LIGNA 2023 opens with a rush

Crowds can't wait for Ligna 2023 to open on May 15, 2023.

Photo By Deutsche Messe

HANNOVER, Germany — A crush of people crowded into the turnstiles at LIGNA 23, eagerly waiting to be some of the first to see the latest technologies in the broad and diverse world of the wood industry. From forestry and sawmill equipment, panel processing and finishing equipment, processes, and software, and just about every imaginable type of product on display.

Sustainability and digitalization are two overriding themes, according to Luigi De Vito, President of the European Federation of Woodworking Machinery Manufactures and general manager of the SCM Group.

Plants and green energy were resplendent throughout many of the 1,300 exhibitors from 47 countries around the world — including 180 first-time exhibitors — with displays spread across roughly 1.15 million net square feet (more than 105,000 square meters) of exhibit space. 

More than 75,000 visitors from around the world -- with estimates ranging as high as 90,000 people -- were expected to attend the show during the five-day run of the show, according to show management. The show is jointly organized by Deutsche Messe and the VDMA Woodworking Machinery Association.

Ligna Despite these gaudy numbers, the voluminous halls in building after building of the Hannover fairgrounds accommodated them all. And, while the show floor was a hive of activity it never seemed rushed or crushed.

"Everyone concerned is looking forward to LIGNA with enormous anticipation, and the industry can hardly wait to get back together again at last – live and in person. Especially in the wood industry, touch and feel as well as the possibility of direct experience and feedback play a major role. That is why we are looking forward to five days packed with innovations on the stands, spectacular showcases on the open-air site, and concentrated know-how covering all aspects of wood as an in-demand raw material," said Dr. Jochen Köckler, Chairman of the Board of Management of Deutsche Messe AG.

"Even though the current downward trend in new orders suggests a production decline in 2023, the fact is that the woodworking machine manufacturers are looking forward to the upcoming five days of LIGNA full of optimism. After a four-year hiatus, they, at last, have the opportunity to show the world the concentrated innovative power the industry has to offer," explained Dr. Bernhard Dirr, Managing Director of VDMA Woodworking Machines.


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Larry Adams | Editor

Larry Adams is a Chicago-based writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about woodworking, he has covered science, metrology, metalworking, industrial design, quality control, imaging, Swiss and micromanufacturing . He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).