Home / Jun / 2017

Sid Anderson, WCMA president

I am happy to report that the Wood Component Manufacturers Association has had another busy year. Attendance at September’s Fall Conference and Plant Tour event in South Bend, Indiana, was the best in several years. We had 74 attendees from 31 member companies, and 31 individuals from 21 Tech Partners. The WCMA’s Education and Programs Committee created a tremendous schedule, highlighted by John Bassett’s inspirational keynote talk.

The quality of the plants toured, the Wood Technology Expo put on by our Tech Partners, and the interaction between members made for a great event. We visited seven woodworking plants and Riverside Tool; seeing a variety of operations focused on efficiently manufacturing lumber, mouldings, S4S boards, cabinetry, chairs and RV components. A special thanks to all of the folks who opened up their plants and to Stiles Machinery, PLM and Franklin Adhesives who sponsored events.

Many of you also attended IWF along with our Tech Partners, and felt the energy. A number of exhibitors said they wrote more orders at the show in the first couple of days than in the previous two shows combined. Many of you enjoyed the WCMA reception and the WCMA booth was well attended, with Amy making a number of new contacts (we have 5 new members this year); I anticipate the 2017 AWFS will be the same.

WCMA also joined the HMA in Charleston, South Carolina, this March for its Annual Spring Conference. This was an excellent event with dynamic speakers and the chance to interact with many of our suppliers. We had 14 folks from 11 member companies and 3 Tech Partner members in attendance. I encourage more WCMA members to consider attending this event. Whereas the WCMA fall event focuses on plants and operations, this HMA/WCMA program provides a nice balance with its orientation toward the economy, Washington DC, recruiting and training, and trends in the lumber industry.

Upcoming in 2017, our Fall Meeting will be held Aug. 21–Aug. 23 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Mark Elliott is assisting Amy in putting together a great series of tours and we have confirmed the “Wood Doctor”, Gene Wengert, as our keynote speaker. The WCMA will again be exhibiting at the AWFS in Las Vegas in July and we are working out the details for another European Plant Tour in the Spring of 2018. You will receive detailed information and an itinerary for this tour in a couple of months.

Throughout the year our Executive Director Amy Snell traveled to meet current and prospective members; she plans to visit all of the WCMA members over the next couple years. Over the past year, she journeyed to Central Ohio, Central and Western Kentucky, Northern Indiana, sections of West Virginia and Virginia, and the Toronto area. This year she will visit North Carolina, Michigan, Georgia, Wisconsin, Iowa, New York and Maine. She also attended a number of industry meetings and trade shows to promote the WCMA and further her contacts in the industry.

The WCMA provides its members with a conduit for customers to locate and contact potential suppliers of component parts rather than producing their own. We have all seen the comparisons and advantages to buying versus producing hardwood parts for years, and the buying advantage continues to be the better option for most. With the advances in technology and diversification of our membership, WCMA members are able to provide customers with the products they require, to their specifications, and with much shorter lead times than other competing regions in the world. There has rarely been a time when buying component parts domestically has been, by far, the better alternative for wood parts.

If you are interested in locating a supplier or would like information about the WCMA, visit WCMA.com or contact Amy Snell, Executive Director, at 651-332-6332 or wcma@wcma.com.



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The WCMA conducts a Fall Conference & Plant Tour Event each year.  This is an excellent opportunity for WCMA members and non-members to network and have open discussion on common concerns. Attendees also tour the production facilities of several dimension, component, cabinet, furniture, millwork and related woodworking companies. The tours provide attendees a unique opportunity to observe innovative woodworking operations and discover new manufacturing techniques, exchange ideas, and learn about alternative manufacturing methods. Everyone comes away with at least one good idea that can be implemented in their own plants.

The 2017 WCMA Fall Conference & Plant Tour Event will be held Aug. 21-23 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Tours of several woodworking operations are planned, including: Klise Mfg., Davidson Plyforms, Michigan Chair, Holland Bowl, Paladin Industries and Stiles Machinery. We will also tour the Michigan Career and Technical Center in Plainwell, as well as the Founders Brewing Co.

In addition, we will have two dynamic speakers. Pennsylvania/Indiana Lumbermens Mutual Insurance Co. is sponsoring our keynote speaker, Gene “The Wood Doctor” Wengert, Monday evening, Aug. 21. Gene’s experience includes work at the US Forest Products Lab and at Virginia Tech, where he was an extension specialist, training and diagnosing problems with the furniture, cabinet, millwork and flooring industries. He also writes monthly columns for FDMC magazine on wood processing. With his 40 plus years in the industry, Gene will offer a unique view, with practical aspects, into the future of our industry.

Dr. Jaideep Motwani, will address the group on Tuesday, Aug. 22. He is the Chairperson and Professor of Management at Seidman College of Business and has co-authored 15 books and published more than 150 articles in the area of total quality management, lean manufacturing, strategic manufacturing, technology management and global competitiveness. Dr. Motwani will present on Effective Strategic Planning: Developing a Path to Success.

Wood Technology Expo

Each year at the Fall Conference there are two expos which connect leading providers of woodworking machinery, equipment, supplies, software and other business solutions – Tech Partners – with WCMA members. Tech Partners have the opportunity to display tabletop exhibits with information on their companies.

A listing of WCMA Technology Partners is on pages 12-16 of this Buyer’s Guide. These companies are a great source for all your woodworking machinery, tooling, software, and business solutions.

The WCMA Education and Programs Committee has been working hard to ensure that there is something for everyone, so make plans now to have plant managers and other key personnel in attendance. Program details and registration for the WCMA Fall Conference & Plant Tour event will be available in July. For information about this event, contact the WCMA office at wcma@wcma.com, or visit WCMA.com today.

2018 Spring European Plant Tour

The WCMA will again be hosting a European Plant Tour event in 2018. This event was first held in 2016, and was an enormous success. Stiles Machinery and Pollmeier, Inc. will be sponsoring the event, and we will be visiting plants in Amsterdam and Belgium, with several stops in northern Germany. 

In 2016, 14 individuals from 10 member companies attended the event, and all attendees had positive takeaways.

“It was a great opportunity to find out what other companies were doing to separate themselves from the competition,” said Barry Freiburger with George Guenzler & Sons. “The best part was getting product demonstrations of the latest in CNC machinery.

“I saw technology that I did not know even existed,” he added. “The robotic sanding machine really made me think about our own production process and the possibilities of improvements that could be made.”

WCMA President Sid Anderson with Anderson Wood Products, also said, “The European Plant Tour provided a unique opportunity for WCMA members to interact and learn. Five busy days observing woodworking operations and equipment manufacturers engendered thought-provoking discussion all the while allowing members to become better acquainted and build relationships. Visits to Weinig, SCM and Biesse enabled participants to closely observe the new technologies, including tailored demonstrations with product experts to answer our questions.”

If you were unable to participate in 2016, you will surely want to participate in the 2018! Plans are still being finalized, so be sure to check the website, WCMA.com for more information.

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