Technology Continues to Transform Wood Manufacturing
By Stephan Kleiser
August 31, 2015 | 11:11 am CDT
Stephan Kleiser is editor in chief of Woodworking Canada magazine.

I am still trying to wrap my head around the innovations and new products introduced at interzum and LIGNA in May.WMS 2015, Wood Machinery & Supply Conference Toronto
It was impressive and to say that I can recall everything I’ve seen there without my notes would be a lie. All the more reason then to look forward to the Woodworking Machinery & Supply Conference and Expo (WMS) 2015 in Toronto this November.

The accompanying conference will be held Nov. 5, and the actual show is Nov. 5-7, at the International Centre in Mississauga (Toronto), Ontario.

Talk of Industry 4.0 – the integration and automation, even digitization of the industry – is everywhere. It was the main theme at LIGNA and WMS 2015 has also adopted Industry 4.0 as its theme and will offer Canadians a chance to see and learn about some of these dramatic industry advances. I am very excited about that. Sure, it will take some time to make the transition and many of you may well decide that it’s not for you or that it does not make sense to fully integrate your processes and that’s OK.

The beauty of Industry 4.0 is that you don’t have to do it all. It’s not an all or nothing kind of thing.

WMS Show Guide
Woodworking will once again publish the WMS Show Guide. For advertising information please contact [email protected] and if you have any announcements or product information to share with us for the preview edition please contact me at [email protected]

You can pick and choose and select just those parts that make sense in your shop or factory. And as recent advances have shown, there is a lot more new technology coming down the pipe. It will get easier and cheaper to implement and at some point some of it will inevitably be part of your operation as well. I’m old enough to remember life without a smartphone, now, I couldn’t do without. Industry 4.0 is going to be like that.

I don’t know how soon, but I do know that you owe it to yourself to take a seriously look at it, if for no other reason than the fact that your competitor will. Peter Mate also makes a great point about technology and you'll be able to hear from him directly at WMS 2015.

Mate has written about how technology helped one shop double production with only a minor increase in employees. I don’t want to repeat myself, but this is big, transformative and just a matter of time.

So, long story short, WMS 2015 is the place to take a look at the possibilities. It’s convenient, it’s close (for many) and you don’t have to worry about crazy exchange rates on our dollar. In our next edition we will bring you an extensive preview of WMS and what it will have to offer, but take my word for it and plan to attend because it will be great.

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