Hannover, Germany - LIGNA from May 15 to 19 in Hannover offers a unique overview of the entire value chain of the woodworking and wood processing industry. It is THE international showcase for innovations and THE stage for premieres. At LIGNA 2023, visitors will meet exhibitors from roughly 50 countries. This is where trends are set and discussed that shape the industry and point the way to the future.

The Machinery for Forestry, Roundwood & Sawntimber Production exhibition area highlights the importance of wood as a raw material in the development of sustainable value creation. In ten exhibition halls, on the open-air site and in pavilions 33 and 35, LIGNA maps the entire value chain from tree to finished end product, thus promoting closer networking between the primary and secondary industries as an industry platform.

Answers to current challenges of the forestry industry

It is only through the participation of players from the forestry and primary industries, in conjunction with solution providers for individual and series production, that the whole picture of the woodworking and wood processing industry, of which LIGNA is the home, emerges. "Here in Hannover, solutions for climate-adapted forest management will be the topic of discussion. After all, climate change, which is having a major impact on the development of forests and changing the previous raw material base of wood, is presenting the industry with new challenges. That's why the focus will be on technological innovations that support sustainable forestry production and the efficient provision of wood as a raw material," says Stephanie Wagner, Head of LIGNA at Deutsche Messe.

The motto of pavilion 33: "Raw Materials - Forestry - Logistics"

In Pavilion 33, visitors to LIGNA 2023 can follow a circuit along increasingly digitized value and process chains under the motto "Raw Materials - Forestry - Logistics". The German Forestry Council (DFWR) will be there, as will the Arbeitsgemeinschaft forstwirtschaftlicher Lohnunternehmer Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony Association of Forestry Contractors, AfL), the Lower Saxony State Forests (NLF) team with the Forestry Training Center, the Social Insurance Fund for Agriculture, Forestry and Horticulture (SVLFG) and the Waldbesitzerverband Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony Forest Owners Association). "Pavilion 33 thus brings together the key players who are at the beginning of wood-based value chains," says a delighted Dr. Maurice Strunk, Managing Director of AfL Niedersachsen e. V. "However, by presenting highly topical solutions for the production and sustainable provision of wood as a raw material, P33 is not only a platform for forestry exchange, but also sees itself as an interface to the woodworking and processing industry." The highly topical solutions mentioned by Dr. Strunk are taken up, for example, by the NLF's trade fair presentation, which this year focuses on the reforestation of forest areas damaged by storms and bark beetles and presents excavator fork planting in cooperation with the AfL. As a partially mechanized planting technique, it ensures a root-friendly and soil-conserving cultural establishment of large plants (80-120cm), a faster crop establishment and lower future maintenance expenses. In this way, excavator fork planting makes an important contribution to active reforestation with climate-adapted and resistant mixed deciduous forests.

However, the majority of investment regeneration will continue to be placed in the ground using the physically demanding hand planting method. The NLF, together with the University of Göttingen, is therefore testing an exoskeleton designed to reduce the ergonomic strain of planting. As millions of young trees have been planted in recent years to help develop the mixed forests of tomorrow, the NLF is also testing a new work method for tree care using a battery-powered hedge trimmer on a carrying frame. Called the "Niedersächsische Kulturpflegetechnik (Lower Saxony Cultivation Technique)", the method allows young plants to be ergonomically cleared at a high rate of work progress. After planting and care, the focus is on selling the valuable raw material wood, which is why the NLF wood sales team will also be at LIGNA to talk to trade show visitors.

As a forestry policy and professional interest group representing non-state forest owners in Lower Saxony, the Waldbesitzerverband Niedersachsen e.V. is represented at LIGNA with two projects. The "Climate Protection Forests for Lower Saxony" project motivates forest owners to manage their forests in a targeted manner, thereby contributing to climate protection. In the "FirSt 2.0" project, applications for monitoring damage events are being developed to enable forest owners to improve forest management.

