Two aspects will continue to gain influence in wood processing and especially in wood construction in the future. On the one hand, there is the need for even more sustainability in the construction industry and the associated growing demand for timber construction. The trend towards dense construction, building construction and multi-storey residential construction is unbroken, as much more living space will be needed in the coming years, especially in cities. On the other hand, the continuing uncertainties on the skilled labor market are a burden for companies. The potential in timber construction is therefore high, but how can industrially operating companies or craft businesses work in a future-oriented manner from these points of view?

Robots support automation

For CNC specialist Reichenbacher Hamuel from Dörfles-Esbach in Upper Franconia, the focus at LIGNA 2023 in Hanover is on automation - and accordingly, the machine manufacturer is demonstrating how this can be advanced with individualized concepts in woodworking and especially in wood construction. The central element for efficient automated production is the VISION III machining center with automatic carrier table, which is loaded by a robot from KUKA. The live demonstrations planned at LIGNA will exemplify step machining, in which the robot picks up blanks from a stack of blanks and automatically loads the machine. After a step cut and various saw cuts, milling and drilling will take place, and at the end the robot will automatically destack the finished steps.

Automation on demand, not as an end in itself

Automation is neither a fixed term that outlines the scope of what can be done, nor an end in itself. According to the exhibitor, it exists in many stages of expansion, the first goal of which must be to increase the efficiency of the companies on the existing production areas and also to make themselves more independent of the skilled labor market. Individual solutions are therefore in demand, because there are users who are active in purely regional construction projects and need different concepts than industrial companies that go into high-rise construction or that concentrate on the manufacture of special components. Market activity has set in motion a development in which, for example, companies are gearing their production to manufacture large and heavy panels not only for their own construction projects, but also to make them available to other market players.

Additive manufacturing in wood construction

In addition, Reichenbacher Hamuel is addressing yet another innovative and highly topical issue with additive manufacturing. In order to bring this closer to trade visitors at LIGNA 2023, 3D printing of wood components will be presented by means of informative videos and the quality of such components will be illustrated by means of printed exhibits.