ATLANTA  - Winners of the 2016 Challengers' Distinguished Achievement Award were announced Aug. 24 during the International Woodworking Fair. Selected from a field of 21 finalists, the seven winners include two hardware items, one cutting tool, and four machine technologies:

Bacci America won for its CNC Shaping & Sanding machine for cabinet door outside profiles. A fully-automatic machine, it is capable of producing 500 doors per day by featuring a sanding wheel at the end of the cycle. The machine is installed at Decore-ative Specialties, which won a WMIA Wooden Globe Award for Innovator of the Year.

Biesse America won for the Viet robotic sander for cross grain scratching on MDF, wood and painted doors. The machine allows for the sanding of panels in any direction and on different planes, as well as on the inside of profiles and shaped edges.

Fastenlink won for its Fastenlink patent-pending fastening system that replaces wooden dowels needed for adjoining pieces in place. The system replaces cams, screws, or nails for fastening panel,

Giben says its Giben by Anderson nested CNC router offers linear motor technology on both X and Y axis for fast positioning and machining. On a typical nest, the movements are done in a fraction of the time required on a conventional machine, the company says.

Holz-Her won for its Ltronic edgebanding technology. The newly developed NIR module (NIR = Near Infrared Radiation)  in the LTRONIC unit is electronically controlled for activating the laser edging functional layer. LTRONIC is ready for operation at the touch of a button and operates without any air blast noise or compressed air.

LMT Onsrud LP won for the Polaris Compression cutting tool. The tool features an advanced coating to protect each cutting edge of the tool, while reducing heat build-up and wear.

Salice America Inc. won for the Salice Air hinge, which is fully adjustable in three directions and features a soft-close mechanism. The hinge is nearly invisible, with a thickness of only 10mm, while its small size makes it suitable for applications such as cabinetry, furniture and display cabinets.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the IWF Challengers Distinguished Achievement Award. (A 50th Anniversary retrospective on the awards is available as a PDF, listing all  the Challengers' Award winners.)  The Challengers' Award promotes the development of innovative new technology in woodworking machinery, supplies, and services for the furniture, kitchen cabinets, architectural woodwork, store fixture, upholstery, or specialty and general wood product industries.

"The Challengers' Award recognizes the best in creativity and innovation among the myriad of products introduced at each International Woodworking Fair," said Art Raymond chairman of the judging team. "During the 50 years, the award winners have covered the full spectrum of the elements that contribute to the success of our industry."

Beginning with 74 entries, a panel of 10 judges representing all facets of the woodworking industries, whittled the list to 38 semi-finalists and 21 finalists, before making their final judging on Tuesday, Aug. 23.

In addition to Art Raymond of A.G. Raymond & Co., the judges were:

Dale Adams, Marvin Windows & Doors; Perry Fails, Dura Supreme Cabinetry; Michael Federigo, Nucraft Furniture Co.; Erik Fetzer, Fetzer Architectural Woodwork; Bob Harold, Pinehurst Wood Products & Rooms to Go Furniture; Marlin Horst, Premier Custom Built; Richard Pyle, Northland Forest Products; Jay Streau, Eggers Industries; and Mark Sytsma, Woodcraft Industries.

Raymond also credited IWF's JP Roberts and staff, as well as professors and students from Pittsburg State University, for their assistance.

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