AWFS Fair and Robots in the Woodshop

If You’re Thinking About Adding a Robot, Don’t Miss the AWFS Fair

Given how hard it is to find competent employees right now, even the smallest professional shops are considering the purchase of a cobot arm to pick parts or spray coatings. The cost of a robot can be as low as a few months’ worth of wages and benefits, and they never call in sick. In about two weeks, the AWFS® Fair will take place in Nevada (July 20th through the 23rd). Presented by the Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers®, this is the largest woodworking show in America this year, and the post-COVID version looks like it will be a huge event. Las Vegas has returned to pre-pandemic guidelines that lift restrictions involving capacity limits and large gatherings. And while there’s a lot of pent-up excitement over two years of innovations in the industry, no other market section looks as dynamic as robotics. Here’s a sample of some of the seminars being offered in Vegas:

How To Evaluate Woodworking Robotic Applications will be presented by James Cooper of Fanuc America Corp., and it will explore new technologies that are making robotics easier to implement for small to large woodworking shops. Among other topics, Cooper will discuss how to determine if a collaborative robot is a good fit.

Robots in the Booth – Evolution of the Finish Room is going to be conducted by Mike Rendel of Robotic Solutions, LLC and it will explore major finish room automation innovations, including product delivery systems, automated spraying robots, fluid delivery systems, curing technologies, equipment integration issues, and programming and controls.

Robotic Applications in Woodworking by John Park of SCM Group looks at integration challenges, and a session titled Introducing Robotics into your Operation will be conducted by Paolo Pezzoli of Biesse America and Isaiah Rozek of Paragon Concepts, LLC. Audience members will hear from a closet and cabinet manufacturer who took the leap into Industry 4.0 by purchasing a robotic saw. Attendees will learn about the process from selection to installation to implementation, and they’ll receive tips from a machinery supplier on how to get started on this journey.

If you haven’t been to an AWFS Fair, here’s a look at what we saw at the last one.