ASSAGO, ITALY -- European woodworking machinery companies continue to struggle for orders but there are some rays of hope, according to Franz-Josef Buetfering, president of Eumabois, the European federation of woodworking machinery associations.
Despite moderate recovery in 2010 and early 2011, Buetfering noted that sales of woodworking machinery remain far below "pre-crisis levels." However, Buetfering noted that of "the 7 billion Euro turnover achieved by the global technology trade in 2010, as much as 56.2 percent was generated by Eumabois member companies.”
Buetfering also touched on technology trends while making his remarks at Eumabois' assembly during the FIMMA Maderalia woodworking show in Valencia, Spain. He observed, "Technology is changing and woodworking machinery will be different: 'greener' from any point of view, capable of consuming 30 percent less energy with the same efficiency standards. They will be more and more flexible, with increasingly higher automation levels: the automated or 'one man factory' is a popular concept, not just a dream for the future.
"Technology will require smaller investments; solutions will take up less space; they will be built with standard constructions using equally standard and highly industrialized aggregates, but still capable of delivering the desired result to users. High-end technology will move down to improve low-end systems: plants can already be operated by anyone through a simple touchscreen. Maybe we should focus attention specifically on this aspect, on these machines that will no longer require joiners or experts of wood and wood-based materials, but rather simple technicians who can press a button. Maybe we still don’t realize the impact of this change."
Buetfering also touched on Ontario Pre start and Safety review and Quebec safety standards that are of interest to European woodworking machinery manufacturers that export products to Canada.
Eumabois, the European federation of woodworking associations, also announced that the Ukraine Woodworking Machinery Association (UWMA), has been approved for membership.
The acceptance of UWMA brings Eumabois up to 14 member associations. One of Eumabois' roles is endorsing woodworking trade shows. The association added two more events to its World Exhibition Network: Holz-Handwerk in Nuremberg, Germany, and the Internationale Holzmesse in Klagenfurt, Austria.
Many issues were dealt with in the Eumabois president’s speech, and even more in the subsequent debate: from Tool Group activities to working programs for specific technical issues (Tool Group, Iso Standardization, Machinery Directive – Tc 142, Ontario Pre start and Safety review, Quebec standards), particularly relevant for European manufacturers.
Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.