Each year the Woodworking Machinery Industry Association recognizes extraordinary wood manufacturing companies with the prestigious Wooden Globe Awards. The highly anticipated Wooden Globe award event — held each spring during the suppliers’ Woodworking Industry Conference —  honors notable success and achievements in applying high technology machinery and software supplied by WMIA’s member companies.
A separate award is reserved for the field of education, underscoring the importance wood machinery suppliers place on training, work skills, and development of our industry’s future leaders.
What They Win For
Awards are given in the three categories according to the following criteria:
Innovator of the Year
Nominees for the Innovator Award are honored for producing a unique or innovative wood-based product, or for using an innovative process to produce the product, incorporating high technology machinery in the process. This year’s winner, New England Casket Co., is profiled on page 6. 
Commitment to Excellence Through Technology
Nominees for this award represent the value of continued investments in high technology machinery — investments necessary to compete successfully in today’s global market. A criteria of the award is that a significant portion of the machinery investments have been made through WMIA member companies. The owner and top management must be strong advocates of using high technology machinery to maximize profits and maintain a competitive edge. The 2015 winner, Menck Windows, is profiled on page 4.
Educator of the Year
This award goes to an educational institution or company with a structured curriculum tailored to training individuals for careers in the woodworking industry. Criteria for the award requires hands-on training on high technology machinery supplied by one or more WMIA member companies. This year’s winners, at Pittsburg State University (profiled on page 8) have a special relationship with the Wooden Globe Awards: they manufacture them. 
The Woodworking Machinery Industry Association Wooden Globe Award itself is a cherry wood globe cut from a solid block. Since 2007, Pittsburg State University has been WMIA’s source for producing it. PSU’s involvement began in 2001 when it won the Educator award. When WMIA was in need of a new partner to make the trophy, PSU stepped in.
Using a 5-axis CNC router, student volunteers program, cut, assemble, sand and finish six Globes. Though the same model is used each year, students render it based on the previous year’s Globes — demonstrating the skill in replicating a design from scratch. Machine time for each globe is three to four hours. A globe, from start to finish, takes two or three days, including the making of all the jigs to hold the sphere. 

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.