There were closeto 1,000 exhibitors at the Georgia World Congress Center for the August InternationalWoodworking Fair, and many of these companies had new or improved products andservices to show to the attendees.

A goodindication of some of the most important developments comes from theChallengers Award entries and winners.

“(Thewinners have) to be fairly early innovations, not something that’s been on themarket for three or four years,” Art Raymond of A.G. Raymond & Co. andCabinetMaker+FDM columnist, told IWF-TV. Raymond announced the final winnersduring the show.

“It has tohave some obvious ramifications in terms of cost reduction, for people at theshow who are looking to improve their businesses,” he said. “And to usetechnology that may be coming from outside of our industry, to help ourindustry.”

The sevenwinning entries are described in more detail in CabinetMaker+FDM this month.

Casting alittle wider net, I looked at the 61 Challengers Award entries and tried tocategorize them. Among this group, 17 percent were related to panel processing,13 percent to solid wood, 10 percent to finishing and 10 percent to software.Tooling, machine accessories and boring-joinery each accounted for about 8percent. Laminates-surfaces and hardware were each the main focus of 7 percentof entries, and measurement-related products accounted for 6 percent.

The lessonhere is that the entries come from all different parts of the spectrum. They’renot just new technology software or CNC technology.

If you asksomeone in the know, like someone who attended or exhibited at IWF, what’s newin woodworking technology, the answer would be, “A lot.”

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