Hannover - Every two years, about 90,000 wood specialists from around the world attend LIGNA HANNOVER in Hannover, Germany. A similarly strong turnout is expected from 6 to 10 May 2013, despite the difficult economic conditions affecting some regions. Leading companies from industry and the skilled trades are fully represented among the exhibitors: No other trade fair manages to convey the process chain of wood machining and processing as fully as LIGNA. This is a decisive reason why so many professionals travel to the fair even from very far away. But the allure of LIGNA has other aspects as well. Decision-makers from leading international firms explain why the Hannover show is unique among the world’s top events for the sector.
Ottmar Bössl, one of the largest pallet producers in Europe, had his personal LIGNA experience in 2005. In Hannover that year, Weinig presented its new Powermat generation with the PowerLock tool system for the first time. “I knew immediately that this technology would be a huge leap,” the chief executive recalled. Today he is already employing his third planing and profiling machine in the series, featuring its most advanced design and tailored to his special requirements. He was especially thrilled with the substantial set-up time savings and excellent surface quality at a fast feed rate. He plans to come back to Hannover this year. “If something new is happening, it will be at LIGNA,” he said with certainty.
Even the longest trip will pay off, according to Andrew Wickham, chief executive of the Australian interior construction company AWG. “Most innovations are exhibited at LIGNA for the first time,” he says. That was the case in 2009 as well, as the Bargstedt storage system premiered in Hannover. Wickham was inspired by the possibilities that the new concept for cost-effective, flexible production offered. He settled on TLF410, which allowed significantly higher production capacities in addition to efficient, space-saving board management. “The best that we ever bought,” he raved. His conclusion: “To remain competitive in a globalized world, we need innovative, cutting-edge technology. A visit to LIGNA gave us a complete market overview in just a few days.”
The French company PiveteauBois is mainly involved in timber construction, and with more than 800 employees at three locations, it is one of the major players in the sector. General Director Jean Piveteau has a simple recipe for always making the right investment decision: Over the last 32 years, he has regularly attended LIGNA. To him, it is simply “Hanovre.” “Hanovre is an indispensable source of ideas for our projects,” he says. He and his team of 20 invest three to four days in their visit to the fair. “Nowhere else can you pick up so many valuable ideas in such a short time,” he says, justifying the time spent there. In this way he has been able to continually optimize his Weinig production line from cut to finishing. The plan for 2013 is for attendees from the various Piveteau locations to rally at LIGNA.
RWK-Küchen, a German producer of high-quality special and custom constructions, considers LIGNA to be a unique showcase for technological advances. “We put high demands on our product quality and thus on our machine technology,” says Technical Director and graduate engineer Gerd Thöle. “By attending LIGNA, we stay current and have the capacity to technologically implement new trends in the furniture sector at any time.” In 2011, the kitchen maker discovered a new product that had great promise and potential for efficiencies and simultaneously signified a crucial step toward individualized production: RWK-Küchen invested in the Homag KFL 350 edge gluing machine with laser technology. “It was a significant leap for us, allowing us to further solidify our stock of regular customers,” Thöle says. He will be back in Hannover again in 2013. “The event is an absolute ‘must’ if you want to keep your technological edge,” he says.
Moreno Furlan is the technical director of the Italian company Media Profili Group, a global supplier of high-quality processed furniture parts and structural elements. He values HOMAG production technology and believes that about 70% of the HOMAG product line is in use at his company. The regular LIGNA attendee will again keep an eye on the innovations of the German manufacturer in 2013. Yet he considers Hannover to be more than a technology show. “LIGNA is a magnet and quite simply the most important event in our industry,” Furlan says. “Anyone involved with furniture production is there. It is a wonderful opportunity to exchange information and develop the right feel for future market trends.”
Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.