created and updated EnvisionIT, a profile library and architectural design program. EnvisionIT has a variety of features to assist with the creation of architectural designs for residential or commercial millwork projects. It also provides the ability to access the complete Koetter Woodworking library of stock and custom profiles.
In response to the recession, Koetter Woodworking implemented a new business strategy. It cut inventories and reduced labor, while shortening lead times on orders. Koetter did this by reorganizing from the time they received orders (EnvisionIT) to manufacturing products (purchased new machines that were quick-change and automated, with less labor), to ensuring orders were shipped correctly. In 2012, Koetter committed money (software and machinery) and time (training and re-educating their team members) to make this happen.
Koetter Woodworking has moved all manufacturing back to its main facility in Borden, Ind. This enabled team members to work more closely together and reduce lead times by half, according to the WMIA.
Commitment to Excellence Through Technology
The award is presented to a company whose continued investments in high technology machinery provide the necessary competitive advantage to compete successfully in today’s global market.
Stanley Furniture brought its Young America line of furniture back to U.S. shores. The challenges included reducing costs while guaranteeing the same quality for which the manufacturer is known. Stanley made multiple technology investments to give this dream a chance — new packaging systems, finishing solutions, material handling projects, advanced rough milling solutions.
Educator of the Year
Dean Mattson, the Cabinet & Woods Manufacturing teacher at North Salem High School, accepted the Educator of the Year award on behalf of the school. North Salem High is embarking on an amazing collaborative effort, using a STEM and CTE model, between cabinet manufacturing, mathematics, engineering and the business community. Students are learning lean manufacturing, which prepares them to be highly qualified workers in manufacturing upon graduation. They are receiving nationally recognized industry certification. Industry and the business community have donated more than $650,000 to the program. Another business partner has extended an offer to hire every qualified senior from the Cabinet Manufacturing Program at a living wage, according to the WMIA.
Math curriculum is being written to incorporate wood topics and woods machines to help capture the attention of students learning mathematics. In addition, students will be using cabinet modeling software and commercial sized CNC machines to learn math and job skills that will make them career-ready right out of high school. Collaboration is also occurring with the engineering program to incorporate the use of the Cabinet Manufacturing CNC machines as part of its Project Lead the Way curriculum.
WMIA's Educator of the Year award is presented to an educational institution or company with a structured curriculum tailored to training individuals for careers in the woodworking industry. The curriculum must include hands-on training on high technology machinery supplied by one or more WMIA member companies. The curriculum must extend beyond training individuals for a single company.