Workforce development, an all-too-relevant topic in our industry, was the focus of the November 9, 2018 Cabinet Makers Association (CMA) regional event held at The MiLL National Training Center in Colorado Springs. The event also included a tour of Concepts in Millwork.
The MiLL is the industry’s first national training center where students can learn cabinetmaking and general construction; the evolving program is also soon adding a welding option. Founded by Dean Mattson, the MiLL’s program was initially offered to nearby high schools to complement their curriculum and offer yet another opportunity for their students to gain real-world training.
The MiLL has now expanded its original scope to include classes in the evenings for the Wounded Warrior Project in collaboration with Red Rocks Community College.
The entire program is designed to be replicated throughout the country and plans are already in the works for additional locations.
Students at The MiLL are not simply taught necessary woodworking skills; they also acquire a professional skill set that is quite remarkable. They are encouraged to create business cards as soon as possible, and to network all the time, wherever they are. They are also taught the importance of eye contact and a firm handshake. “These kids make a very strong first impression,” says Amanda Conger, the executive director of the CMA.
Concepts in Millwork, a family-owned commercial millwork company, uses The MiLL to source their workforce. During the CMA event at the MiLL, HR manager Rhynel Evans was part of a panel discussion and explained that she realized the Concepts needed to be creative in their recruiting methods. And so, they began their partnership with The MiLL by offering students an internship program the summer before their senior year. During the 12-week program, the interns are cross-trained in every major area on the shop floor. Concepts has not only had 100 percent placement after graduation but also has a 100 percent retention rate with those employees.
Evans admits that it takes effort. “Managing this generation takes flexibility and patience,” she stated. “They often require customized arrangements, and Concepts has had to learn to adapt to their needs.” One of their employees had trouble getting to work on time in the mornings because he had a new baby at home. After some consideration, they mutually agreed to switch him to the second shift and this has worked out great.
Everyone attending the Colorado Spring event was urged to get involved in their local communities and create a partnership with their respective education programs. Dean Mattson also encouraged companies to establish their own internal education program to train and retain their current employees.
Another highlight of the event was the presentation of two scholarships to students of The MiLL by Darryl Hogeback of Savanté Wine Cellars, based in Denver, Colorado. Hogeback was recently awarded prize money by Woodworking Network for an extra-spectacular project, and he chose to donate his winnings to support The MiLL. Upon hearing about Hogeback’s generosity, the management at Columbia Forest Products agreed to match the amount. This development made it possible to offer two scholarships instead of just one. The initiative created the school’s first official scholarship program, and he encourages others to follow suit and make additional contributions.
Hogeback shared his background and passion for training the future workforce in the Fall 2018 issue of CMA’s PROfiles, magazine. The entire article can be read online at bit.ly/CMA-savante
“I came from a high school in Ohio that had a really great shop and taught industrial arts, so I learned woodworking and architectural drawing, and that all helped me in my career path. My teacher would always take students to the state competition, and they would win every year.
“They got rid of that program at my high school about five years ago, and put in a weight-lifting gym instead. It was heart-breaking. It’s a lost opportunity to introduce kids to the trades — woodworking, metal working, welding, automotive work, etc. — and let them find out that they’re good at working with their hands.”
Like others in the industry, he hopes that kids will realize that woodworking offers a great future, reliable work and a lot of satisfaction.
“There’s something powerful about building something with your hands and seeing it afterward,” he says. “I hear that from people a lot. My clients often say they wish they could build something.”
Stiles showcases global solutions for North American manufacturers during annual European technology tour
During Stiles annual European Benchmarking Technology Tour, manufacturing professionals and leaders from across North America had the unique opportunity to experience behind-the-scenes tours of some of the most innovative, efficient, and productive manufacturing facilities in the world. The event, which took place September 22-29 , 2018, gave participants the opportunity to benchmark their own operations against global leaders in Germany and the Czech Republic, giving them a competitive advantage in the marketplace and equipping them with valuable knowledge and tools that will affect the overall success of their companies for years to come.
The tour kicked off in the Czech Republic, where attendees were welcomed into a variety of facilities ranging from highly advanced, automated production, to smaller family-owned shops who depend on world-class technology to meet the standards of quality and craftsmanship that have been a hallmark of the area for generations. Regardless of the size of the company, the common thread evident in each facility was a focus on technology and automation to meet rising consumer and customization demands. Participants experienced intelligent networked production systems that showcased innovative storage and retrieval technologies, batch size one capabilities, edge processing techniques, and finishing and packaging systems for a fully optimized production process from start to finish.
