Called “an outstanding success,” the 2007 Ligna+ Fair featured displays by 1,879 exhibitors spread over 1.4 million net square feet of space in the Hannover Fairgrounds. The biennial woodworking show was held May 14-18 in Hannover, Germany.

“Attendance was up by over 10 percent, with a major increase in the number of high-caliber visitors and more guests coming from abroad than ever before,” said Stephan Kühne, a member of the managing board at Deutsche Messe, the show organizer.

International attendance in particular grew significantly, accounting for 46.5 percent of total visitors — 50,200 attendees — compared to 42.8 percent in 2005. Much of the growth came from Asia, North America and neighboring EU countries, with a 32 percent jump recorded by Asian visitors (5,800) and North America (4,500). The EU countries accounted for 28,900 attendees. According to show management, Ligna+ also drew a large amount of decision makers to the biennial fair. Visitor profiles show the number of decision makers at the show reached 85,900, or 82.3 percent of attendees.

“Ligna 2007 has delivered exactly the kind of stimuli needed for even more solid growth ahead,” Kühne said.

The next Ligna+ show will be held May 18-22, 2009. For more information, visit the Deutsche Messe Web site at

Along with machinery for lightweight panel production, highlights included new technology for lean manufacturing, modular machines with added capabilities and improvements in surface technologies. What follows is a sampling of some of the products on display.

Panel Processing Machinery

Stiles Machinery represents Homag in the United States. At Ligna+, Homag showcased a lightweight panel processing and fastening technology system featuring: Torwegge panel assembly, a Holzma panel saw, Friz surfacing equipment, a Weeke machining center, and assembly and packaging by Ligmatech. Fastening techniques included a Zimmer mechanical dowel solution, Fisherwerke chemical joining process and an ultrasound joining technique which interlocks the cover panels and honeycomb structure. CIRCLE 202

Displays by 1,879 Ligna+ exhibitors were sprawled amid the 1.4 million net square feet of space at the Hannover Fairgrounds in Germany. Of the exhibitors, 1,033 came from abroad, while 846 were from Germany.
Pictured clockwise, from top left: Kuper’s ACR-Crossrunner veneer splicer, Holz-Her’s Contriga edgebander, Biesse’s Excel CNC machining center and DMC’s Topsand sander.

Kuper displayed the ACR-CrossRunner, a crossfeed veneer splicer for the production of small furniture pieces as well as short-grain panels or door skins. Available from Stiles Machinery, the ACR comes in three working widths (800mm, 1200mm and 1600mm) and is available with stacking systems. CIRCLE 203

Offered by Stiles, the Weeke BHX 500 can machine two cabinet parts at the same time from top and bottom. Also the newly introduced Weeke Venture 05 S is designed primarily for drilling cabinet components. CIRCLE 204

Holzma’s Series 5 high-performance horizontal beam saws consist of three individual saws, HPP Models 530, 550 and 570, as well as the corresponding HPL models equipped with a solid lifting table. Features include: a new drive principle, exact alignment for the saw blade stroke, a light sensor with a dust cleaning unit and a patented mineral cast technology. CIRCLE 205

Also available from Stiles Machinery, for material handling operations, Bargstedt featured the Optimat TLF 410 for daily storing of 30 or more panels processed on a saw or a CNC router. For throughfeed cabinet assembly, Ligmatech offers the MDE 110 in four model sizes for integration into existing assembly lines, while the new MDE 120 includes the ultrasound fastening process for reportedly faster and stronger results. CIRCLE 206

Available from Altendorf America, the Brandt profi line KDF 600 Highflex Series is now offered on all machine sizes above the 500 Series (edge thickness 8mm) up to the 900 Series (edge thickness 20mm). Variable feed speed is now available as standard above the 600 Series (edge thickness 12mm). CIRCLE 207

Holz-Her debuted the Contriga edgebander with pneumatically controlled covers that automatically move upward with the push of a button, uncovering the aggregates. The Contriga can process workpiece thicknesses up to 60mm with an edge cross-section of 30mm by 65mm. The feeding area provides options for putting on edges individually. The magazine processes roll and strip products up to 65mm in height and 30mm in thickness. CIRCLE 208

