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for formaldehyde emissions.
In accepting the award, Todd Haas, CEO of
Haas Cabinet, also described the company’s
long-term commitment to technology and
craftsmanship. It was a philosophy that began
with his grandfather, who founded the company, remained strong throughout his father’s
leadership, and continues today under Todd’s
management of the firm.
When Todd Haas took over in 2000, he
confessed to actually abandoning some
technology to adopt simplified 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, In-
diana, who nominated Haas Cabinet, described
it as a “first-class operation.” Among the
technology in use at the 350,000-square-foot
plant are Biesse CNC machines, a Selco panel
saw, Schmalz material handling, and a flatline
finishing system from Giardina.
State of the art dust collection was the story
told for the Innovator of the Year prize, won
by Crystal Cabinet Works Inc., based in
From its founding in 1947, in the garage of
cabinetmaker Tom Hammer, the company has
evolved into one of the largest custom cabinet
manufacturers in the United States. Crystal
Cabinet Works is still owned and operated by
the Hammer family, with Jeff Hammer, along
with his daughters, continuing the tradition.
Jared Nierengarten, maintenance manager,
and Greg Rask, manufacturing engineer, ac-
cepted the Wooden Globe Innovator honors for
their company. The two detailed how the com-
pany completely revamped a complicated and
inefficient dust collection system, replacing
it with cutting-edge technology from Hocker
Rask described how the company – which
had 400 employees at the 270,000-square-
foot shop and was producing 450 cabinets a
day – had outgrown its dust collection system,
which serviced 153 pieces of equipment.
A big challenge to choosing a dust col-
lection system was its adaptability, as the
company was constantly changing the
machine layout as part of its lean manufactur-
ing efforts. Nierengarten explained how the
new system provided more capacity directly to
each machine, allowing for easier modification
of layouts. Computer controls also 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
Cabinet Works and the New England
School of Architectural Woodworking.
Custom cabinet manufacturer Crystal Cabinet Works completely revamped its dust collection system at
the plant for one that was highly adaptable as well as energy efficient.
Haas Cabinet combines high-tech machinery and handcraftsmanship to produce its kitchen cabinetry.
Technology at the plant includes CNC machining centers, panel saw and a flatline finishing system.