The European Union economy is hurting – big time – and we know all too well on this side of the big pond how bad that feels.

In spite of a rough and tumble economy, LIGNA 2013 — the 20th edition of the show — did not fail to deliver a plethora of new and evolving woodworking technologies and advancements. Compressed hot air edgebanders, Batch Size 1 production, digital printing on wood and touch screen machine-operator interfaces are trends noted on page 22 of this issue. But these product advancements are but a few of the scores of new products and concepts that were launched or updated at the world’s largest woodworking machinery fair, attended by more than 90,000 woodworking professionals representing 100 nations, May 6-10 in Hannover, Germany.

Among some of the other trends Woodworking Network observed at this year’s edition of LIGNA included:

Continued emphasis on energy conservation, including putting machines into idle when they are not processing parts.

A greater interest on CNC part nesting, something that is old hat in North America but is only just now beginning to pick up steam among European woodworkers.

Lighter weight tooling that wears longer, delivers tear-free cuts and helps lower energy consumption.

Advanced fingerjointing technology that allows ever-smaller lengths of recovered scrap lumber to be turned into usable and profitable substrates.

Inventory management systems that can prepare the material needs for next day's production overnight without human intervention, then feed and organize machinied parts.

You’ll find dozens of LIGNA-related stories, plus many from interzum, the woodworking supply show held in Cologne, Germany, on Use the enhanced search by typing in LIGNA or interzum.

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.