One of the tour highlights included a stop at HOMAG production facilities in Schopfloch, Germany, where Mr. Andreas Denker, VP of Sales and Marketing for HOMAG shared the latest technology trends including software solutions, newly designed machines with intelligent features, and digital breakthroughs made possible with tapio, the world’s first IoT platform designed to support the entire value chain of the woodworking industry from the palm of your hand.
In addition to gaining a behind-the-scenes look at how global leaders are addressing challenges and opportunities within the industry, attendees also enjoyed cultural experiences throughout the week-long event including medieval cities, historic market squares and the ever popular Volksfest fall celebration in Stuttgart, Germany.
For more information about Stiles’ European Benchmarking Technology Tour or to be the first to receive exclusive information and registration details for Stiles upcoming events, visit www.stilesmachinery.com/events
About Stiles Machinery
As the industry’s leading provider of advanced manufacturing solutions, Stiles has been helping manufacturers throughout
North America increase their efficiency and productivity for over 50 years. With world-class machinery backed by an
experienced and responsive support team, extensive parts inventory, unique upgrade capabilities and a nationally accredited education and training program, Stiles offers solutions that equip companies for success in every area of their business. Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Stiles has regional offices in High Point, North Carolina; Bristol, Pennsylvania; Coppell, Texas; and Rancho Cucamonga, California. Stiles is a proud member of the HOMAG Group, a global leader in the production of industrial manufacturing machinery.
The Cabinet Makers Association (CMA) is pleased to announce their shop tours the day before the Wood Pro Expo in Lancaster have sold out. However, they will host another event in November in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The registrations for the full day of shop tours in Lancaster on October 17 has reached the allotted capacity. This event will be held the day before the Wood Pro Expo and will visit local CMA members in the Lancaster area.
The CMA will host one more event this year on November 9 in Colorado Springs at The MiLL that also includes a tour of Concepts in Millwork. Register now to reserve your spot before this event sells out too. For more details and registration information, please visit www.cabinetmakers.org/events
The CMA has been hosting high-value events like this since 1998 as a means of connecting similar-sized shops around North America with the purpose of sharing best practices and business acumen, while learning how other businesses do what they do. In addition to the agenda, the regional events also encourage networking by providing an opportunity to talk shop and share issues, solutions, and even projects.
About the Cabinet Makers Association
Celebrating 20 years, the Cabinet Makers Association was incorporated in 1998 by a group of custom cabinet makers who thought the small to mid-size shop needed to network and help each other grow profitably. Currently, CMA membership is made up primarily of 20 or fewer employee operations, with the vast majority of those being 1-5 person shops. For more information, visit www.cabinetmakers.org.
Chris Corrales, the owner of CNC Factory (CNCFactory.com) in Santa Ana, California, will address the Cabinet Makers Association October 17, one day before the Wood Pro Expo Lancaster event. Cabinetmakers from around the area will learn:
The conference will be held at The Warehouse Hotel at the Nook, 75 Champ Blvd. in Manheim, PA.
CNC Factory designs, builds and manufactures CNC machines in their Orange County, California facility. “With CNC Factory located in the United States, we integrate new technology into CNC systems quicker and more skillfully than any other CNC manufacturer in the world,” Corrales says.
After breakfast at the Warehouse Hotel, the CMA group will tour:
CNC Factory is demonstrating its new Python XPR at Wood Pro Expo October 18 and 19 in booth 205. This robust CNC machine reaches a pinnacle of engineering that combines third generation (3G) robotic loading, spoil board cleaning, unloading and now CNC Factory Printing and Labeling. Users benefit from multi-directional graphic and text labeling instructions on nested materials. With these in place, woodworkers always know which edges need post production attention, and operators never lose track of cut pieces. In addition, Cabinet Vision software allows printing in various orientations.
The Python XPR is designed for profitability, speed and ease-of-use. It is the workhorse of all CNC machines saving users’ backs and delivering a host of grow-as-you-grow features.
Corrales, who designed the Python XPR, notes that he, “included an automated 12-tool rapid carousel that changes tools in just four seconds, and moves 1,800 inches per minute. The Python conquers long, complex, multi-tool tasks efficiently from one to fifty sheets, with just one push of a button. It’s ergonomically, user-friendly, and needs only one operator to run in either robotic or manual mode.”
