In addition to Supplier Magazine’s Gold Star awards presented at every AWISA show; honourable mentions are bestowed on other products and technologies that also contribute to the furniture manufacturing industries. In the case of an honourable mention, the item will often not be a new product. It could be a significant revision or re-design of an existing product or it could be an alternate solution to a product that is on the market by another manufacturer. For example, Wood Tech group was awarded an Honourable Mention in 2016 for the Griggio Unica Safe retractable-blade panel saw. The principle was not new but the technology had been adapted for use on industrial panel-cutting machinery and represented a step forward for the industry. At the same AWISA Holz-Her was awarded an Honourable Mention for the Ltronic zero-join edge banding module. Winning a Gold Star at the Brisbane AWISA in 2014 for the original development, the new interchangeable design solved the issue of too great an “open time” when several different gluing units are permanently fixed to the in-feed. Our awards are listed in alphabetical order.

An honourable mention goes to Blum for the Aventos HK top. The new Aventos HK top stay lift is less than half the size of the superseded Aventos HK model. It has a new clean-cut design that harmonises beautifully with cabinet interiors. Blum’s latest lift system for stay lifts is easily installed close to the top panel so it blends into the furniture. The newly designed, minimalist cover caps come in different colours and give great freedom of design. Aventos HK top can be equipped with three different motion technologies: soft-close Blumotion, the Servo-Drive electric motion support system or the mechanical Tip-On opening support system.

An honourable mention goes to Hettich for their Wingline L folding sliding door system. The product is suitable for wardrobes; alcoves like under-stair spaces or in top mounted kitchen units. Wingline L is a ‘Push-Pull to Move’ opening mechanism that opens an entire door set with just one push or pull, with or without a handle. The fitting opens a surprisingly large section of the entire cabinet, leaving more space in the room. Because WingLine L keeps door protrusion to a minimum there is nothing to get in the way of drawers and extensions.  The product creates panoramic effects and design flexibility. The judges liked that the product can be used under stairs and sloping ceilings as well as in alcoves. The folding door fitting provides a way of using this potential storage space and making it look attractive.

An honourable mention goes to Homag for their Sawteq B-320 robot saw. The SAWTEQ B-320 flexTec cutting cell with fully automatic part stacking further develops batch size one production using a robot mounted on top of the beam saw. It enables the creation and efficient processing of highly flexible cutting patterns. It is systematically designed for batch size 1 production and works automatically with just one saw; the robot takes over all handling operations up to the ejection of the part from the cell. The Sawteq B-320 was exhibited in Milan as part of their award-winning Autonomous Cell and had the Homag Group Australia exhibited the Autonomous technology they did in Milan it would certainly have won a Gold Star.

An honourable mention goes to Vauth Sagel for their Cornerstone MAXX corner unit solution, now with planero desgn. The innovative system for corner cabinets brings the contents of two tray-like shelves fully in front of the unit. The often badly or even completely unused spaces in the corner unit are therefore made usable in an extremely comfortable way. CORNERSTONE MAXX does not obstruct the adjacent units as it swings out and comes to rest fully in front of its own unit. The product was launched in May 2017 and has recently been nominated for the German Design Award 2018

An honourable mention goes to Wood Tech for their ‘Hive’ automated panel store. Other storage solutions have been around for many years but this one is unique in that it was designed and built right here in Australia; in fact, Wood Tech tells us that even the software is written here. The definite advantage of the Hive is that any support can be provided from right here in Australia. The Hive is available is several configuration options and at AWISA we saw the 90-degree, or one-quarter of a circle version storing 500 parts. The system is available up to a full 360-degree and storing 2,000 individual cabinet parts. Various configurations of panel in and outfeed are also available to suit your individual production preferences.

An honourable mention goes to Woodtron for the Tower Panel Warehouse. Released last AWISA in Melbourne, partly to gauge interest in the concept; this significant update is now double-sided giving the user twice the storage space. Unlike most automated warehouse systems that stack panels in (often) random order; the Woodtron tower keeps every board type separate and is ideal for just-in-time manufacture. Both the Woodtron Tower and Wood Tech Hive systems make use of the height of your workshop instead of taking up often valuable (and scarce) floor space. Other improvements include cables to catch the board if the vacuum fails; and the capacity to store 60 colours. And if you really want to prepare a ‘rainbow’ pack the night before, you can with the Australian–designed Woodtron Tower.

Pictured: Hettich Wingline L