AWFS Review

From July 22–25, the AWFS Fair in Las Vegas was the “go to” event for woodworking industry professionals to find cutting-edge solutions to make their businesses leaner, meaner, more productive, and more profitable.

New this year was the AWFS® Fair Stage an educational and entertaining destination located on the show floor. Attendees saw a series of mini-presentations from various software exhibitors and had an opportunity to explore a broad range of manufacturing software applications. Plus the Fair Stage also featured power tool demos, celebrities (including Furniture Icon John Bassett, III and Wayde and Brett from the hit show “TANKED”), and The Fresh Wood Award Presentations.

Also featured was AWFS Fair College of Woodworking Knowledge™, a comprehensive seminar program involving current trends, new technologies, and business-building practices.

There was a range of new innovations for the industry. Here are some highlights of what was presented at the 2017 event:

One exciting new entry into the woodworking market is 3M, an old name with a new cutting edge concept. 3M Assembly Solutions brings together adhesive and tape solutions in combination with 3M experts who can help customers determine just how to apply them. 3M’s experts are available to work with customers to determine the right adhesives and tapes for their applications, considering factors such as the type of assembly, the substrates, process adaptations and end-use. It gives product engineers an appealing and effective alternative to mechanical fasteners, as well as new possibilities for using dissimilar and hard-to-bond materials.

Stiles Machinery also brings a winning hand to the game with a range of new equipment to give you the edge. The Hozma HHP Panel Saw, the Makor K-TWO Automatic Oscillating Spray Machine, the Ironwood S 124RK Wise Belt Sander, and Altendorf F45 Sliding Table Saws are just a few of the new machines you can see at the show.

Northwood is performing live cutting demonstrations for 5-piece hardwood door, cabinet nested based sheet manufacturing and solid surface v-grooving for miter folding. The direct drive servo positioning v-grooving saw is the largest found on a CNC router with up to 12″ diameter and 2.5″ wide insert v-groove cutter. The dedicated 20HP saw motor allows faster speeds on v-grooving and more reliable and accurate cuts. The tooling lasts longer and the parts are more accurate, saving customers money. V-grooving is used in any industry where a miter fold joint is made. Solid surface countertops are extremely accurate and quick to make miter folds without introducing to a second machine or process.

TigerStop is showing their new AutoLoader, an automatic infeed station for the TigerSaw 1000, its fully automated cross-cutting saw system. With AutoLoader, an operator can load five pieces at a time, reducing manual material handling time and increasing operator capacity for performing value-added tasks, such as sorting finished parts. Cut parts can be inkjet- or label-printed on the TigerSaw 1000 facilitating fast, accurate and easy part sorting. The AutoLoader can accommodate material from 4 to 24 feet in length and can be configured with up to seven stations with section lengths in either 3-foot or 6-foot intervals. TigerStop states that its TigerSaw 1000 with AutoLoader is priced at about a third of the cost of comparable saw systems with automated infeed stations currently on the market.

As technology continues to shape the way we interact with the world around us, StilesMachinery Inc., in partnership with HOMAG, is equipping the manufacturing industry with innovative solutions designed to increase efficiency and dramatically reduce downtime during production. This begins with the recent introduction of tapio, the world’s first digital platform designed to coordinate the entire value chain of the wood industry, along with many other smart manufacturing solutions. Along with the introduction of tapio, Stiles revealed the first intelligent operator assistance system in panel sizing history, the intelliGuide. The intelliGuide system supports the operator visually by guiding them with an LED light strip and new laser technology projected directly onto the workpieces during cutting operations. This is achieved through a unique camera system located on the top of the machine that monitors the operator’s exact movement and reacts in real time achieving new levels of quality, accuracy, and performance. Simultaneously it offers more flexibility to the operator, who is no longer bound to a specific order of operation. If you go to the Stiles video here or in their advertorial below you can see this all in motion.

Now that AWFS 2017 has concluded, we can grade it as good. Feedback on the seminars shows they were informative but not outstanding. The show floor was no different. While the traffic was a bit slow, reports are that those in attendance were high quality, prospective buyers. Post show sales will tell the tale at the end of it all.

By now, you probably already know the winners of the AWFS Visionary Awards. We covered many of them in our Show Dailies. The winners list included several of our marketing partners. Just goes to show that smart companies are smart in a lot of ways! That being said, here are some of the official results:

  1. Productivity Award in Machinery under $50,000 – LT-2D3D-C Laser Templator – Laser Products Industries
  2. Product Innovation Award in Tooling – Leitz BrillianceCut Circular Saw Blade – Leitz Tooling Systems
  3. Product Innovation Award in Components – Rev-A-Shelf LLC/Tresco Lighting Snap Panel Lighting – Rev-A-Shelf LLC

To see the complete list of winners, go to the Latest News section on