HANNNOVER, GERMANY - Organizers of LIGNA, the giant biennial wood manufacturing trade show, will launch a companion conference series during the off-years. The first one, to be held May 3-4, 2016 in Hannover, Germany, will carry the theme of "Integrated Manufacturing in the Woodworking Industries - the Woodworking Community on its way to Industry 4.0."

The conference is intended as as a complement to the global LIGNA trade fair, staged in odd-numbered years. LIGNA 2015 drew 96,000 attendees 1,552 exhibitors, 56 percent of them from outside Germany. 

"Due to an unprecedented high degree of product customization, Batch Size 1 production has become a common requirement in the woodworking industry," say officials at Deutsche Messe, which runs LIGNA and the new alternate-year companion conference. "The need for a combination of integrated, intelligent production plants and flexible, highly efficient stand-alone machining centers is steadily increasing. You will need to envisage upfront how an overall model can be strategically look like and can be implemented."
 

Questions for Industry 4.0
How will business models of the future change and what effects will those changes have?
What requirements will be placed on our enterprises, on strategic decisions, processes, and workforce?
What can we learn from best-practices of other industries, and where do we stand in the woodworking industries?

The conference will focus on approaches required to implement such high flexibility within the production process, generally known under the phrase, "Industry 4.0."
 

The Event Location: Robot Central

The Robotation Academy on the LIGNA trade fair grounds, will be the event location for a series of LIGNA Conferences with changing themes each time. The launch will be the one and a half-day LIGNA Conference from May 3 and 4, 2016 presenting "Integrated Manufacturing in the Woodworking Industry – The Woodworking Community on its way to Industry 4.0".
 
The international conference addresses decision makers and Management Level of the secondary wood production industries, e.g.., from the furniture industry, woodworking trades/crafts, interior finishing, as well as furniture and wood construction.
 
"The LIGNA lecture program will be a top-level lecture series going in-depth into intelligently linked, advanced production and logistics processes," according to its promoters. Integrated and intelligent manufacturing continues to be a global industry focus, and due to an unprecedented high degree of product individualization, Batch Size 1 production has become a requirement in the woodworking industry. "The need for a combination of integrated, intelligent production plants and flexible, highly efficient stand-alone machining centers is steadily increasing," say LIGNA fair officials. "High flexibility within the production processes and automated material handling are the key factors to boost productivity and achieving higher efficiency and productivity."
Wood industry analysts say that to adopt a sustainable approach to investment requires a vision for future, so machinery and other technology is added not just to solve bottleneck, with with a larger overall plan. "You need to envisage upfront how an overall model can be strategically look like and can be implemented," according to LIGNA. H 
 
The Robotation Academy building is in the "heart of LIGNA," an event location being used for the display of high-tech robots. Starting with this May 2016 event, the Robotation Academy will be the location for a series of LIGNA Conferences with changing themes. The launch from May 3 to 4, 2016 presents "Integrated Manufacturing in the Woodworking Industry – The Woodworking Community on its way to Industry 4.0." The international Conference addresses decision makers and Management Level of the secondary industries – from the furniture industry, woodworking trades/crafts, interior finishing, as well as furniture and wood construction.. It also reminds wood industry executives about the every-two-year LIGNA trade fair, the next of which will be held again May 22-26, 2017.
The Robotation Academy is located on the Hannover Fairgrounds, site of LIGNA. 

More detailed information on program, speakers, and registration for the 2016 LIGNA Conference  to be held at the Robotation Academy will be available here in early February 2016. The Robotation Academy has a year-round, fully functional complement of all automation technologies typically used in manufacturing operations.

Its permanent installations include 12 industrial robots and peripheral devices, covering the full spectrum of electronic automation systems and IT solutions for industry.The Academy currently has six working demonstration plants that illustrate the interrelationships between robotics, automation and IT systems. 

LIGNA Changes Show Layout

Separately, LIGNA trade show planners announced a new arrangement of exhibits and new categories, in a dramatic rearrangement of the show's traditional layout. One example: LIGNA will merge the “Solid Wood Processing,” “Furniture Industry” and “Skilled Woodworking Trades” categories into a new “Tools and Machinery for Custom and Mass Production” category.
 
“Exhibitor feedback points to outstanding business dialog, promising leads and strong international growth," said Christian Pfeiffer, the Director in charge of LIGNA at Deutsche Messe. "For us and our partner, the German Woodworking Machinery Manufacturers’ Association, this provides a good basis upon which to introduce a number of structural changes for the upcoming LIGNA season,” 
 
LIGNA, which is held at the Hannover Exhibition Center in Hannover, Germany and runs from 22 to 26 May 2017, will feature this revamped layout that show organizers say "will boost efficiency for all trade visitors and provide a more comprehensive, user-centric overview of all key technologies."
 
"The market for woodworking and processing machines is no longer strictly segmented according to user scale or size, and technology types that were once distinct are now converging," Pfeiffer says. "We want to provide a more efficient trade fair experience for all the professionals in attendance by enabling them to move quickly and conveniently between exhibitors of relevance to them." 

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