The Python XPR sells for $69,900 and includes training and life-long customer support. CNC Factory promises that "nobody supports customers better!" See the Python XPR and all the company’s routers, edge banders, thermofoil presses and Lockdowel drilling inserting machines at www.CNCFactory.com
WPE is a regional event for woodworking businesses that brings together suppliers and experts for a localized presentation of equipment and supply solutions. WPE includes a strong educational program on best practices for shop production - including CNC basics, employee recruitment, finishing, lean manufacturing, business management, software, and shop safety - and an expo floor with equipment and supplies geared to small and medium-size shops. To register with free expo hall admission, go to this link and enter CNCFAC18 when prompted: https://www.woodworkingnetwork.com/events/wood-pro-expo-lancaste
Biesse is proud to announce that IWF 2018, held August 22-25 in Atlanta GA, was another record-setting performance for Biesse America and Biesse Canada, even exceeding our expectations, with approximately $20 million USD of duly signed orders, making this our most successful show ever in North America.
With over 27,000sqft of booth space, packed with innovative technology, Biesse welcomed more than 1,400 companies in Atlanta. With the largest booth at IWF, Biesse was able to showcase a wide range of machinery, including integrated robotics and automated solutions to meet all levels of manufacturing needs.
”Automaction was the major theme for Biesse heading into this year’s show. The technology we presented at IWF allowed attendees to see how our machinery addressed the challenge of finding labor with today’s record level unemployement rates in North America, as well as offering solutions for increased and consistent productivity,” said Federico Broccoli, Biesse America and Biesse Canada President/CEO. “In the 12 months prior to IWF, Biesse had an order intake exceeding $50 million USD in integrated lines and is a recognized leader and solid, experienced and reliable partner in the high technology systems market.”
Another attention getter from IWF was Biesse’s SOPHIA IoT platform. Attendees were able to experience first hand how this innovative technology provides a comprehensive overview of specific machine performance features with remote diagnostics, continuous updated statistics and full integration with our new PARTS Portal. We demonstrated how the portal makes it faster and easier for customers to purchase parts, check availability and track purchases online 24/7.
“Biesse strongly believes that our products should be supported by high quality services and we continuously invest in research and development,” said Broccoli. “With SOPHIA and our new PARTS Portal, we have become more predictive of our customers' needs and are able to anticipate requirements for support. It is the right vision and we are strongly committed to following the path of providing the best Industrial IoT solution and platform to our customers to give them the competitive advantage. The feedback has been excellent, rewarding all of our efforts because SOPHIA is a real added value.”
The company’s success at IWF continued a very strong trend for Biesse in the North American market where Biesse America and Biesse Canada are registering record order entrance, with a solid backlog for 2019.
At our annual VIP/Make-A-Wish party on Thursday, August 23rd, Biesse continued its longstanding tradition of giving back to the community by presenting a check of $12,000 to Make-A-Wish during Thursday night’s VIP/Make-a-Wish party at IWF. Honored to host over 800 people at the event, Biesse doubled the amount of its initial check from $6,000 to $12,000. This already ensures that two wishes will be granted to children with life threatening illnesses.
Other exciting news announced during this event came from Niki Kaltsounis-Kampiziones, Biesse America and Biesse Canada’s Executive Vice President, where she unveiled Biesse’s plans to invest an additional $4 million USD in the Charlotte Campus to handle the outstanding growth of sales and employees in North America. “With this investment, the second in less than 3 years when we built our new showroom, our Charlotte Campus will exceed 80,000 sqft,” said Kampiziones. “Last year, over 1,300 Customers visited our Charlotte Campus to see one of the largest and most technologically advanced showrooms of its kind in North America. The ground breaking for this new expansion is forecast to begin in January 2019.”
"It is extremely satisfying to see the North American market and our subsidiaries growing so steadily. Biesse has always been, and will remain, dedicated to America and Canada and those tangible signs demonstrate our determination to continue this commitment to North America," said Broccoli.
BIESSE S.p.A. - Biesse Group is a global leader in technology for processing wood, glass, stone, plastic and metal. It designs, manufactures and distributes machines, integrated systems and software for manufacturers of furniture, door/window frames and components for the construction, ship-building and aerospace industries. It invests on average 14 million Euro per year in R&D, boasting over 200 registered patents. It operates through 8 industrial sites, 34 branches and 300 agents and selected dealers, exporting 90% of its production. Its customers include some of the most prestigious names in Italian and international design. Founded in Pesaro in 1969, by Giancarlo Selci, the company has been listed on the Stock Exchange (STAR segment) since June 2001. It now counts 3.450 employees throughout the world.
Stiles Machinery was proud to host an exclusive State of the Industry Briefing at this week’s International Woodworking Fair 2018. The event, which took place on Wednesday, August 22, gave attendees an insider’s look into current and future trends impacting the woodworking industry on a local and global scale. Featuring Pekka Paasivaara, CEO of the HOMAG Group, and Christian Vollmers, President of Stiles Machinery, the event illustrated how these industry-leading companies are influencing current market trends, embracing the digital revolution, and highlighted their vision for the future of the woodworking industry as a whole.