Also by Holz-Her, the Pro-Master S 7023 CNC flexible machining center features a console table and four pneumatically movable feeding aids for easy feeding and extracting of heavy workpieces. The drive stand, which moves the processing head in the X direction, is mounted on linear guides and is driven by a rack up to a traverse speed of 70 m/min. The processing head in Y direction is traversed with up to 50 m/min and also is moved on linear guides. CIRCLE 209

Holz-Her also showed an upgraded version of its Cut 70 pressure beam saw, now featuring the CutControl2 system and EasyPlan optimization software. Dimensioning as well as referencing measures and an individual adjustment of function and parameter settings are possible. The Cut 70 also has an angle cutting device for freely definable angle cuttings. CIRCLE 210

Available from SCM GROUP, the Stefani Evolution SB One single-sided squaring-edgebanding machine is designed for the sequence working of panels with different dimensions, edges and types of processing. It is equipped with a portal feeding system that inserts up to 18 panels per minute into the machine, lengthwise and crosswise. Features include a 24-roller magazine gluing unit, corner rounding unit and a grooving/milling unit. CIRCLE 211

“Attendance was up by over 10 percent, with a major increase in the number of high-caliber visitors and more guests coming from abroad than ever before.”

— Stephan Kühne

Also available from SCM, the new Gabbiani Flexima panel-sizing system for small- to medium-size companies is based around the modular Flexcut system of mobile units with grippers. The Flexima can be fitted with up to four Flexcut units to match individual user’s requirements and the complexity of the cutting patterns being processed. CIRCLE 212

New from DMC, the Topsand K is a multi-function calibrating-sanding center designed for complex applications. The Topsand K is modular and can be fitted with a wide range of operating units; the sanding center is available with up to six main operating units. Up to three service units can be added at the outfeed, and it is available in the United States from SCM. CIRCLE 213

Represented in the United States by Delmac Machinery Group, the Busellato interpolated 5-axes machining unit with continuous C-axis rotation allows the liquid-cooled spindle, with a 19-hp motor, to keep the tool in contact with the material during complex operations. The head can machine at negative angles and the machine is programmable with Genesis Evolution and/or 5-axis contouring programs. CIRCLE 214

At 12 crosscuts per minute, Mayer’s new high-speed PS2 Z120 offers a high output with a 4.7-in. blade projection (optional 7.8-in. cutting height) and fast traverse speeds. Mayer is available through DMG. CIRCLE 215

The Dott. Bonacin Pinta case clamp can be used to assemble up to 1,200 items in eight hours. It uses photoelectric cells and encoders to automatically adjust both for height and length. Pressing strength is also adjustable, with pressure supplied by electromotors. It is available through DMG. CIRCLE 216

Also from DMG, the Omal Livello 4 machining center performs boring, milling, gluing, dowel and hinge insertion. The machine can be adapted to various operating units. CIRCLE 217

Biesse offers the new Excel TS multiple-head processing center. The machine features: customizable working units that move independently along the X axis and a range of tool holder magazines on board the working units and on board the base for a capacity of more than 100 tools. CIRCLE 218

The Artech brand from Biesse debuted the Akron 400 edgebander for the entry-level segment. The Akron 400 complements the industrial level Akron 800 and the medium-capacity Akron 600 edgebanders. Each machine is FPH certified for minimized wood dust emissions. CIRCLE 219

Busellato’s 5-axis machining unit. Balestrini’s Fox T tenoning system.

Also available from Biesse, the Selco range of panel saws now includes the EB75 and EB95 models designed for the smaller shop. The machine can be equipped with a touchscreen monitor while blade replacement operations and scoring blade adjustments all are performed on the square fence side of the machine. CIRCLE 220

The Performer has been added to the line of Comil automatic clamping machines. Available from Biesse, the machine can be configured both as an entry-level version or a self-setting double beam version for high production. The Performer can be integrated with automatic stapling devices: from four guns to the more sophisticated stapling robot. CIRCLE 221

Giben introduced its Tetra HSC cutting system for cutting high books of panels. Two small blades, each with a thickness of 4mm, share the cutting strain for optimal cutting quality of the top and bottom boards of the book. CIRCLE 222

New items from Masterwood included the Project 300 and Project 400 CNC machining centers. The Project 300 has a “tubeless” type working table and “spline” type matrix working table with vacuum pods and reference stops for panels with or without overhang. In addition to the routing units, the drilling head has a built-in grooving saw. CIRCLE 223

Striebig showed a line of panel saws, including Compact, Standard, Evolution and Control models. They feature a traversing saw beam, fixed vertical cutting points, 90° swivelling saw unit and a moving support frame. The vertical saws are available from Colonial Saw. CIRCLE 224

Solid Wood Machinery

Weinig’s Multipower moulder.
Interzum Shines Light on New Developments

Light was the theme at biennial Interzum 2007, with hardware companies displaying ways to incorporate LED lights into casework, introducing mechanisms that allow drawers and cabinets to open with just a light touch and highlighting supplies related to lightweight panels.

