LIGNA is the world’s leading trade fair for machinery, plant and tools for the woodworking and timber processing industries. It’s where all the latest innovations for these industries are showcased at one convenient time and place. Visitors from around the globe can come to LIGNA and get a good, comprehensive overview of all the latest technologies and solutions on the market. They can make comparisons and thoroughly research their capital investment decisions. In a word, they can have confidence they will find all the market leaders – all at the one location. For instance, LIGNA 2017, which runs from 22 to 26 May, will feature exhibitors from about 50 nations. Easy Engineering’s team talked to Christian Pfeiffer, Global Director LIGNA and Woodworking Event, to tell us more details about the fair. Easy Engineering: What does LIGNA 2017 have in store for us? Christian Pfeiffer: LIGNA is the world’s leading trade fair for machinery, plant and tools for the woodworking and timber processing industries. It’s where all the latest innovations for these industries are showcased at one convenient time and place. The show is unmatched worldwide for its extensive range of machinery demonstrations, its immersive trend showcases and the international composition of its exhibitor and visitor base. Basically, there’s no better place for developing new markets. With its high level of international participation and the high percentage of serious, motivated buyers among its visitors, it is simply the world’s best marketplace for wood industry technology. Visitors from around the globe can come to LIGNA and get a good, comprehensive overview of all the latest technologies and solutions on the market. They can make comparisons and thoroughly research their capital investment decisions. In a word, they can have confidence they will find all the market leaders – all at the one location. For instance, LIGNA 2017, which runs from 22 to 26 May, will feature exhibitors from about 50 nations. This year, LIGNA has a revamped thematic layout comprising the following main display categories: Tools and Machinery for Custom and Mass Production Surface Technology Wood Based Panel Production Sawmill Technology Energy from Wood Machine Components and Automation Technology Forestry Technology Besides its new site layout, this year’s LIGNA will be taking an in-depth look at several key industry themes. For example, furniture manufacturers are increasingly investing in automated processes as they strive to meet ever more stringent requirements in terms of precision, flexibility, speed, safety and reliability. At LIGNA, this trend is encapsulated in a strong thematic focus on Industry 4.0, or Integrated Manufacturing, as it is also known. Machinery manufacturers and software and automation providers will be showcasing trailblazing developments and pilot applications in this area. Moreover, visitors to LIGNA will be able to get a quick overview of this theme area by going on an “Integrated Manufacturing” guided tour of the show that will take them to the stands of selected exhibitors. Tour participants will be able to witness the latest developments and solutions for intelligent production first-hand and discover the various ways in which the “Smart Factory” vision has been applied in the wood and furniture industries. Christian Pfeiffer Another fascinating focus theme is “Processing of Plastics and Composites,” which premiered at LIGNA 2015. We’ve modified the format slightly for the 2017 edition of LIGNA. Technology demonstrations and displays of product samples will show the great versatility of today’s woodworking machines, which can be used to process plastics and composites as well as wood. At their stands, exhibitors will profile the many non-wood applications of the latest machines. These include caravan and boat building, plastics processing and fabrication, vehicle customization, ship and aircraft interior finishing, the composites industry, insulation material manufacturing, and construction material and exterior cladding production. Here too, we will be offering guided tours for exhibitors. We’ll also be staging the next edition of the Wood Industry Summit – a combined dialogue and presentation event that has been very well received. In 2015, exhibitors and trade visitors used the forum – which attracted international participants from industry, research and government – as a valuable source of leads for primary-industry project work in the world’s high-growth markets. The best measure of the Summit’s success is the quality of the business relationships initiated there, and I’m pleased to say this was very high, because the event resulted in numerous firm contracts. Visiting representatives of international pulp and paper corporations and manufacturers of wood-based panels showed a great deal of interest in direct dialogue with the manufacturers of the machines, plant and equipment on display. All up, our exhibitors generated numerous valuable contacts, particularly among the visiting delegations from Ukraine, Russia, China and Brazil. E.E: What are the main companies that will be participating this year? C.P: All the market leaders will be there. In fact, the show will once again be an absolute “Who’s Who” of the international timber processing and woodworking industries. The exhibitor list includes names like Homag, Barberan, Bulmor, Weinig, Kleiberit, Jowat, Festool, Vollmer, Dieffenbacher, Leitz, Felder Group, pezzolato, Biesse, Wood-Mizer, IMA, cefla, Siempelkamp, Altendorf, scm group, Linck, Nanxing, Bürkle, Leuco, Festool, and many others. E.E: Which are the predominant countries participating at the show (exhibitors as well as visitors)? C.P: More than half of the 1,552 exhibitors at LIGNA 2015 came from outside Germany. That’s 864 exhibitors from 46 nations who traveled to Hannover to present their products, services and solutions to an international trade audience. The top ten exhibiting nations were Germany, Italy, Austria, China, Sweden, the USA, Taiwan, Switzerland, Turkey and Spain. Meanwhile, about 40,000 of the show’s total of 93,000 visitors were from outside Germany. The top visiting nations, excluding Germany, were Austria, France, Italy, the USA, the UK, Russia, Belgium, Poland, Sweden, China and Brazil. E.E: What are your expectations regarding this year’s LIGNA? C.P: At this stage we’re predicting that we’ll at least match the figures achieved by LIGNA 2015. E.E: What would you like to say to companies and visitors who may be thinking of participating at LIGNA? C.P: LIGNA is in a league of its own in many respects. For one, it is by far the world’s biggest trade fair for the wood industry. But it’s also way out in front in terms of quality. The leading manufacturers arrange their development cycles so that they can unveil their innovations at LIGNA. In other words, at LIGNA you are sure to see all the technologies that will be shaping your industry over the next two years. So here’s my invitation to you: Come along and experience the show’s rich array of innovations for yourselves and benefit from the kind of outstanding networking opportunities you can only find at the world’s leading trade fair for machinery, plant and tools for the woodworking and timber processing industries. We look forward to seeing you in Hannover!