Mr. Vollmers began with an update on Stiles’ and HOMAG’s recent rebrand, including HOMAG’s brand new line of modern machine designs that Stiles revealed to the North American market for the first time at this year’s show. He went on to discuss how the significant growth in demand for new technology over the past several years reflects a strong U.S. economy and thriving business for manufacturers across the country. Also on the rise, Mr. Vollmers noted, is the desire for mass customization, increased automation, and integrated solutions.
“In the past, where saw the need for a single machine solution, we now see the demand for smart production cells, and where we used to see the need for multiple machines, we now see the demand for entire production lines. With this growing trend, we have experienced a dramatic increase in the share of our Stiles Engineered Solutions from 29% in 2016, to 48% at the beginning of 2018,” said Mr. Vollmers.
Following Mr. Vollmers, Pekka Paasivaara took the stage to address the global state of the woodworking industry and HOMAG’s vision for the future. In his presentation, Mr. Paasivaara focused on the importance of innovation in the woodworking industry and HOMAG’s clear mission to drive the industry forward through innovative ideas and technology. He explained that increasing trends like smart homes, modern kitchen furniture designs, wooden housing development, and more has led to a thriving global manufacturing market. These trends have created a need for higher levels of automation, batch size one production and innovative networked production solutions.
“Customers need a partner who can provide complete, integrated production solutions, not just individual machines from different suppliers that they have to integrate themselves,” said Mr. Paasivaara. HOMAG is addressing these new trends in the marketplace through advanced batch size one equipment, innovative software and highly-automated solutions, including a completely autonomous work cell with automated guided vehicles.
In addition to innovative technology, HOMAG is also leading the industry in digital solutions with the first IoT platform designed to support the entire value chain of the woodworking industry from the palm of your hand.
“What does the manufacturer really want? They want to run their production through the cloud. So we need to have a platform for the entire industry,” said Mr. Paasivaara. “The easy solution would be to just create a cloud-based system for all HOMAG machines, but that’s not what our customers needed.”
The tapio IoT ecosystem is an open platform for the entire wood industry, making it easier than ever for manufacturers to streamline their entire production process. Since it’s release in Europe at last year’s LIGNA Fair, tapio is now available in North America, with plans to expand globally next year.
For more information about HOMAG and Stiles’ innovative solutions for the woodworking industry, visit www.stilesmachinery.com.www.stilesmachinery.com.
About Stiles Machinery
As the industry’s leading provider of advanced manufacturing solutions, Stiles has been helping manufacturers throughout North America increase their efficiency and productivity for over 50 years. With world-class machinery backed by an experienced and responsive support team, extensive parts inventory, unique upgrade capabilities and a nationally accredited education and training program, Stiles offers solutions that equip companies for success in every area of their business. Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Stiles has regional offices in High Point, North Carolina; Bristol, Pennsylvania; Coppell, Texas; and Rancho Cucamonga, California. Stiles is a proud member of the HOMAG Group, a global leader in the production of industrial manufacturing machinery.
This year’s trade show in Atlanta was amazing, to say the least. Attendance was the best it's been in 10 years, and you could tell: the aisles and booths were quite crowded.
We began the week with shop tours of local CMA shops on Tuesday. The tour sold out and the bus was full! The day
concluded with a BBQ at Dark Horse Woodworks – an amazing example of Southern hospitality and a great way to connect with other members before the show began.
In addition to welcoming CMA members who visited our booth when the show opened on Wednesday, we also began hosting our seminars – there were 12 throughout the show, and they were well-attended and well-received.
Wednesday evening we continued our tradition of hosting a “What’s Your Problem?” roundtable discussion. We filled the room, and the conversations were lively and lengthy. Many members’ takeaway was their relief that other cabinetmakers have the same if not similar problems.
On Thursday, we held the Wood Diamond Awards ceremony and recognized members and the superb quality of their work.
That evening, we gathered for our Annual Membership Appreciation Banquet at Gordon Biersch Brewery in Buckhead. Throughout the evening, we offered tours of the nearby SubZero showroom. It was another great opportunity to network with like-minded professionals and also see the amazing craftsmanship of Exclusive Woodworking in the SubZero showroom.
All in all, it was a great show. Connecting with other members and learning from each other is what we are all about, and participating in trade shows like IWF is one of the ways we fulfill the mission of the CMA.
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