HANNOVER, GERMANY - The world’s largest show for woodworking machinery and technology opened today in Hannover, Germany. Held May 22-26, the 2017 Ligna fair will host more than 1,500 exhibitors from 45 nations, with exhibits spread across more than 1.3 million square feet of net display space.

The number of show visitors is projected to reach 93,000, said Dr. Andreas Gruchow, member of Deutsche Messe’s Management Board. “Ligna 2017 is where key solutions and applications will be showcased. It’s where business relationships and networks will be built that will benefit the entire wood industry for years to come,” he added.

Debuting at the show, Homag’s Tapio machine platform runs through a manufacturing facility – linking old and new machines using the Internet of Things. It’s accessible through smart watches, tablets, and phones.

A Silicon Valley company, Electronics for Imaging, is showing its new Cubik technology for industrial digital inkjet wood decoration.

Resawing and blade technology is a focus at this year’s show, featuring iBlade’s fully automatic control and measuring system for circular saw blades, Zeller+Gmelin’s innovative wood release agents, and Leuco’s carbide and diamond tipped machine tools.

Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) technology, a highly efficient process of tracking items through production processes, is a focus this year.

Garnering lots of attention is the e-stove from HE Energy GmbH, a nano-fueled cogeneration unit for producing heat, electricity, and hot water for the home.

Weinig’s entire range of solid wood and panel processing is on display this year in a 12,000-square-foot space. The latest planing, profiling, cutting, optimizing, and jointing technology will be showcased.

Currently on the show floor, Woodworking Network editors Karen Koenig and Will Sampson have identified several popular demonstrations so far:

  • Arminius’ contour sanding head for CNC applications
  • TigerStop’s TigerSaw 1000 automated crosscut system
  • Vitap’s Eclipse contour bander
  • Griggio’s Unica

New to Ligna this year is a revamped, thematic layout to the show, including two new display categories: Surface Technology in Hall 17, and Machine Components and Automation Technology in Hall 16.

Located in Halls 11 to 15 and in 27 will be a new display, “Tools and Machinery for Custom and Mass Production.” This display includes machinery for processing solid wood and panel products, including tools for crafting custom products. Hall 11 will also feature the Ligna Connected Factory, featuring networked and RFID manufacturing.

Rounding out the themes are Wood-Based Panel Production and Energy from Wood displays in Hall 26, Sawmill Technology in Hall 25, and Forestry Technology located in an open-air site and outdoor pavilions.

“The new layout of themes reflects the fact that, in modern woodworking, the type of technology used is more about what’s needed to get the job done, than about the size or scale of the user’s operation,” Gruchow said. “In other words, new technologies and their applications are converging. Ligna brings these innovations to life, making it easier for visitors to experience all the most relevant innovations for their particular needs.” 

Stay tuned for more on Ligna 2017.