The Wood Component Manufacturers Association (WCMA) will hold its 2012 Fall Conference & Plant Tour Event in the Minneapolis, Minn., area Sep. 30 to Oct. 2.

The WCMA’s Wood Technology Expo will be held in conjunction with the Fall Conference and will connect WCMA Technology Partners with WCMA Members. WCMA Technology Partners are providers of woodworking machinery, equipment, supplies, software, and business solutions. They help WCMA members adopt new technologies, implement advanced wood processing methods, and utilize improvements in tooling, equipment, and software.

WCMA plant tours are designed to encourage an open exchange of ideas regarding the latest woodworking production techniques. Attendees are able to observe actual applications of new technology and visualize how they might apply them in their own plants.

This year’s Plant Tour Event will feature tours of several innovative woodworking operations located in the Minneapolis area.

Among the Plant Tour host companies:

Northland Forest Products, Shakopee, Minn. Northland Forest Products was founded in 1979, is a manufacturer and wholesale distributor of premium quality S4S hardwoods, mouldings, and performance pines. Northland also operates two lumber reload centers in the Twin Cities metropolitan area and a plant in Belmond, Iowa. They have long been a leader in the adoption of new technology and their president, Dick Pyle, recently received the WMIA’s Wooden Globe award for Commitment to Excellence through Technology for the computer integration of Northlands highly automated lumber and moulding operation.

Andersen Corp., Bayport, Minn. Andersen is the largest window and door manufacturer in North America and the Andersen brand is widely recognized and used among builders and remodelers in the window and patio door industry. Andersen holds FSC chain-of-custody certification from the Forest Stewardship Council and was awarded the 2011 Energy Star Partner of the Year award for the Product Manufacturer—Windows category. The company employs over 10,000 people and markets products throughout North America and in South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Dura Supreme, Howard Lake, Minnesota. Dura Supreme was founded in Minnesota by Donald Stotts in the 1950s and now employs more than 550 people at their 220,000 square foot manufacturing facility located west of Minneapolis. They are heavily invested in state-of-the-art, computerized equipment, machinery and finishing systems to provide a balance of precision, quality and value. The company also crafts dovetail joinery, hand-turned posts, hand-applied finishes and unique, one-of-a-kind furniture pieces crafted by hand.

Plato Woodwork. Plato, Minn. Plato Woodwork is a fifth-generation company that provides framed, custom wood cabinetry with handcrafted quality. They build Plato Personalized Custom cabinets with every cabinet made to order. Plato means having cabinetry in any style, any color, any finish, any wood, any size, whether it's for a kitchen, bathroom, home office, library, family studio, or an entertainment room. Plato Cabinetry is built in a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant by dedicated craftsmen, using the finest materials, and finished under environmentally controlled conditions.

Navy Island, West St. Paul, Minn. Navy Island was founded in 1983 and produces architectural panels, doors, frames and mouldings, cabinetry, and store fixtures. They occupy a 60,000 square foot manufacturing facility with a 1,500 square foot showroom displaying hundreds of unique veneers from around the world. Navy Island’s unique manufacturing facility is highly automated using robotics where appropriate. In 2006 Navy Island won the Challenger's Award for developing a revolutionary system for grading the visual appearances of wood. Since implementation, TruGrade has proven to be a valuable tool for communicating and maintaining expectations, from the craftsmen on the factory floor to the end user.

Progressive Systems. Anoka, Minn. Progressive Systems manufactures custom production machinery. They offer machine sales, full-service consultation, engineering, and replacement parts. Equipment available includes double and single end tenoners, cut-to-size machines, multiple rip machines, door and window sizing equipment, moulder feeders, and custom built machines and systems.

Timesavers. Maple Grove, Minn. Timesavers has been providing widebelt abrasive finishing machines for surfacing wood, metal, plastics, and a wide range of other materials for more than 60 years. They produce wood surfacing machines including finish sanders, abrasive planers, combination knife planer/sanders, feed-through orbitals/sanders, rough lumber abrasive planers, moulding sanders as well as custom built sanding machines. With more than 50,000 machines in the field today, and factory trained independent distributors, Timesavers concentrates on delivering "the finest finish in the world."

Collectively, these companies can produce a wide variety of wood products from lumber and rough dimension and components to fully finished cabinets, mouldings, millwork, windows, and architectural millwork. Tours of two WCMA Technology Partners are also scheduled for an update on their woodworking machinery products and services. The most valuable part of these tours is seeing different methods of manufacturing and observing what other companies are doing successfully.

The WCMA represents 105 manufacturers of dimension and wood component products for the cabinet, furniture, moulding & millwork, flooring, building products, and related decorative wood products industries. Member companies are located throughout the United States and Canada. The WCMA also has over 35 Technology Partners who are leading suppliers of machinery, equipment, tooling, supplies, software, and business solutions to the woodworking industry. The event will begin with a reception on the evening of Sunday, Sep. 30. The tours will be Monday, Oct. 1 and Tues. Oct 2

For more information, contact the WCMA office at Tel: 770.565.6660. Fax: 770.565.6663. Email: wcma@woodcomponents.org. Or visit the WCMA’s website at www.woodcomponents.org

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