The organizers of LIGNA have announced the focus topics for next year’s event. As the world’s leading trade show for woodworking and wood processing equipment, machinery and tools, LIGNA is looked to as a guide for the key issues that will shape the wood industry in the coming years. The next edition of LIGNA, running from 10 to 14 May 2021, will put the spotlight on the digital transformation of the woodworking industry, prefabrication processes in timber construction and the bioeconomy. These three focus topics will be reflected at individual tradeshow stands as well as throughout the various forums and special displays – as well as at the LIGNA Guided Tours.

Digitalization is driving innovation throughout the global economy, including in the wood industry, where digital technologies are no longer limited to peripheral functions for production operations, but are fundamentally reshaping business models and processes. That is why the focus topic of Woodworking Transformation will again feature prominently at LIGNA 2021. The digital solutions on display will cover a wide range of areas – from planning and design to production and quality monitoring. More and more manufacturers of machinery for processing solid and engineered wood are offering digital systems solutions. Industrial plant providers are increasingly opting for robotics systems for materials handling, human-machine interaction and surfacing functions. Key themes include cloud-based data management, standardization and interfaces, building information modeling (BIM), timber flow management and augmented and virtual reality applications. Digitalization is also opening up major opportunities in the skilled trades, both when it comes to meeting the rising demand for custom solutions and the implementation of complete concepts.

The timber construction industry is increasingly trending towards modularization and standardization. In the multi-level timber construction sector, the development of prefabrication systems has picked up speed in recent years. The benefits of prefabrication are clear: shorter on-site construction times ease the cost of financing and reduce construction site emissions. These benefits go on top of the inherent benefits of timber as a construction material: it is sustainable and recyclable and requires minimal energy at the production and processing stages. These are all good reasons to feature Prefab Building Processes as a focus topic at LIGNA 2021. The show will shine a light on how timber is used as a building material and the individual planning, prefabrication and assembly steps involved in multi-level construction. It will also cover the use of timber in existing building structures.

The concept of the bioeconomy has gained considerable political and economic traction around the world in recent years. Bioeconomy refers to the transition from a fossil fuel and mineral resources-based economy to a renewable resources-based economy. As one of the world’s most important renewable resources, wood has a central role to play in this process. By choosing Green Material Processing as the third focus topic for LIGNA 2021, the organizers are highlighting the economic and technological innovations arising from the new processing and finishing options for timber as a key renewable resource. Coverage will include the relevant technologies, research findings, regulatory framework and practical results – especially as regards potential added value for SMEs. The focus topic will also be reflected in LIGNA’s existing comprehensive exhibits of colors, liquid coatings, lubricants and 3D printing systems. Additional coverage will focus on the challenges and developments of the global wood-based bioeconomy.