Comprehensive one-day technical conference will explore new technologies and industry best practices.

Hundreds of woodworkers are expected to attend the seminars at IWF 2008.

North America’s largest woodworking event has stepped up its technical conference to include a full-day Industrial Wood Finishing Symposium: “From Green to Lean and In Between.” The program is scheduled for Aug. 19, the day before the opening of the International Woodworking Machinery & Furniture Supply Fair USA, at the Georgia World Congress Center.

The conference organizers include IWF, Wood & Wood Products and the Centre for Advanced Wood Processing at the University of British Columbia. Becker Acroma Inc. of Brantford, ON, a supplier of industrial water-based wood finishes, is a major sponsor of the event.

How to successfully convert to more environmentally friendly finishes, technologies and methods, while staying productive and profitable is the underlying theme of the program.

The program will include presentations on the best practices employed by several leading North American wood products manufacturers, plus a keynote presentation on marketing “green” finishes and research on improving finishing processes.

Program Highlights

• Carl Smith, CEO of the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute of Marietta, GA, will present an opening keynote address on the trend toward environmental certification by wood products companies and their suppliers, including wood coatings companies. He will also explain the steps involved in having products tested and the perceived current and future impacts at the consumer level.

• Angela Nahikian, manager of Global Environmental Initiatives for Steelcase Inc. of Grand Rapids, MI, will describe efforts the office furniture leader has taken to create a sustainable competitive advantage in an increasingly green consumer market. Steelcase was the first company to achieve LEED certification for a manufacturing factory and was winner of the 2006 National Pollution Prevention Roundtable award.

• Mike Williams, president of M and J Woodcraft of Delta, BC, a manufacturer of finished wood cabinet doors, will detail how his company has attained a reputation as a pioneer of environmental compliance and safety. Williams will describe some of the decisions that were made regarding the layout, design and technology selected for a new finishing facility and how the equipment and processes employed contrast with the flat-line system at the original factory.

• Melissa Knoll, color and quality manager of Rosati Specialties of Clinton, MI, will highlight her company’s motivations for choosing the finishing technologies it employs, including labor and productivity aspects, profitability and environmental benefits. The contract finishing specialist has had experience with traditional solvent systems, water-based stains and 100% solid UV clear coats.

• Phil Evans, professor of the Department of Wood Science at UBC, will present the results of a three-year study examining the relationships between grain raising, sanding and finish quality of appearance-grade woods. He will also discuss how companies can use these results for process improvements that can enhance finishing results.

• Winston King, director of operations for Leda Furniture of Toronto, ON, who gained lean manufacturing expertise in the auto industry, will discuss how Leda has applied lean strategies to the installation and integration of a state-of-the-art finishing line.

How to Register & Sponsorship Opps

Additional information and online registration are available here. The registration fee of $350 includes handouts, lunch, refreshment breaks, a post-symposium networking reception and registration to attend the IWF exhibition, Aug. 20-23. Discounts are available for companies sending three or more personnel.

For information about becoming a sponsor of the program, contact Rich Christianson, associate publisher of W&WP, at (847) 415-8024 or [email protected].

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