manufacturing techniques. But then rising to new
challenges, brought sophisticated, multi-faceted automated production equipment and software to the
forefront of Haas Cabinet’s operations.
Rick Braun of Machine Solutions, Jasper, Indiana,
who nominated Haas, described it as a “first-class
operation, including Biesse CNC machines, a Selco
panel saw, Schmalz material handling, and a flat-line
finishing system from Giardina.
State of the art dust collection was the story told
for the Innovator of the Year prize. Jared Nierengarten, maintenance manager, and Greg Rask, manufacturing engineer, accepted the Innovator honors for
their company, Crystal Cabinet Works Inc. Nierengarten and Rask detailed how the company had
completely revamped a complicated and inefficient
dust collection system, replacing it with cutting edge
technology from Hocker North America.
Rask described how the company with 400 employees in 270,000 square feet making more than
450 cabinets a day had outgrown its dust collection
system, which serviced 153 pieces of equipment. A
big challenge was adaptability as the company was
constantly changing its machine layout as part of
lean manufacturing efforts. Nierengarten explained
how the new system provided more capacity directly
to each machine, allowing for easier modification
of layouts. Computer controls allowed for automatic
opening and closing of blast gates and adjustments to
CFM flow and energy use.
Rask said the company’s energy savings of more
than 1 million k Wh per year was equal to the power
usage of 94 average homes or 1. 8 million hours of
LED television use. Ben Dipzinkski of Hocker North
America (formerly O2 Filtration), who nominated
Crystal Cabinet Works, emphasized the challenge
involved in keeping up with the company’s ever-changing strides for more efficiency.
Educator of the Year honors went to Greg Larson
of the New England School of Architectural Woodworking. Larson described his program as offering a
Todd Haas of Haas Cabinet accepts the WMIA Wooden
Globe for Commitment to Excellence Through Technology
from Rick Braun of Machine Solutions, who nominated him.
Greg Rask and Jared Nierengarten, Crystal Cabinet Works,
accept the WMIA Wooden Globe Award for Innovator of
the Year from Ben Dipzinski of Hocker North America, who