Woodworking made izy: Standardized interface initiative underway
September 30, 2021 | 3:45 pm CDT
LIGNA

Pictured left to right: Stephanie Wagner, Dr, Raphael Prati, Ernst Esslinger, and  Alexander Broos. Luca Fohn is in the screen behind.

HANNOVER, Germany – "Woodworking made izy" is a new initiative that will standardize the interface to connect same and different brands of machinery, and the machines to customers' Manufacturing Execution Systems. This means no individual interfaces need to be programmed and the overall control of the production process is easily put in place.

Announced at LIGNA, the project was initiated by a team of seven major producers of woodworking technology: Biesse, Burkle, Homag, IMA Schelling, SCM, Weber and Weinig. The project has been named izy, inspired by universal languages, and it has solved a communication problem in an easy and streamlined way, the group said. 

For the seven companies, the decision to team up and put aside each individual’s competitive standpoint and provide a joint solution to their customers while vastly improving the manufacturing processes was groundbreaking, noted Biesse's Dr, Raphael Prati, chairman of the marketing group.

Moderated by Stephanie Wagner of LIGNA, other speakers in the presentation included Homag's Ernst Esslinger, chairman of the joint working group,  Alexander Broos of VDW/Umati, Michael Ober from IKEA Industry, and Luca Föhn, Borm-Informatik.

As explained by the group, "Instead of having to develop several individual interfaces, which demand weeks of technical expertise to create tailored software and interface, customers can now benefit from the collective effort that the seven companies have put in, working together over the past three years.

"Woodworking made izy is not about individual success, it is about each company’s ability to work for the greater achievement of an efficient ecosystem, whereby they each provide skills and know-how, from technical, engineering to marketing, interacting for the very first time in an interconnected system for the sheer beauty of offering a solution needed by their customers."

LIGNA
Michael Ober spoke on how the standardized interface will benefit manufacturers like IKEA, which utilize multiple machinery brands in the production.

“Digitalization makes everybody’s job easier, we really had to set in place unique and efficient standards so we all now speak the same language," noted Esslinger.

“[Establishing] data exchange with reduced costs in a flexible way, is very much needed for the industry, particularly for small-medium sized companies,” added Fohn.

The project has also received support from woodworking associations Eumabois, VDMA, VDW, and Acimall, as well as Umati (Universal Machine Technology Interface),  “A solution on a European level was necessary for the sustainable success of the project,” said Juergen Koeppel, president of Eumabois.

The LIGNA.Innovation Network, a virtual event, took place Sept. 27-29.

The world's largest woodworking event, the biennial LIGNA is organized by Deutsche Messe and the woodworking division of the Association of German Mechanical and Plant Engineering (VDMA). For information on LIGNA visit LIGNA.de. The next LIGNA Fair in-person event is scheduled to take place May 15-19, 2023, in Hannover, Germany.

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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