Stiles Woodworking Symposium Attracts Record Crowd

By Karen Koenig | Posted: 01/25/2013 11:27AM


Stiles MachineryApproximately 200 woodworkers attended the two-day manufacturing symposium, hosted by Stiles Machinery. HIGH POINT – It was standing room only as approximately 200 woodworkers, representing 119 companies, were on hand for the 2013 Manufacturing Symposium, a two-day event hosted by Stiles Machinery.

Held Jan. 24-25 in the estimated 40,000-square-foot expanded showroom in High Point, NC, the Stiles Manufacturing Symposium featured information and demonstrations on panel processing, solid wood machining, and finishing and sanding technologies. The event attracted production and custom wood products manufacturers from a wide range of industry segments, including: cabinets, residential and office furniture, closets, architectural woodworking and panel processing.

Andreas Muehlbauer, vice president of operations for Stiles, said the large attendance and range of market segments highlights the resurgence of manufacturing in America. “Along with economic growth returning, we’ve received a lot of positive feedback from customers that business in improving and that their outlook remains positive for this year and next,” he said.

Those woodworkers interviewed at the event agreed. “I came to get new ideas and see the new technologies,” said one architectural woodworker. “We do value stream mapping, so I have a special interest in the material handling equipment,” he added.

Stiles MachineryHighlights of the two-day event included demonstrations of mid-range, high-production and flexible manufacturing cells. The event kicked off with a presentation on material handling techniques by Ken McFadden, an update on panel processing technologies by Scott Cruickshank, information on financing capital equipment by Bill Pitt, and a presentation by Tim Middleton on sanding technologies. Also of special interest were workcell demonstrations including: a mid-range production cell for cabinetmaking, narrated by Arnie Hopkins; a flexible cell utilizing the IntelliStore material handling system, presented by Alan Huffman; a high production cell, presented by Cruickshank; plus a finishing demonstration on rollcoating, by Bob Kostelnik.

“You can see equipment like this is pictures, and read about it, but to see it in action is very impressive,” said an attendee.

Stiles MachineryThe two-day Stiles Manufacturing Symposium offered opportunities for one-on-one discussions on solid wood, panel processing and finishing and sanding technologies. Day two of the event began with Middleton providing information on sanding of solid wood and veneer, and Don Leblanc offering advice on color application and changeover in the finishing process. Attendees also had the opportunity to view the capabilities of the Durst digital printer. Additional presentations included those of Steve Call and Dan Forrest on solid wood machining, including high speed defect scanning and cutting.

Prior to the event, Stiles Machinery consolidated the operations from its Holzma facility in Gastonia to High Point and Grand Rapids, MI. The company now has more than 60 machines under one roof, available for demonstration.

Click here to see a brief video demonstration of a flexible cell with the IntelliStore system, and a high-production woodworking cell.


About the Author

Karen M. Koenig

Karen M. Koenig has more than 25 years of experience in the woodworking industry, including visits to wood products manufacturing facilities throughout North America, Europe and Asia. As Editor-in-Chief of Woodworking Network magazine (formerly Wood & Wood Products), Karen’s primary responsibilities include spearheading the writing, editing and coordinating of the editorial content of the publication, along with the Red Book resource guide and the Red Book online source and supply directory ( She is also a frequent contributor to other Woodworking Network online and print media. She can be reached at or Google+.

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