The companies represented in Pavilion 33 are also focusing on the topic of "sustainable forest management". Wahlers Forsttechnik GmbH & Co. KG will provide information on flexible data management with the ForstwareActive system for modern timber harvesting and will bring along the PONSSE Full Simulator, one of the most modern simulators for forestry machines. Holz-Reimann, whose business areas range from timber harvesting and timber logistics to timber trading with raw and residual timber and finished products, will be addressing the importance of forests, woods and timber for the country and society under the guiding principle of "raw material - resource".

New potentials for the raw material wood

Climate change and current forest damage pose considerable challenges for the forestry and wood cluster. At the same time, new potentials for the raw material wood arise in the context of the transformation towards a modern, resource-efficient and climate-neutral economy. Under the motto "NRW - Making more out of wood", the partners will present new and resource-efficient uses for the raw material wood at the joint stand of Wald und Holz NRW (Forrest and Wood NRW).

As part of the thematic focus "Potentials of hardwood for timber construction of the future", the Center for Forest and Timber Management of Wald und Holz NRW will be showing the possible uses of the birch tree species in bonded and load-bearing timber construction products. This also includes silvicultural recommendations and maintenance concepts for the production of sawable birch logs in the reforestation of calamity areas. The variety of hardwood building products available on the market is increasing. For example, the "FlexiMoH" project for the development of flexible modular timber construction systems using BauBuche and the high-performance supporting structure for the new airship hangar at Essen/Mühlheim Airport, which is made of cross laminated timber components, beech dowels and laminated veneer panels, will be presented at the NRW joint stand. The aforementioned hardwood applications can be viewed using demonstrators and models.

Under the motto "Forest Bioeconomy in Action", the European Forest Institute (EFI) will present the cooperation of European regions as well as innovations and projects for a circular forest and wood-based bioeconomy. Here, too, wood use in construction is a particular focus.

The possible uses of spruce dry stands that have been dead for some time and the storage of large quantities of calamity wood after major damage events caused by drought and bark beetle infestations are the subject of the course on the NUKAFI research project under the EXPO roof. On the basis of calamity wood dry storage facilities and the live demonstration of the cutting of sample logs, the material utilization potentials depending on the time of dying of the drought stands, the influencing variables on the log quality as well as possible risks during industrial cutting will be presented. Another focus of the course will be the wood technology properties of wood construction products and wood-based materials made from calamity woods. The use of spruce calamity wood in building products will be shown, among other things, in the context of the demonstrator for the Tiny House of a start-up company from NRW.

Further topics of the NRW joint stand are the networking of planning, timber harvesting and logistics on the basis of digital twins within the framework of the joint project "Smart Forestry". Via situation-specific, freely configurable value creation networks, it enables communication of all actors "at eye level" in the control, evaluation and optimization of the timber harvesting process as well as its integration in upstream and downstream process stages.

The focus of the joint project "Intelliway" is on sensor-based monitoring of the condition of the forest road network and the planning of maintenance measures. The sensor data are collected automatically when the paths are used. Machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) methods are used to analyze the sensor data, detect existing trail damage and identify damage classes for individual trail sections.

Improved and sustainable production processes can significantly increase value creation and competitiveness in wood processing companies. At the joint stand, the Effizienz-Agentur NRW (Efficiency Agency) will be available to answer all questions on the implementation and promotion of measures to increase resource efficiency in the timber industry.

Wald und Holz NRW and the German Forestry Council (DFWR) cordially invite visitors to LIGNA 2023 to attend the joint meeting evening with NRW Forestry Minister Silke Gorißen and DFWR President Georg Schirmbeck on May 16 from 6:00 p.m. in Pavilion P35 under the EXPO roof.

Sawmill technology increases resource efficiency

Sawmill technology, an indispensable part of the wood industry, is also continuously developing to become more efficient and thus more sustainable, not least thanks to new processes for recycling former waste products. In Hall 25, exhibitors such as Linck, USNR and EWD will be demonstrating that it is becoming increasingly important for sawmill technology to handle wood as a raw material in the most resource-conserving way possible in order to successfully meet the challenges of raw material shortages, value optimization and further refinement. The - partly mobile - sawmills on the open-air site of exhibitors such as Wood-Mizer, Serra, Logosol or W-IREX are also characterized by further developed, more energy-efficient technology. For example, sawmill automation is on the rise, and automatic sawing and sorting systems, as well as robot-controlled equipment, are increasingly helping to simplify and speed up work processes. Sawmill technology is also responding to the increasing quality requirements for wood products by improving their accuracy and precision.

