Handiwork meets High-Tech
Rising expectations from customers for finished products are challenging the forestry and wood industries like never before. The response: 'Industry 4.0'-style networked production that will change the wood industry forever.16 Dec 2016
Every two years, over 1,500 exhibitors come together to present cutting-edge solutions and trailblazing innovations to roughly 93,000 visitors at LIGNA, the world's leading trade show for the woodworking and timber processing industries. True to the show’s motto "Making more out of wood", sustainability is a keynote theme this season. Visitors can look forward to a valuable and inspirational showcase on the latest trends and innovations in tools, machinery, and wood-based methods of energy production.
What you'll find at LIGNA 2017
"Marketplaces hold a mirror to the industry, reflecting the latest innovations. This makes every staging of an event entirely unique," remarks Christian Pfeiffer, LIGNA Director. The 2017 edition of the fair features a new site and hall layout. Following talks with the relevant industry association and the exhibitors, the show has been redesigned around individual technologies and solutions, in departure from the old and no longer fully applicable way of grouping things by size/type of operation. Another innovation reflects the rising interest in automation and surfaces, with these topics now given their own dedicated exhibition space. Visitors can look forward to big-name exhibitors such as Siemens, Beckhoff, Igus and SEW. The spotlight this year will shine on networked production, a topic of growing relevance in all industries, and the processing of plastic and composite materials. The event's organizers for their part are focused on improving the interface between visitors and exhibitors to help both sides walk away satisfied. Pfeiffer sees two tasks as crucial to this effort: first, the LIGNA brings together the entire global marketplace for wood machining and processing firms. It also provides valuable public relations work. All key providers in the relevant equipment, machine and tool fields know they will be coming together for the biennial LIGNA, so they tend to schedule their innovation cycles for their products and services to coincide with their presentation at LIGNA.
Industry 4.0 as a mission statement
So what will visitors see live at LIGNA? Carpenters and builders will find everything they need to compete successfully on the market. Guided by consumer demand, today's craftsmen must be flexible and ready to react to the individual desires of the consumer. The use of modern technology is essential to make this possible. Industry 4.0 can provide a major boost. LIGNA will show how that image of a completely networked value chain is close to reality. In Pfeiffer's works, Industry 4.0 is a form of mission statement with huge potential rewards. Networked production was already on display at the last LIGNA. "LIGNA is a trade fair featuring machines in action, deals being made, and production taking place under real conditions," reports Stephanie Wagner, Project Manager at LIGNA . The last edition even boasted a world premiere: "In Hall 26, the Homag Group set up a fully networked system that allowed users to follow the production of a piece of furniture live as it passed through various linked stations. It was unique both for in terms of its total length and the logistical challenges involved."
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