LED lights, which feature low temperature and lots of color choices, brightened displays of companies like Häfele and Hettich. They provided ideas for adding a decorative touch in shelves, drawers, doors and furniture, with some applications showing functionality as well — lighting the interiors of drawers and cabinets. Light strips and sheets also gave an attractive glow to kitchen and bath displays.

With the soft-close feature now prevalent in the majority of drawer slides and hinges, the new introduction in functional hardware was mechanisms for “handle-free” opening and closing of drawers. Most showed three different configurations: a totally mechanical system, partly mechanical and partly electric, and one that is totally electric.

With the total electrically driven systems, drawers and doors will open and close automatically with just the lightest touch anywhere on the drawer front. The combination and totally mechanical systems require a little more pressure and also may require the push to be in a specific spot on the front. But in all cases, the result is a bank of drawers or cabinets visually unmarred by knobs or pulls.

Honeycomb Panels Create a Buzz

Creating interest across the show floor was the introduction of products for lightweight panels. Offering strength with minimal weight, honeycomb panels reportedly soon are to be incorporated into mass-produced casework. Several hardware manufacturers at Interzum displayed products designed for use in lightweight panels.

Surfaces Go for Natural Look

Also popular at Interzum were panels and surfacing materials in realistic woodgrains and stone patterns, a trend spurred by advancements in printing technology.

Lamigraf, for example, recently added a new printing machine to do five-color printing, expanding the quality of woodgrain replication. There also are continued refinements with embossing and other techniques to provide the tactile effect of real wood. In an innovative twist, Suddekor’s “Fragrance Foil” process adds scents to the varnishing process, so the finished product releases the smell of a species.

With regards to species preferences, American walnut and bamboo were the most-mentioned “hot” sellers. Producers of surfacing materials also said dark woods like wenge are still popular, as are exotic looks, such as rosewood and zebrano — mixed with warm fruitwoods, like pear, apple, plum and cherry. Tom Drazen, North American sales manager for Schattdecor, said, for example, that a popular look is to pair a “plain” fruitwood on kitchen cabinets with an exotic, like jatoba, in the floor.

While wood predominated, other materials, such as leather, were shown in interesting ways. For example, Hornschuch showed a prototype of its Skai vinyl film in “alligator” used on a cabinet door. Julius Blum showed a prototype kitchen drawer with a leather bottom and sides. Also unique was Stone-Veneer, a paper-thin real stone surface introduced by board producer Richter Furniertechnik. — Helen Kuhl

Among the products displayed by the Weinig Group, the Multipower added-value moulder processes workpieces lengthwise and also can be used for end profiling. Workpieces are tensioned pneumatically and fed past the tool manually. The end slide can be tilted at an angle of up to 60°, so even miter profiles do not pose any problems. CIRCLE 225

Also from the Weinig Group, the Unirex 2000 CNC-controlled drilling center with integrated crosscut saws is for drilling and milling of window and door components. CNC collets enable the complete processing of planed wood in a clamping device from all sides, Weinig says. CIRCLE 226

Part of the Weinig Group, Raimann presented the SpeedRip 600, a new generation of high-performance, multi-blade circular saws for processing more than 20 boards per minute. CIRCLE 227

Dimter, a subsidiary of Weinig, displayed the OptiCut 45 throughfeed cutoff saw for high-production applications. The OptiCut’s VarioSpeed infeed system reduces the gaps between boards and allows the saw to cut without interruption. HighGrip feed rollers ensure effective gripping to transfer the board with high acceleration and deceleration rates. CIRCLE 228

Grecon, also of the Weinig Group, presented the CombiPact fingerjointing line for vertical and horizontal profiles. Features include a double milling cutter unit, glue feed with integrated wear-resistant glue pump and touchscreen for setting the press. CIRCLE 229

