The world's leading trade fair for woodworking and wood processing plant, machinery and tools is booming.

“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 in Hannover.

LIGNA 2017, which closed May 26, featured a new site layout and an array of display categories chosen to reflect the increasing technology convergence between the skilled trades and industry.

“The new layout has proven to be a great success,” said Wolfgang Pöschl, chairman of the Woodworking Machinery Division of Germany’s Mechanical Industry Association, VDMA. “Our customers have found it very easy to navigate.”

More than 1,500 exhibitors, including 900 from abroad, were on hand to showcase innovative products, machinery, tools and solutions on some 1,388,544 square feet.

LIGNA 2017 attracted 93,000 visitors, including 42,000 from more than 100 countries outside Germany.

Market leaders used the flagship fair to introduce 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 toward visualizing process and work steps.

Another key trend at LIGNA involved ways to significantly boost production efficiency with minimal demands on the operator.

 “Processing technology has reached amazing heights in regard to accuracy, speed, and flexibility,” said John Aufderhaar, publisher of Surface & Panel. “Information reporting systems designed specifically to drive productivity, utilize machine resources and effectively manage the entire shop from remote devices were a particular highlight at LIGNA.”

For the first time at this year's fair, an open-air demonstration area was set up at the foot of the Hermes tower, in partnership with the German Forestry Council (KWF). Several moderated technology presentations were staged each day on an area of more than 16,000 square feet.

 

The next LIGNA will be May 27-31, 2019.