In the "Logistics - Sawmills - Transport" theme avenue in the open-air exhibition area, a wide range of machinery for biomass and recycling will also show what solutions are available for chipping and shredding for the reuse and recycling of wood and other recyclable material. Manufacturers of high-quality car and truck trailers, changing systems and loading aids for international timber construction, such as Auwärter, can also be found in the theme avenue.

Focus on material handling and logistics

Central topics in this context at LIGNA 2023 will be material handling and logistics. Here, industry giants such as Sennebogen, Liebherr, Hubtex and Combilift are among the exhibitors. "This year we are focusing on the motto 'Big Timber Trends'. The sawmill industry has grown strongly in recent years, and so we too have placed a stronger focus on the sector," says Erich Sennebogen, managing director of Sennebogen, which specializes in material handling. "At LIGNA 2023, we want to present ourselves as a strong partner in log handling and show our trends and innovations. A special exhibit as a highlight of the exhibition is the pick & carry excavator 735 E, which has been available with electric travel drive for some time. The energy for the travel drive is generated by a generator installed on the diesel engine. For the customer, this means up to 30 percent energy savings and thus lower operating costs, as well as impressively dynamic driving characteristics. Especially after the Corona-related break, we are looking forward to welcoming many familiar partners and new faces to our 500+ m² stand on the open-air site!"

Trade show premieres prove the further development of the industry

Marc Liske, Head of Marketing at Hubtex Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG, is delighted that his company will finally be able to participate in a regular LIGNA again: "We are very much looking forward to LIGNA 2023. There is no substitute for personal contact and discussions with customers and interested parties at the show. LIGNA is a highlight in our 2023 trade show calendar, and as a manufacturer of material handling equipment and our solutions specifically for intralogistics, we can't afford to miss out. A lot has happened since our last trade show appearance at LIGNA 2019. Both in the industry and on the product side with regard to Hubtex's new developments. We want to present this to the international trade fair audience at our booth N65. As a manufacturer of industrial trucks, we will be presenting a total of five vehicles on the open-air site at LIGNA. In addition to two models from the proven PHOENIX series, we will be showing, among others, the NEXX, our first reach truck, the FLUX, our innovative 2-in-1 truck for long loads and pallet handling, and the MAXX, which is in high demand in the timber industry."

Like Hubtex, Liebherr will again showcase a selection of its specialized machinery for the woodworking industry at LIGNA 2023. These include the Liebherr LH 26 M Timber Litronic timber tractor and the Liebherr T 60-9s telescopic loader. In addition, the Liebherr L 580 LogHandler XPower, a special wheel loader for handling logs, will celebrate its trade show premiere at LIGNA. Andreas Scheuerl, Sales Manager Material Handling Technology at Liebherr, emphasizes: "For us, LIGNA in Hanover is of great importance. It is THE leading wood trade fair in the international arena. We've been exhibiting there for more than twenty years, and after the pandemic-related hiatus, we're looking forward to the personal exchange with our customers again."

Varied supporting program rounds off the offer

In addition to the exhibitors' offerings, there will be a diverse supporting program specially developed for the forestry, roundwood and sawntimber production machinery and equipment sector. For example, the LIGNA Forestry Get-together, organized by the AfL Lower Saxony and Deutsche Messe, will once again be the tried-and-tested central meeting place for networking and professional exchange, directly in front of Pavilion 33 under the EXPO roof (N76). Another get-together will be given a special setting with the presentation of the Hans-Jürgen Narjes Award on Wednesday, May 17, 2023, in Pavilion 33. One day later, on Thursday, May 18, 2023, the Lower Saxony Forwarder Championships organized by the AfL / DFUV in cooperation with LIGNA will provide plenty of excitement.

The world's leading trade fair with a global range of tools, machinery and equipment for woodworking and wood processing was held in Hanover from May 15 to 19, 2023.