The LIGNA show in Hannover, Germany, is back again from 27 to 31 May this year with another roundup of products, machinery, solutions and ideas for the entire wood industry. Advanced technologies, digitization, integration and automation are key trends in woodworking and wood processing – and hence keynote themes at LIGNA. LIGNA is the only platform that showcases technology and solutions for forestry and primary and secondary wood production. It attracts key players from across the entire wood industry. The primary industry comprises forestry, sawmilling, wood-based panel production, wood energy and pulp and paper. It is the first link in the wood value chain and is therefore a core part of LIGNA. The primary-industry section of the show is clustered in halls 25, 26 and 27, on the open-air site and in the outdoor pavilions beneath the EXPO canopy. It features numerous exhibitions of new products and solutions, not to mention a wealth of presentations, lectures and networking events – all knitted together under the overarching banner of automation and digitization.

The secondary-industry section of LIGNA is dedicated to products, machinery, equipment and tools for wood processing, woodworking and furniture manufacturing. The stand operated by wood processing machinery specialist Michael Weinig AG in Hall 27 is a case in point – a show of expertise in digitalized plant technology. Visitors to the stand will be able to witness a sophisticated production line – comprising eight interlinked modules, complete with advanced robotics and scanner technology – live in action. The stand will run daily demonstrations that showcase the entire production process, from raw material to finished product.

Wood Industry Summit

This year's Wood Industry Summit runs under the banner of "Access to Resources and Technology", one of LIGNA's focus themes. Located in Hall 26, it consists of a group pavilion dedicated to forestry and the wider primary wood industry and a forum featuring presentations by big-name international experts. Among much else, its focus is on digitization of the forestry and wood industry, ways of optimizing the entire forest-wood-logistics value chain – from standing trees through to final processing in the factory – as well as on protecting forests from biotic and abiotic damage, and on climate and environmentally friendly harvesting processes.

The exhibitor lineup at the Wood Industry Summit includes Aerovit A/S, Denmark, which will be showcasing its automatic soot blower for boilers and heat exchangers; Germany's Center of Excellence for Forestry and Wood (KIWUH), which is currently investigating the challenge of securing softwood timber supplies in the age of climate change; GKD - GEBR. KUFFERATH AG, Germany, one of the world's leading manufacturers of metal and plastic wire mesh solutions and transparent media facades; GMV Aerospace and Defense, S.A.U., Spain; Kirov Region Export Promotion Center, Russia; S.T.I.F., France; STROJPLAST Semic d.o.o, Slovenia, which will be presenting its fully automated packaging lines for shrink-wrapping wood briquettes; and Ponsse, Finland, one of the world's leading manufacturer of forestry machinery.

On Thursday, 30 May, the German Sawmilling and Timber Industry Association (DeSH) will be running a three-hour forum program (2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.) at the Wood Industry Summit titled "Future Workshop: Presentation of Start-ups – A Project under the Charter for Wood 2.0". Mathias Haas (DER TRENDBEOBACHTER) will moderate the forum and also give a keynote address. The full forum program is available online at .

KWF Business Pavilion P33– Tomorrow's forestry technology today

The German Forestry Council (KFW) is running another season of its long-standing special presentation on forestry technology . Held in Pavilion 33 beneath the iconic EXPO canopy, the unique, technology-centric forestry industry meeting hub is organized by KWF with input from the German Association of Forestry Contractors (AFL) and the Lower Saxony Forestry Service (as represented by the Lower Saxony School of Forestry – NFBz). It is aimed at forestry companies and looks at key forestry issues and challenges, such as "Forestry & Wood Industry 4.0", battery technology, remote-controlled felling-wedge technology and forestry data flow chains. In addition, there will be a demonstration site beneath the EXPO canopy that will feature displays of new log measurement methods and a series of demonstrations themed "Natural Disasters in the Forest – Forest First-aid and Survival". DOLL Fahrzeugbau GmbH will also be part of the action, demonstrating a new line-up of timber transport vehicles that feature variable-height swivel-mounted cabs. The entire KWF program (German-only) is available at

Pavilion 32 – Lower Saxony forestry and wood industry

As always, the forestry and wood industries of the German state of Lower Saxony will have a big presence at LIGNA – in Pavilion 32 beneath the EXPO canopy. The showcase there will feature the Lower Saxony Forestry Service, along with Bruno Reimann GmbH & Co. KG and publishers DRW-Verlag. There will also be a group display for companies and institutions from Lower Saxony. Among the display participants will be the Lower Saxony Forest Owners' Association (Waldbesitzerverband Niedersachsen); PEFC Germany (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification); agriculture-sector publishers Deutscher Landwirtschaftsverlag (dlv); the German Forest Owner's Working Group (AGDW); the Lower Saxony Agricultural Association (LWK Niedersachsen), the Lower Saxony Renewable Raw Materials Network (3N) and Braunschweig University of Technology (TU Braunschweig).

NRW Forestry & Wood Cluster – NRW MAKING MORE OUT OF WOOD

In the North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) forestry and wood industry pavilion (P35) beneath the EXPO canopy, the state's Center of Excellence for Forestry 4.0 will be running a program dedicated to " Industry 4.0 for the Forestry and Wood Industry ". As part of this program, the competence center is partnering with the NRW State Forest Administration (Landesbetrieb Wald und Holz NRW) to present an initial prototype of a Smart Forest Lab. The lab will enable visitors to assess the potential of Industry 4.0 technologies for various forestry value chains and gain an understanding of the many aspects of technical implementation involved. The exhibits will show how digitally connected forestry assets and on-site, real-time availability of all relevant data can support and streamline work in the forestry and timber industry.

