LIGNA, the world’s leading trade fair for machinery, plant and tools for the woodworking and timber processing industry, is gearing up for its 2017 season (22 to 26 May) with a new, more visitor-centric layout of themes. The significance of the new layout for the primary timber industry is that the Forestry Technology displays will be located immediately adjacent to the Sawmill Technology , Energy from Wood , and Wood Based Panel Production offerings . They will also be bordered by the new Tools and Machinery for Custom and Mass Production showcase, which includes Hall 27, where the providers of solutions for solid wood processing will be clustered. This new distribution of content in the halls bordering the open-air site will generate powerful synergies for visitors from the primary timber industry and put forestry technology on center stage. The Forestry Technology section will sport a number of new features. The open-air site will sport various "avenues" addressing key aspects of the production chain. Plus there will be a demonstration site at the heart of the area and an activity zone in front of Pavilion 33.

The themed avenues will be located to the north and south of the demonstration site and will address the following five topics: mobile sawmills - logistics - logistics and transport - large-scale forestry machinery plus forestry tools and energy from wood - firewood production lines and tools. Meanwhile, the demonstration site will showcase solutions across the entire primary timber process chain – everything from felling and transport solutions to chainsaw protective apparel, cable harvesting systems and chippers. All kinds of equipment and machinery, large and small, will be on display on each day of the fair. The demonstration site will be flanked by a grandstand, so visitors will have a clear view of each day’s live demonstrations. Organized in partnership with the German Forestry Council (KWF), the site will feature a mix of moderated demonstrations and static displays by participating exhibitors.

The other big highlight of the open-air site is the activity zone in front of Pavilion 33 beneath the EXPO canopy. There, visitors can experience "Forestry from the air – using aircraft to support forestry work" in a series of daily live demonstrations. As the theme suggests, the focus here is on the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, in forestry. Other examples of cutting-edge aerial applications in forestry include the use of specialized helicopters in heli-logging, forest liming and forest firefighting. The event area will also feature live demonstrations of cable hauler tests using the latest inspection and testing systems. Regular inspections of cable hauler equipment are vital to workplace safety in the forestry industry. The daily lineup of demonstrations and action in the activity zone is staged in collaboration with the German Forestry Council (KWF).

Another of the big attractions on the open-air site is Pavilion 33, which offers a program of practically oriented forums organized jointly by the KWF, the Lower Saxony School of Forestry and the German Association of Forestry Contractors (AFL). Keynote themes in Pavilion 33 include logistics in all areas of forestry, from harvesting to road haulage, not to mention education and training, and current issues facing forestry companies.

The Wood Industry Summit at LIGNA 2017 is themed "Access to Resources and Technology". Comprising discussion rounds and speed presentations, a supporting exhibition and showcases by the timber-rich regions of Eastern Europe, Russia and Asia, next year’s Wood Industry Summit promises to be another bumper showcase for the primary wood processing industry.