MEXICO CITY -  Thousands of wood industry professionals from throughout North and Central America converged on Mexico City for the Magna Expo Mueblera trade fair. Mexico's largest woodworking industry event, Magna Expo Mueblera took place Jan. 17-20 at the Centro Banamex exhibition center in Mexico City.

Exhibits by 210 companies from 11 countries, and representing hundreds of top woodworking brands, were spread across the convention floor. Organized by Hannover Fairs Mexico, a subsidiary of Deutsche Messe, Magna Expo Mueblera consists of two parallel exhibitions: Magna Expo Mueblera Industrial and Magna Expo Mobiliario e Interiores. Magna Expo Mueblera Industrial covers machinery, tools and solutions for woodworking and wood processing, while Magna Expo Mobiliario e Interiores spotlights end products: furniture, interior decorating, household appliances and floor coverings.

“This Magna Expo Mueblera was more international than ever,” said Christian Pfeiffer, global director of LIGNA and Woodworking Events for Deutsche Messe. “The new tradeshow format proved to be a resounding success: The live demonstrations of processing machines and the supporting program comprising a Technology Park and conference were extremely well received by attendees. That the exhibitor lineup included many international market leaders such as Altendorf GmbH, Biesse Group, Felder Group, Leitz GmbH & Co. KG, SCM Group, Stiles Machinery Inc. and Michael Weinig AG/Holzher, also speaks volumes. And we were also very pleased to see three new national pavilions – from Germany, China and Sweden.”

The next Magna Expo Mueblera will be held in Mexico City from Jan. 16-18, 2019.

In his opening remarks to kick off the fair, Pfeiffer noted the "excellent outlook" for the Mexican woodworking industry and the integral role trade shows play in introducing innovations, solutions and machinery to the marketplace. He added, "Magna Expo Mueblera is the industry's most dynamic trade fair in this part of the world. It is the ideal platform for sharing ideas and expertise. As the organizers of LIGNA, the world's leading trade show for woodworking and wood processing, we are delighted at the success of the event here in Mexico."

Bernd Rohde, general manager of Hannover Fairs Mexico, and Jürgen Köppel, president of Eumabois (European Federation of Woodworking Machinery Manufacturers), also spoke before a crowd eager to enter the show floor. "It is very important for our final customers in the Mexican market and for us, that there is a marketplace created like Magna Expo Mueblera, which is giving a positive impact to business in this market," Koppel said.

Many of the exhibitors also commented on the importance of trade shows to showcase technology to the growing Mexican wood products industry. Mexico ranks as Latin America’s second largest economy and is a member of the G20. Mexico also has 12 free trade agreements in place with 46 countries.According to past information provided by show management, Mexico’s furniture industry has been valued at an estimated $1.78 billion – and looks to continue growing. Likewise, the market for forestry products has been valued at more than $2 billion, while the value of machinery imports for these industries is in excess of $3 billion.

"It's a very important, growing market," said Sebastien Russier, area manager for Felder KG. The company, which has a large presence in the Latin America woodworking industry, showed its range of technology, including equipment for solid wood machining and panel processing.

Leitz also has a Latin America subsidiary, said Köppel, CEO of the tooling company. Köppel also noted the importance of woodworking shows like Magna Expo Mueblera for showcasing the new techniques and technology. "Mexico has a big influence not only on Central America, but also South America," Köppel said, remarking on the good growth rate exhibited by the Mexican woodworking market, particularly in the past few years.

"We also see good potential to grow in Mexico and other Latin American countries. That's why we're here — we want to stay on the inside track," said Altendorf Managing Director Joerg Mayer. This year marked the company's second as an exhibitor, although its subsidiary in Brazil has been selling machinery in the Latin American market for more than 20 years. "Last year's show was good for us, so we have high expectations for this year," Mayer added.

High expectations were also echoed by Christian Vollmers, president of Stiles Machinery. "Stiles has started to actively promote and present not only Homag, but other Stiles' businesses to the Mexican market," he said. "This show provides great opportunities and we're prepared to take up the challenge and help our Mexican customers grow and succeed."

Stiles Machinery is also enlarging its sales and service to the marketplace, and has added Sergio Carillo to its team to coordinate the effort. "The Mexican woodworking market is going through an exciting time of growth," Carillo said. "We want to make an impact by providing solutions."

Noting that SCM Group Mexico had approximately 350 visitors over the four days, General Manager Marco Pedronici said along with closing some deals on-site, "During the show alone, we closed $300,000 (USD) in deals and we expect to close more than $1 million in sales over the next three to four weeks." Pedronici cited the show's development under Hannover Fairs Mexico, along with good market conditions, for contributing to a successful event.

Biesse’s Product Manager Marco Paradisi also commented on the growing Mexican woodworking industry and the need for events to showcase the latest technology to the marketplace. On display at the company's large booth were CNC routers, as well as panel saws and other panel processing equipment.

Exhibiting at the show for the first time, Mereen-Johnson used Magna Expo Mueblera as a platform to showcase the company's products for solid wood machining, and also to grow its presence in Mexico, said John Branch, vice president of sales. Through the U.S. International Trade Administration's Gold Key Service, the company was also there to meet with potential overseas agents to help market its products and e to the Latin American audience.

"We were there for the first time and brought our innovations to the fair," said Marco Rojas, general director at GIMATEC S.A. "We have had a very good experience in presenting our products and our company to the Mexican audience."

Material handling provider Combi-Lift was another first-time exhibitor. The industrial woodworking show also included exhibits from a wide range of technology suppliers, including Weinig, Holz-Her, Sideco, CNC Mexico, Leuco, Freud, Nederman, and Jowat, as well as finishing specialists Anest Iwata and Graco.

"Magna Expo Mueblera is a great show to meet with potential customers and showcase the latest products and technologies," said Tomas Flores, sales manager of Logosal AB, based in Sweden. "Definitely a show not to be missed if you want to sell in the Mexican market.”

Also noteworthy at this year's Magna Expo Mueblera was the presence at the show of the VDMA, the German industry association representing manufacturers of machines, equipment and tools for woodworking, and the first-ever German Pavilion, featuring exhibits by more than a dozen companies, including Dieffenbacher, Hans Weber, Kuper, Pallman, Venjakob, Grecon and Siempelkamp.

Conference sessions on CNC machines, automation and Industry 4.0, and key trends and design directions in the furniture industry, were also among the highlights at Magna Expo Mueblera.

“As the CEO of a German tooling systems company and President of Eumabois I was delighted to witness Deutsche Messe’s success in applying the trade show expertise it has accumulated over many decades to further boost the appeal and level of professionalism of Magna Expo Mueblera," Koppel stated. "I am confident that this highly professional international trade show and its supporting program of seminars on topical issues, such as the latest technology trends, will help bolster Mexico City’s standing as a trade fair location well beyond Mexico’s borders. There is no doubt that Mexico is an attractive market, and we at Eumabois are delighted that Deutsche Messe has succeeded in creating an excellent local platform for it."