As well as developing technology, the Center of Excellence program has a strong focus on helping people in their work. For example, by wearing a Microsoft HoloLens, forestry workers engaged in motor-manual tree felling can receive useful information about their surroundings and hazard warnings from the forestry machines they are operating. They can also use augmented reality to measure logs on-site in the forest and take current price and product-range information into account when cutting.

Outdoor demonstration site for forestry technology

As in past years, the 2019 edition of LIGNA will have a demonstration area on the open-air site , where the latest forestry machines and technology developments will be shown in action – all under careful expert moderation. The demonstration site is organized in partnership with the German Forestry Council (KWF) and will be located in the middle of the German Logging Championship area. It will feature moderated technology demonstrations on each day of the show. Highlights include a debarking head that can be fitted to harvester machines, enabling them to debark logs on-site. There will also be presentations of mobile sawmills and large-scale timber harvesting and wood logistics machines.

Firewood Production Line: From Tree to Fuel

The special " Firewood Production Line " showcase is all about energy from wood. It explores the many and varied uses of wood as a renewable energy source. On the open-air site in front of the EXPO canopy, the Lower Saxony Agricultural Association (LWK Niedersachsen) will present an entire chipwood production line at a showcase titled "From Tree to Fuel". The showcase will illustrate the various technical processes involved in transforming solid wood into a useable fuel. Highlights will include solutions designed to ensure compliance with Germany's stringent clean-air regulations. The Lower Saxony Agricultural Association and several other institutions, including the Lower Saxony Renewable Raw Materials Network (3N), will be offering visitors manufacturer-independent information and advice on all matters relating to wood energy.

German Logging Championship

The 14th German Logging Championship will be held on the open-air site at LIGNA from 28 to 30 May 2019. It is a joint production between Deutsche Messe AG and the German Woodsmen's Championships Association (VWMD). This year, some 100 contestants will be putting their endurance, handling skills and precision to the test in five disciplines: tree felling, chain fitting, combined cut bucking, precision bucking and delimbing. They will perform their amazing feats of chainsaw handling skill under the watchful eye of expert judges, who will score them on safety, accuracy and speed.

Forest Owners' Day

LIGNA is hosting the all-new Forest Owner's Day on Wednesday, 29 May 2019. The all-day event is an opportunity for Germany's forest owners to showcase their commitment to sustainability, innovation and responsible forest management. The event is co-organized by the German Forest Owner's Working Group (AGDW) and the Lower Saxony Forest Owners' Association (Waldbesitzerverband Niedersachsen) and includes a tour of LIGNA, a "Knowledge Café" and a Forestry Benefit Evening. The tour will take new and budding forest owners to the displays of five forestry-industry companies with a strong commitment to new technologies and innovative ideas. The idea is to give the participants the opportunity to pick up new ideas and inspiration to help them into and along their chosen career paths. In the Knowledge Café, experts will discuss current industry issues and challenges, such as the effects of climate change on forests and the use of climate-resistant tree species, ways of making forestry companies and cooperatives more attractive to skilled workers, digitization of the forestry industry and the use of new technologies (drones, aerial photography, tree inventory mapping, etc.), and the hazards and risks associated with pest infestation and the use of pesticides. The participating experts include Professor Ute Seeling, managing director of the German Forestry Council (KWF); Professor Frank Setzer of Erfurt University of Applied Sciences; Jens Dittrich, LogBuch GmbH; AGDW's head of Forestry, Karsten Spinne; and AGDW climate expert Dr. Guido Schwichtenberg.

Forestry Benefit Evening

The evening of 29 May has been set aside for the traditional Forestry Benefit Evening – an opportunity for dialogue among forestry-industry multipliers and experts from Germany and abroad. This year's evening will run under the motto "Forestry Industry – Shaping the future". The motto was chosen in recognition of the current situation with windthrow and bark beetle infestation and the need for reforestation. The opening address will be given by Barbara Otte-Kinast, the German state of Lower Saxony's Minister for Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection. The Forestry Benefit Evening is staged jointly by Deutsche Messe and KWF. The benefit evening traditionally also hosts the award ceremony for the Hans-Jürgen-Narjes Prize. The prize is offered by Qualifizierungsfonds Forstwirtschaft e. V. and carries 2,500 euros of prize money. Its purpose is to formally recognize and encourage outstanding commitment to and/or provision of training and professional development for employees in the forestry services and contracting sector.

LIGNA Forestry Get-together

The LIGNA Forestry Get-together premiered successfully in 2017 as LIGNA's central hub for forestry-industry networking and dialogue and is back again in 2019. Organized by the German Association of Forestry Contractors (AFL), it will be staged directly in front of Pavilion 33, under the EXPO canopy, and is aimed at industry professionals seeking to learn about the latest in forestry technology and network with their peers.

13th Lower Saxony Crane Driving Championships and 4th Women's Crane Driving Cup

Among the more spectacular events on the open-air site are the Lower Saxony Crane Driving Championships and the Women's Crane Driving Cup . Held on the Thursday of LIGNA, they offer a thrilling mix of big-machine mastery, sport and entertainment. Both events are organized by the German Association of Forestry Contractors (AFL), with support from Deutsche Messe.

Tree planting

Every LIGNA show features a formal tree-planting ceremony. This year, on Friday 31 May, the LIGNA Exhibitor Advisory Committee and the show's organizers – the German Woodworking Machinery Manufacturers (VDMA Holzbearbeitungsmaschinen) and Deutsche Messe – will jointly plant the "2019 Tree of the Year". This year's Tree of the Year is the European white elm (Ulmus laevis), and the sapling planted at the ceremony is sponsored by the German Nursery Association.

For further news and information about LIGNA, its supporting program, guided tours, special displays and important product launches, visit .