At IWF 2018 — the International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta, Ga. — the winners of the 2018 Challengers Distinguished Achievement Award were announced.
The awards promote the development of innovative technology in woodworking machinery, supplies and services for the furniture, kitchen cabinets, architectural woodwork, store fixture, upholstery or specialty and general wood product industries.
Among a field of 23 finalists, the 2018 award-winning companies and products included Doucet Machineries of Daveluyville, Que., and Felder Group, based in Hall, Austria. Doucet won for its Alyx product, an automated clamp carrier loader system for high volume gluing application, panel preparation, and loading and unloading of the machine.
The complete cycle time for one loading and glue application sequence is estimated at 80 seconds or less with only one operator at the panel preparation position, with another partial operator managing the material input and output. Felder Group won for its Format-4 creator 950, a compact, automated CNC machining centre that fits into 54 square feet. The unit machines panels horizontally for easier infeed, offering more flexibility in handling larger panel sizes, the company says.