– Industry 4.0 generating new impetus throughout sector
– Strong global appeal
– New site layout well received
LIGNA 2017 drew to a close on Friday, 26 May. “LIGNA 2017 will go down as a milestone in the digitalization of the wood industry,” said Dr. Andreas Gruchow, the Deutsche Messe Managing Board member in charge of LIGNA, at the end-of-show press conference on Friday in Hannover.
LIGNA’s new approach is contributing to stable growth throughout the industry. More than 1,500 exhibitors, including 900 from abroad, were on hand to showcase innovative plant, machinery, tools and solutions on some 129,000 square meters (1,388,544 sq. ft.) of net space.
LIGNA 2017 attracted a total of 93,000 visitors, including some 42,000 attendees from outside Germany who had come to Hannover from more than 100 different countries. The show’s increasingly international turnout was reflected in the figures for virtually every corner of the globe, and particularly for Asia, North America and Europe. The top ten visitor nations after Germany were France, Austria, the United States, Sweden, Belgium, Spain, China, Poland, Italy and Russia.
Market leaders used the flagship fair to introduce new software for integrating the complete range of plant components. In line with the mega-theme of Industry 4.0, visitors were especially interested in the trend towards visualizing process and work steps. The wood industry’s capacity for innovation was showcased via solutions ranging from a service app for machine monitoring to a digital graphical operator saw guide, plus a bucket camera system for wheel loaders. Cloud-based digital twins of tools and machines were used to present effective processes for faster machine commissioning and life-cycle documentation.
A further key trend at LIGNA consisted of ways of significantly boosting production efficiency with minimal demands on the operator. One exhibitor presented the first-ever “three-click” process for producing a complete item of furniture. Meanwhile, in the area of machine components and automation, robots continued their forward march.
In the pavilion next to Hall 11, the first LIGNA training workshops for joiners, cabinetmakers, carpenters and mobile assemblers were held in partnership with the Sprint Academy (Cologne, Germany). Festool, Jowat, Mafell and Dr. Koch from the Thünen Institute were the training partners who delivered a program of practical-based content. Participants picked up many useful tips and tricks and praised the workshops as a valuable addition to the other LIGNA offerings.
The LIGNA program also featured a series of brief presentations on the processing of plastics and composites at the Robotation Academy. Many exhibitors featured displays showing that woodworking machines can work not only with wood, but also with plastics, composite panels, and insulation and building materials.
The new LIGNA layout was also well received by primary industry visitors, with the four thematic areas of Forestry Technology, Sawmill Technology, Wood-based Panel Production and Energy from Wood…
The next LIGNA will be staged from 27 to 31 May 2019.