The focus topic “Woodworking Transformation” at LIGNA 2023 outlines viable scenarios for the wood and furniture industry along the current and future lines of development in digitization, as well as solutions for the woodworking trade. The “Woodworking Transformation” as a change and further development of processes and techniques for processing wood includes both the automation and digitalization of processes and the application of new materials and technologies.
LIGNA 2023 will show how the efficiency, quality and sustainability of woodworking can be optimized, such as through machine learning. As a key technology, advancing digitalization is bringing about fundamental change throughout the woodworking and wood processing value chain, not only in industry but also in the craft sector. As a holistic evolutionary transformation process, digitization is having a productive influence on all areas, from strategy to the organization of production and logistics to sales and after-sales services.
Champions League of the woodworking industry
“What the Champions League is to soccer, LIGNA is to the woodworking industry,” notes Oliver Kunzweiler, Director Central Marketing Weinig Group, announcing for LIGNA 2023: “We measure ourselves in constructive competition in order to convey the best possible solutions to customers. On 5000 m² we show innovative large-scale plants for industrial companies up to stand-alone machines for the craft.
Our customers can take advantage of the Digital Transformation with completely engineered Weinig plants including “all-round worry-free” packages for profitable production – and thus successfully counteract the general shortage of skilled workers. A good partnership also includes effective maintenance and plannable spare parts supply through Weinig LifeTime Services: worldwide,” says Kunzweiler.
LIGNA as an international impetus and pacesetter
LIGNA has been accompanying this development as an international impetus and pacesetter for years, and now the ” Woodworking Transformation” is consistently continuing the successful focus topics of 2019 (“Integrated Woodworking Technologies – Customized Solutions”) and 2017 (“Integrated Manufacturing”). With Hybrid Guided Tours in German and English and a first-class program on the LIGNA.Stage, special formats tailored to target groups for the skilled trades, industrial manufacturing, forestry technology and, last but not least, IT security, round off the “Woodworking Transformation” focus topic at LIGNA.23.
From hidden champions to global players
Numerous companies represented at LIGNA 2023 are contributing to the “woodworking transformation” with their developments, from the hidden champions of the mechanical engineering sector to global players. From Austria, for example, the Felder Group, one of the leading suppliers of woodworking machinery, will be there with fully automated robotics solutions, and as one of the many German companies, Dieffenbacher Holding GmbH & Co. KG will be presenting a significant contribution to the transformation of the industry at LIGNA 2023, showing how energy recovery solutions and measures to improve operational excellence and promote the sustainability of wood-based panel plants are transforming conventional production facilities into “smart plants.”
IMA Schelling Group’s exhibits at LIGNA 2023 will include an edging machine with automatic edge handling, a throughfeed drilling machine for batch size 1 production, an automated panel-sizing saw with robotic handling for high productivity, and the company will also present its end-to-end “aimi” software.
“At LIGNA, we want to create curiosity among our customers and partners about our innovations and developments of recent years,” announces IMA Schelling CEO Wolfgang Rohner. “We will be able to present some of these innovations at the show, and many other solutions have been implemented in customer-specific projects in recent years. LIGNA is the leading trade show in the industry. Especially after this long break, we are looking forward to interesting discussions with friends from all over the world.”
Italy’s innovative strength
More than 250 exhibitors are coming to Hannover from Italy, such as Biesse Group, SCM Group and Cefla Finishing. While Cefla Finishing is using advanced technology to optimize processes such as painting and surface coating, SCM is helping woodworking companies transform by integrating digital tools such as computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) and computerized control (CNC), and will be showcasing a wide range of CNC machines, machining centers, sawing machines, wood treatment machines and much more in Hanover for this purpose. At LIGNA 2023, Biesse will show an integrated system with panel-sizing and nesting solutions that are connected thanks to SmartConnection, its internal order management software. The focus will be on a new edge banding machine with batch size 1 and robotic automatic loading and unloading, with which Biesse aims to take an important step towards sustainability.
Ettore Vichi, Chief Regional Officer EMEA and APAC at Biesse, emphasizes his company’s new direction: “We look forward to welcoming visitors to our stand in Hall 11 and presenting the result of our development process. This is based on the concept of multi-materiality. High-tech solutions, integrated systems and plants will be on display that are specifically tailored to the needs of manufacturing companies looking to significantly improve and enhance their production performance.”
HOMAG highlights resource-saving potential in Hanover
The globally operating HOMAG Group stands for the “woodworking transformation” to a particular degree. Achim Homeier, HOMAG GmbH, Senior Director, Global Marketing & Product Management, also emphasizes the sustainability aspect in this context: “Digitization along the entire process chain of our customers offers considerable resource savings potential. In order to successfully accompany our customers worldwide on this path, HOMAG develops helpful solutions together with them – from product configuration, among other things in the web store, to production data creation including enrichment with supplier data, for example from edge or fitting manufacturers, through to material flow control and shipping and assembly planning.
As a production partner, we also offer digital solutions to permanently increase efficiency, for example value stream mapping and various service assistants to increase machine availability. Every saving of material, energy and scrap also makes a not inconsiderable contribution to relieving the burden on the environment.”
Background knowledge enables craft businesses to make successful investments
For woodworking craft businesses, the implementation of digital technologies represents a particular challenge. A lack of technical know-how here can quickly lead to difficulties in integrating new technologies. LIGNA 2023 is therefore also the right place to acquire the background knowledge needed to fully exploit the benefits of digitization. Topics such as “data security” will also not be neglected in Hannover, since, as with any management of digital data, the transformation processes of woodworking and wood processing also require a robust security strategy to prevent data loss and data leaks.
However, among the most critical factors for the success of an investment in digital technologies is ensuring compatibility to integrate existing equipment and enable the transfer of data and communication between different systems. Most importantly, however, the transformation must also be understood as a cultural change in which spaces for creative processes continue to open up for people – this will also be a topic at LIGNA 2023.