Available from Solid Wood Systems, the Balestrini Fox-T CNC tenoning system for chair manufacturing features 4-axis interpolated tool movement and positioning of seven axes, with user-friendly interfaces. CIRCLE 230

Martin presented its T27 FleX shaper with a tilting range of 2° by 46° for easy setup of complex moulding patterns. Cutting height and angle are structured for the operator. After activating the tool, the controller will indicate the location to reference the tool in relation to the table and fence jaws. CIRCLE 231

Martin also displayed the T60 PreXision sliding-table saw with a tiltable blade of 46° to the left for a total cutting-agle range of 92°. The maximum cutting height is 72mm and the maximum blade diameter is 315mm. CIRCLE 232

Ogden offers the Neva Orbit thin-cutting frame saw, featuring a new up-and-down method of movement for cutting lamellas/veneer slats. During the downstroke, the cutting motion is lineal. At the bottom of the stroke, the saw frame swings out of the cut in the same direction as the wood is moving. Once the saw frame has retracted from the cut, the frame then travels back to the top, remaining out of contact with the wood. CIRCLE 233

Atlantic Machinery offers the Paolini T160 and TX160 heavy-duty five-speed shapers, available with or without tilting-spindle capability, sliding table or tenoning table attachment. Other features include a unique adjustable table opening for cutters and a tilting fence assembly. CIRCLE 234

Intorex’s TMC-1500/3000 CNC machining center has five interpolated axes and a total of up to nine axes for turning, milling, shaping, sanding and drilling of any type of leg or column, with the capbility to mechanize a different profile in each face of the piece. The feeding of square or rectangular pieces is fully automatic, with multiple loading and unloading performed with a conveyor belt. Intorex is represented in North America by Goodspeed Machine. CIRCLE 235

WoodEye debuted a high-speed planer scanner, an expanded hardwood vision platform and a new user interface. The WoodEye Sorter for high-speed planer mills is able to scan up to 2,700 fpm and specializes in dimensional measurement, wane sawing measuring and measuring of unplaned areas. It also detects defects such as knots and resin pockets. CIRCLE 236

The Stegherr KF Coping Center is designed for cutting to length, coping and drilling of casement and frame profiles. Available from E&R System Technik, the KF offers tear-free end scribing by means of two HSK 63 counter-rotating milling spindles with servo-controlled height adjustment. CIRCLE 237

Wintersteiger’s DSB thin-cutting bandsaw has a modular twinhead configuration of two to six saws with the sawing units in a parallel arrangement. It has continuous precision block feeding, high output and flexibility. CIRCLE 238

E-Scan strength grading machine for structural wood pieces provides MOE measurement by laser interferometer and density computation by dynamic weighting and volume measurement. Available from LuxScan Technologies, E-Scan can be integrated in a cross conveyor and features inline measurement and the capability to produce extensive production reports. CIRCLE 239

Other Products

Among the products on display by Dantherm was the NFZ3000, featuring 14% increased filter area per module and a 40% increased outlet area through the regeneration fans. It also provides: 26% increased clean air chamber volume above the filter bags; improved cleaning on demand by an intelligent filter controller; and an emptying system with a chain, through the rotary valve or into a bin. CIRCLE 240

Bosch Rexroth featured its servo drive concepts in a number of machines, including Biesse’s “Splitter,” a machining plant for continuous production of panel-type material. Using a hybrid cable, users can daisy-chain up to 20 decentralized IndraDrive Mi servo drives in a line. The hybrid cable combines both power supply and real-time command communication through a Sercos interface. CIRCLE 241

Lamello introduced four new joining products at Ligna+. The Fixo clamping biscuit allows connecting and clamping of a workpiece with one strike. Connex is a biscuit-shaped interlocking device which connects and aligns two workpieces at any angle. The Invis line has been expanded with the SlipLock and EasAlign. SlipLock is a 5mm pin which extends and retracts within completely enclosed material with the invisible, magnetic fastening tool Invis. EasAlign is the new handrail joinery technique developed in cooperation with Crown Heritage Stairs. The products are available in the United States from Invis. CIRCLE 242

Hoffmann debuted a new system for producing wooden flooring using a dovetail key. The company says the system can be used on both interior and exterior flooring. CIRCLE 242

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