September 20-22, 2015
Over 55 WCMA Members, Technology Partners, and Non-Members participated in the Wood Component Manufacturers Association’s 2015 Fall Conference & Plant Tour Event in the Sherbrooke, Quebec area, from September 20-22. This year’s event offered an excellent opportunity for attendees to network with peers, visit Technology Partners during the Wood Technology Expo, as well as tour a number of leading manufacturing facilities.
Rhonda Kendrick, with Kendrick Forest Products, stated “I thoroughly enjoyed this plant tour event and felt it was a great learning experience for our younger staff. There were numerous lean activities that we were able to glean ideas from. I really feel we gain so much from our technology partners with the way the agenda is set up. The face to face discussions with our industry peers gave us the opportunity to discuss common issues. We look forward to the next tour event.”
Sid Anderson, with Anderson Wood Products, added “I thought the 2015 Fall Conference was the best in a number of years. The toured facilities were great because they showed a wide variety of products being manufactured. A common theme across the plants was the engineering of labor out of the products through well conceived material handling equipment and work cells.”
WCMA Members and Technology Partners toured the production facilities of seven innovative manufacturing operations (see page 5 for detailed information). The WCMA plant tours are designed to encourage an open exchange of ideas regarding the latest woodworking production techniques, as well as overall business solutions. Attendees are able to observe actual applications of new technology and visualize how they might apply them in their own plants.
Barry Freiburger, with George Guenzler & Sons, Inc., commented “The plant tour event is a never miss event for our firm. Each year we find at least a couple of take a ways to explore and possibly implement back in our plant. I also enjoy the networking with my industry peers and exploring how they are
dealing with issues within their plant and the industry as a whole. Also our tech partners make this event very worthwhile, as we explore what is possible to make our company more competitive in the future.
In addition, this year the group had the opportunity to tour the National School of Furniture and Cabinet Making. This unique national school greets approximately 150 students and offers various training programs in cabinetmaking, industrial finishing, and upholstery. The center also houses an extension service which provides services for industry including applied research, technological transfer and skills upgrading. Attendees were wowed by the new “Wood-Welding” being studied at the school.
The WCMA Board of Directors has agreed that next year’s tours will take place in the Northern Indiana area. If you were not able to participate in this years excellent tours, be sure to plan on attending next year.