Woodworking's largest events: Ligna & interzum take center stage
March 22, 2017 | 5:56 pm CDT

Photo By Deutsche Messe/Leuco

The woodworking industry’s two largest trade shows, interzum and Ligna will take center stage in May, with thousands of visitors converging in Germany for the global events.

Innovations at interzum

The show for materials, components, design and interior finishing, interzum runs May 16-19 in Cologne. Sponsored by Koelnmesse, the fair will feature more than 1,600 exhibitors from 60-plus countries. Spread across 10 halls and 1.94 million (gross) square feet of space will be innovative products for the manufacture of furniture, cabinets and related products, including flexible hardware and storage solutions, connectivity enhancements, panel developments, and new surface colors, textures and finishes.

Photo: Koelnmesse/Formica

“It is our aspiration to embrace the entire range of exhibitors. From large, well-established corporations to up-and-coming, recently founded companies,” noted Matthias Pollmann, interzum project manager.

Display categories include: Materials & Nature, such as wood, veneers, decorative overlays, panels, edges and surface treatments, adhesives, embossing cylinders and press plates (Halls 4.2, 6 and 10.2); Function & Components, such as lighting, furniture and cabinet products, and hardware (Halls 4, 5, 7 and 8); and Textile & Machinery for upholstery and bedding (Halls 9, 10.1 and 11).

Photo: Koelnmesse/Hettich

A focus of this year’s special event area is “Upcycling and sustainable materials cycles.” “We have chosen a topic that will provide visitors to the special event with long-term, sustainable momentum in their daily work,” Pollmann said. “The fact that visitors will be able to put what they have learned to immediate use is what makes the Piazza such a success.”

The 2017 attendance is projected to surpass the previous show, which was attended by more than 57,500 visitors from 143 countries. For more information visit interzum.com.

Photo: Deutsche Messe/Homag

Advancing technology at Ligna

The world’s largest show for woodworking machinery and technology, Ligna will be held May 22-26 in Hannover. The 2017 Ligna fair will play host to more than 1,500 exhibitors from 45 nations, with exhibits spread across more than 1.3 million square feet of net display space, according to show organizers Deutsche Messe.

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.

Photo: Deutsche Messe/Biesse

The themes for this year’s event include: “Integrated Manufacturing – on the Way to Industry 4.0; Processing of Plastics and Composites;” and “Access to Resources and Technology” at the Wood Industry Summit.  “This year, the exhibitors are presenting a wide array of innovations for intelligent networked manufacturing systems, not to mention new ideas and strategies for the many value-creation networks at play in the wood processing and woodworking industries,” Gruchow said.

A special Ligna 2017 preview held February at the show fairgrounds, also included a presentation from Wolfgang Poschl, chairman of the VDMA Woodworking Machinery division and also chairman of the management board of Michael Weinig AG. The VDMA is also an organizer of the Ligna fair.

Photo: Deutsche Messe/Weinig

Poschl noted that the global market for woodworking machinery is upbeat. German-based woodworking machinery manufacturers in particular had a record year in 2016, and 2017 forecasts are also upbeat. “One of the key drivers of this growth is digitalization, which is experiencing rapid uptake across all sectors,” he added.

Poschl noted that even small, stand-alone machines can be digitally integrated into the production flow, and that shops of all sizes can take advantage of integration to improve their productivity and profitability.

Photo: Deutsche Messe/SCM

New categories, layout at Ligna

New to Ligna 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. Gruchow noted the technologies displayed in Hall 16 also highlight the theme of Industry 4.0: the networking of machines and automation to improve efficiency in high-production as well as small-scale environments.

Photo: Deutsche Messe/Burkle

Located in Halls 11 to 15 and in 27 will be a new display, “Tools and Machinery for Custom and Mass Production.” According to show management, 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.” For more information, visit ligna.de.


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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 karen.koenig@woodworkingnetwork.com