Getting smarter

17 June 2019

Smart Manufacturing is one of several new judged categories in the TTJ Awards this year. Stephen Powney reports

The TTJ Awards Judged Categories will feature several new categories this year, with the Smart Manufacturing Award bringing more emphasis on manufacturing and use of technology into the TTJ Awards.

The W Exhibition – the UK’s leading woodworking technology show – has come on board as sponsor of the new category, which is designed to reward timber product manufacturers who can demonstrate exceptional improvements in production efficiency through investment in machinery and technology.

The biennial W Exhibition at the NEC, Birmingham (next show is Sept 27-30, 2020), has established itself as the go-to event for the joinery, furniture and timber product manufacturing sectors, with around 10,000 visitors attending the machinery, technology and components showcase.

“Sponsoring the new Smart Manufacturing Award at the 2019 TTJ Awards is a great opportunity for us to support the industry further and encourage more woodworking machinery suppliers to get involved with the TTJ Awards,” explained Lisa Campagnola, event director for The W Exhibition.

“We recognise that sustainability, efficiency and use of the latest technologies are such important considerations for all companies, and we want to see more and more brands striving to become better at this.

“As great advocates of training and education at The W Exhibition, we believe by supporting this award we will help to highlight the importance of these processes within the workplace and celebrate those in our industry that are leading the path for true production efficiency.”

Manufacturers’ projects which enter the Smart Manufacturing Award should also demonstrate progress towards Smart Manufacturing / Industry 4.0, which makes greater use of dataflow, interconnectivity between machines, automation and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Smart manufacturing technologies are starting to change the nature of production across a range of industries, giving the ability of mass customisation, improved visibility of workflow and use of materials, predictive maintenance and even faster development of new products.

The award is open to all companies in the timber products supply chain from sawmills and wood-based panel producers right down to components producers, joineries and furniture manufacturers.

More details and entry forms to download can be accessed on event/ttj-awards-2019

Timber construction

Also new in the TTJ Awards Judged Categories this year is an extension to the former successful Achievement in Engineered Timber Award.

Two new categories will be replacing this – Public or Commercial Use of Timber in Construction and Private Residential Use of Timber in Construction.

Projects may involve cross-laminated timber (CLT), glulam, LVL, oak, softwood or other timber-based build systems. Entries will need to detail the design brief, the specification and application of structural timber used, hurdles overcome and the impact the project has made.

Project main delivery partners including the client, architect, contractor and key suppliers can submit entries. Projects should have been completed after January 1, 2018.

A further new category in this section is the Timber Interiors Fit Out Award to recognise excellent and inspiring use of timber and wood products in interior design projects.

Other Judged Categories are: Excellence in Marketing, Environmental Achievement, Career Development (under-25 and over-25 sections) and Innovation.

W Exhibition show director Lisa Campagnola