Building a Future for Distributors and Dealers of Building Products

Volume 44,  Issue 6                                        July/August  2005

Looking for New & Improved
The Search for New Products Begins at the 2005 AWFS Fair

The 2005 AWFS Fair, which will be held July 27-30 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, will be the largest one in its history, according to show organizers. Concurrent with AWFS® Vegas, the inaugural Las Vegas Market for home furnishings will also be at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Combined attendance for both shows is expected to be around 60,000. 

Introduced at the 2003 AWFS Fair, the New Products Showcase and the First-Time Exhibitors Showcase will be front and center at the 2005 AWFS Fair, located at the main entry point from the main registration area on the first floor. Both showcases are intended to provide a quick snapshot of what’s new and who’s new so that attendees can make the best use of their time by including exhibitor’s booths of interest into their initial foray into the halls.

More than 88 percent of 2003 AWFS attendees reported that seeing new products was the number one reason they came. To satisfy this need for “new and improved,” the show’s New Products Showcase will feature new-to-market equipment and supplies and is organized by product type: large machinery, small machinery, power tools, hardware, components, upholstery, tooling and software. The various items displayed are also competing for the newly expanded Sequoia Awards in four categories within their product type: environmental achievement, ergonomics/safety, product innovation and productivity.

The First-Time Exhibitors Showcase features products from companies that have not previously exhibited at the AWFS Fair. This showcase is a source for new suppliers, as well as products and services new to the industry.

Also vying for attendees’ attention are a number of educational opportunities. A 17-member committee and representatives of seven industry associations and several trade publications have participated in the development of the 2005 College of Woodworking Knowledge® (CWWK) education program. Forty-four seminars comprise seven education tracks—cabinet/millwork, sanding/finishing, business management, techniques and applications, software/technology, hand-crafted furniture and safety and environment. 

In addition, SMART programs compliment lecture topics with a more technical, “hands-on” approach by sharing machine processes on the exhibit floor. Attendees can choose from several CNC sessions as well as edgebanding, veneering/sanding, robotics and e-readiness presentations. Participating companies include Biesse, Delmac Machinery Group, Giben, Holz-Her, Komo Machine, Miller Veneers, Onsrud Cutter and Stiles Machinery Inc. 

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AWFS® Donates $50,000 to WoodLINKS USA
Barry Howerton, president of the Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers® (AWFS®) presented a check in the amount of $50,000 to Keith Malmstadt, president of WoodLINKS USA, at the Education Forum held on April 22, 2005, during the 14th Annual Woodworking Industry Conference in Destin Beach, Fla. Howerton also announced that AWFS would once again be sponsoring up to 40 teachers, covering their travel and hotel expenses in order for them to participate in this year’s WoodLINKS Teachers Forum to be held at the AWFS Fair. 

“We are very thankful for AWFS’ support of WoodLINKS USA,” said Malmstadt, who is also chief executive officer of Great Lake Woods Inc. “Our teachers are working to create a high quality instruction environment with limited resources. With industry support like this, we are able to be more effective in developing quality woodworking employees.”

“The woodworking industry needs more skilled workers in order to be competitive in the global marketplace,” said Howerton, also of Leggett & Platt. “WoodLINKS’ role in helping teachers keep up with current trends in the industry, as well as working for a National Skill Standard for students, is a high priority for AWFS and our goal of ‘strengthening industry education.’”

WoodLINKS USA is an industry-driven and supported program that certifies students to a National Industry Standard for the wood industry. By developing a modern, consistent curriculum in high schools, vocational and career-training programs in the U.S., WoodLINKS aims to provide entry-level skilled personnel to the industry or to post-secondary education wood manufacturing programs. Programs currently are offered in over 50 schools.

AWFS Products at a Glance
Many exhibitors will be displaying their products at AWFS this year. Attendees can view machinery, mouldings and more. Here's a glance at what will be there:

Booth 15013: Friedman Corp. Releases Stand-Alone Dealer Quoting Tool
Friedman Corp. of Deerfield, Ill., is now offering software designed for and marketed directly to construction materials dealers and suppliers. PowerPak provides dealers with the tools needed to address different aspects of the sales cycle, from the creation of the quote through the printing of the final invoice. 

Designed to be the dealer’s own quoting system, PowerPak enables dealers to create and maintain their own price book for non-configured products such as glass, mirror, screens, caulking, siding, garage doors and more. Along with allowing users to create and maintain their own price books, PowerPak also lets users to download participating standardized price books rather than having to maintain the pricing themselves. 

