Are you ready for a connected factory? Learn about Industry 4.0
February 19, 2018 | 5:23 pm CST
Georg Frey, Lignum Consulting

PASADENA, Calif. -  Is your woodworking shop ready for Industry 4.0?

Woodworking industry expert Georg Frey, takes the mystery out of Industry 4.0 and explains how the "Internet of Things" can advance wood products manufacturing. Frey, the president of Lignum Consulting, Inc., will address the subject in his presentation on Industry 4.0: Are you ready for the connected factory? The presentation is part of the Cabinets Track at the 2018 Cabinets & Closets Conference, March 27 in Pasadena, California. The day-long Cabinets & Closets Conference precedes the Cabinets & Closets Expo, which takes place March 28 and 29 at the Pasadena Convention Center.

Frey will discuss the origin and vision behind Industry 4.0, "the fusion of production, logistics and information technologies," along with the seven key elements necessary for a connected factory: Product, Technology, Strategy, Data Integration, Organization, Logistics, and Human Resources.

The company's proven method of analysis will provide attendees with a clear picture of the current status of their organization, including strengths and weaknesses, as they relate to the connected factory. Questions to consider include: "Is your company strategy aligned towards the connected factory?"; "Is your product offering in alignment with your market needs and capabilities?" and "Is your organizational model defined and can it be used to drive integrated processes?" As they create their company's profile and learn how to evaluate their business, attendees will also have an opportunity able to rate their company against those of other participants.

A well-known speaker on the topic, Frey said recently, "It is important for companies to get out of the habit of running a small shop like a traditional cabinet shop whereby the thought process is 'give Joe a sketch and he’ll work it out. Successful start-ups are more techie and do not necessarily come from a cabinetmaking background. But they understand e-commerce and integrated processes."

Frey has been working as a consultant for the wood and furniture industry since 1999 and has extensive experience in company development planning and implementation of lean manufacturing systems. He studied wood technology at the University of Applied Sciences in Rosenheim and completed an apprenticeship as a cabinetmaker. Frey also holds the degree of an MBA (SDA Bocconi, Milan). He has served as president of North Carolina-based Lignum Consulting since 2015.

For more ways to optimize your wood products production, along with design trends and news, be sure to attend the Cabinets Track at the 2018 Cabinets & Closets Conference & Expo. In addition to "Are You Ready for Industry 4.0" topics in the track include: "What to Charge" (FDMC's pricing survey); "Expanding from Residential to Commercial Markets;" "The Future of Cabinet & Hardware Design;" and the roundtable discussion "What's Your Problem" by the Cabinet Makers Association.

In addition to Cabinets, there are two other tracks: one on closets business management, and another on lean production management. Attendees who register for any track are free to move among the conference sessions. The conference also includes a highly topical opening keynote on "The Business Case for Diversity" by Whitney Pyle, vice president and COO of Advanced Cabinet Systems, as well as a plant tour to Semihandmade, maker of high-end replacement doors for IKEA cabinets.

For more information or to register for the event, visit

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

Profile picture for user karenkoenig
About the author
Karen Koenig | Editor

Karen M. Koenig has more than 30 years of experience in the woodworking industry, including visits to wood products manufacturing facilities throughout North America, Europe and Asia. As editor of special publications under the Woodworking Network brand, including the Red Book Best Practices resource guide and website, Karen’s responsibilities include writing, editing and coordinating of editorial content. She is also a contributor to FDMC and other Woodworking Network online and print media owned by CCI Media. She can be reached at