Innovation and Networking Take Center Stage at WMS and WTD 2023
The Canadian woodworking sector marked a pivotal chapter in its evolving narrative with the orchestration of two monumental events: The Woodworking Technology Days (WTD) and the Woodworking Machinery & Supply Conference and Expo (WMS) 2023. These platforms, with their distinct agendas, unveiled a panorama of innovations, offering a glimpse into the future of the woodworking industry.
Woodworking Technology Days (October 31 – November 4, 2023)
The 4th annual Woodworking Technology Days (WTD) hosted by the Canadian Woodworking Machinery Distributors Association (CWMDA) aimed to provide a closer, one-on-one visitor experience with several impressive demos in optimal conditions, focusing on solutions and technologies that could help attendees stay competitive and address labor shortages in the woodworking industry.
WTD Day 1: The event kicked off with attendees visiting and exploring various showrooms, each housing state-of-the-art machinery. At Biesse, the highlight was the vertical CNC, and effective automation for effortlessly drilling for handles and hinges while maintaining a sleek and compact footprint. IMA Schelling Group showcased their powerful IMA Novimat R Edgebander, which promised to deliver flawless edgebanding at record production rates. The Akhurst Machinery showroom was lively and provided an in-depth demo of the Omnirobotic Panel Sanding Assistant. Robotic sanding and robotics in general will continue to be a hot-button subject as the industry moves forward. Networking was also a part of the day with attendees meeting representatives from Cyncly, Planit, Microvellum Software, and a variety of tooling companies. The excitement for day 2 was palpable, with the expectation of seeing more of what WTD had to offer.
WTD Day 2: The journey continued with visits to SCM Group, which showcased their Flexstore system connected to their CNC and Beam Saw. HOMAG Canada impressed with their Robotized Production Cell and Storeteq Intelligent Storage System. Attendees also saw a live demo of Homag’s Vertongen Kitchen Door Cell, a high-production machine capable of producing 500-800 doors a day with only 1 operator. The FELDER GROUP featured the Kappa 550 with Preventive Contact System and was also showcasing their new support for the Blum Mini-press. The day rounded off at Taurus Craco Machinery Inc. with their latest offerings from Edda Makine, the Corbox and 1500s automatic wrapping machine. Gratitude was expressed towards the CWMDA and all the exhibitors for hosting the fourth Woodworking Technology Days.
Woodworking Machinery & Supply Conference and Expo (November 2-4, 2023)
The Woodworking Machinery & Supply Conference and Expo (WMS) is a staple in the woodworking industry, connecting Canada’s professional woodworking buyers with the world’s most prominent machinery manufacturers and suppliers. Held at the International Centre, WMS 2023 unfolded a different facet of the woodworking sector, emphasizing the dialogues around advancements and the business acumen required in navigating the industry’s future.
WMS Day 1: The highlight of the day was the keynote by Luke Elias on investing in robotics and incentivizing employees, expertly proving the adage that what is measurable can be manageable. Attendees reported a positive experience, particularly appreciating the unveiling of new technology in the industry. The anticipation for further interaction with the community and the opportunity to discuss what was new and popular was evident.
WMS Day 2: The day started with a keynote by Wood Manufacturing Cluster of Ontario CEO Mike Baker and President Mark Corker on digital integration and Industry 4.0 roadmaps. The presentation covered 4.0 basics, visualizing the complex information processes that can be streamlined by through value stream mapping. The research and success of WMCO’s NRCan IFIT program has enabled them to acquire nearly $3 Million of federal funding in order to bring more digital industry 4.0 advantages to the wood industry. I took the time to see the Schubox Drying system and enjoyed some downtime with beer courtesy of Hettich Canada LP and the comfy couches and great company at GRASS Canada Inc.
WMS Day 3: It was a busy day with more machinery and robotics exploration. The WMS live stage featured The Great Closet Guru himself, Eric Marshall, who discussed the massive opportunity in manufacturing and installing closets. Darrell Keezer, CEO of Candybox Marketing, presented on the disruptive power of digitality and digital marketing in the industry. The day was filled with networking, learning, and anticipation for the next WMS in 2025.
Both events, WMS and WTD, with their unique formats and offerings, underscored the woodworking industry’s resilience and adaptability, providing platforms for networking, education, and showcasing the latest technological advancements in woodworking machinery and solutions. The community eagerly awaits the next editions of these invaluable industry events.
Thank you to both Woodworking Network and the CWMDA for keeping the wood industry connected and up-to-date on the newest technology and trends, which Wood Industry will continue to bring to our readership on a weekly basis.
And thank you also to all the event attendees. We have received a lot of positive feedback on the direction that we have been taking Wood Industry, and I am just getting started. Together, with the collective knowledge and cooperation that defines our industry, Wood Industry, and THE wood industry will grow stronger, closer, and even more robust to drive the Canadian Economy forward finically and culturally.
Tyler Holt is the Editor of Wood Industry / Le monde du bois magazine. He has a master’s degree in literature and publication, and years of experience in the publishing and digital media industry. His main area of study is the effect of digital technologies on industrial and networked production.