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Booth 17188: Moulding Features Genuine Wood Veneers
Contact Lumber Co. of Portland, Ore., is offering a complete line of natural wood-wrapped moulding products. Originally introduced as Oak-Over® due to the fact Contact first developed it using oak veneers, the Oak-Over brand has now come to represent any of Contact’s real wood veneer moulding products, which are available in maple, pine, fir, cherry or any other wood species. 

The product line features genuine wood veneers laminated to a moulded softwood substrate, providing the look and feel of costly clear, solid wood mouldings in consistent lengths up to 16 feet. Its soft wood core makes it easier to cut and nail than hardwood mouldings and negates the need for pre-drilling nail holes. In addition, because the core is finger-jointed, it won’t warp or twist like solid mouldings. 

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Booth #12132: All*Star Adhesive Products Introduces Gasketing
All*Star Adhesive Products of Warren, R.I., has developed a gasketing product that addresses the trouble CNC machining center operators have in holding small parts with vacuum hold-down systems. 

This difficulty is due to the limited surface area of the users’ intended item. The company’s spoilboard cover gasketing maximizes that limited surface area by creating a perfect-fit gasketing seal out of a uniform area of foam.

The spoilboard cover is an entire sheet of All*Star’s adhesive-backed PVC foam. Users adhere the foam sheet directly to their spoilboard, then route the appropriate tool paths, vacuum chamber areas and secondary off-cuts right through the foam. What remains is a custom-shaped gasketed area for their particular pieces.

According to a company news release, this product has enabled users to accept and run jobs on their routers that previously were not possible, as well as reduce set-up times and eliminate secondary steps sometimes needed to finish parts.

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Booth #15034: CMI Delivers Extira Composite Wood Panels
Chicago-based CMI has introduced Extira, a next-generation, exterior-grade, treated-wood composite panel. Extira delivers high performance in a wide range of non-structural exterior applications including door and window parts, brickmould, shutters, column wraps, fluting, rosettes, pilasters and a host of other specialty and decorative applications.

Manufactured by CMI’s TEC™ patented technology, Extira is 90-percent wood. The wood is physically- and chemically-bonded under heat and pressure with phenolic resins to provide moisture resistance, strong machining capabilities, high yields and stable pricing and availability. Produced as a solid panel, Extira is available in 4- by 8-foot, 4- by 16-foot and 2- by 16-foot unprimed panel dimensions and in ½-, 5/8-, ¾-, 1- and 1 ¼-inch thicknesses. The sanded and smooth panels meet caliper requirements of +/- 0.005 inches. 

Unlike wood, MDF or other composite materials, Extira is treated with zinc borate, a wood preservative, and resins that make it moisture-, rot- and termite-resistant. As a result, Extira withstands exterior environments and is warranted for five years. 

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Booth #5029: Domus Machining Centers Offer Unique Solutions
CMS Domus of Caledonia, Mich., is a moving-bridge machining center equipped with dual, independent working units and a special working table equipped with power-driven moveable rails and vices. Domus is available in many different lengths and widths, also different working units, drilling groups and mechanical aggregates so needs of all door and window manufacturers can be satisfied, according to company information.

Domus is targeted for medium and diversified production volumes and can carry out internal and external profiling, straight and curved profiling, tenon, counterprofile and comb-shaped joints, and shaped recesses for hardware.

According to company information, CMS’ design efforts were aimed at minimizing idle times and reducing operator intervention.

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Booth #9103: Machine Accurately Positions Board to Selected Lengths
South Bend, Ind.-based OMGA Inc.’s T 2005 OPT is an automatic high-speed cross-cut, defecting and optimizing saw system. It is equipped with a CNC-precision programmable pusher to accurately position the board to the selected lengths, according to company information. 

The system is capable of cutting material up to 5 inches thick and 13 ½ inches wide and has a maximum feed speed of 295 feet per minute. It is available in 13-foot or 20-foot useable lengths. The computer can perform seven work-cycle programs and provides constant updates of the stock in cubic feet required to produce the number of pieces in each list; number of pieces produced of each length; amount of stock in cubic feet divided into first, second grade and waste; cubic feet required to produce remaining parts and yield as a percentage of the total, according to company officials. 

The system can cut and handle up to three different grades within the same cutting list. 

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