EDITOR’S COMMENT ISSUE 69 JUN/JUL 2019
Ligna nails it
It us around this time of the year I start to get all hot and bothered about the northern hemisphere Summer trade shows. Covering the length and breadth of the forest and wood product markets as we do, the number of events we could legitimately attend is extensive and so we generally choose to use our scarce resources on only the most prestigious.
One of these is clearly Ligna, held for the downstream part of the forestry sector and centring on wood processing, transportation, and treatment, and hosted by the German city of Hannover.
It is difficult to speak on behalf of the plus 90,000 visitors from more than 100 countries, or for that matter the 1,500 exhibitors, but from a press perspective it is impossible to be anything but glowing in our assessment of the organisation and execution of the event.
That included the provision of a world-class media centre from which to file copy, a flow of refreshments, a dedicated shuttle service in recognition of the show’s magnitude, and a general preparedness for all eventualities. That preparedness put the disorganisation of the International Forest Industries editorial team into sharp focus when the Ligna press support crew magically produced a selection of phone-charging devices for a forgetful and panicky editor.
This level of service and professionalism appeared to spread throughout the event and helped deliver on the core objective – bringing together forestry professionals to procure information and machines capable of improving their operations and the standards and practice of the industry as a whole.
The big advance in knowledge and hardware this year was the landing of digitisation and automation as central tenets of new machine manufacturing.
Smart, futureproof solutions were at the top of the agenda and Ligna 2019 made it amply clear that technology users were now “getting smart” with regard to digitization and automation, according to Deutsche Messe, the convener.
The organiser said a major emphasis had been placed on integrated solutions that enabled companies of all sizes to meet current market demands and prepare for future challenges.
“Ligna has clearly underscored its reputation as the global woodworking and wood processing industry’s definitive event, and the place of choice for unveiling the latest innovations,” Deutsche Messe Managing Board Member, Dr Andreas Gruchow, said.
He said companies had presented impressive solutions, “making innovations tangible and easy to grasp for users from every sector of the industry, on a scale unrivalled throughout the world”.
“By focusing on digitization, automation, robotics and revolutionary surface technology applications, Ligna’s exhibitors played a major role in driving technological advancement. Technologies considered to be visionary at the previous Ligna have now become reality,” he said.
Pekka Paasivaara is President of the German Woodworking Machinery Manufacturers’ Association, CEO of HOMAG Group AG and member of the Board of Management of Dürr AG. He said the show demonstrated the industry had taken a big leap forward in the direction of digital wood processing, and that interest in advanced technology was running high throughout the world.
“It is truly amazing to meet up with so many customers from around the world interesting in making specific capital investments. The new solutions on display are relevant to small firms and large industrial processors, alike. This gives us all good cause for optimism.”
We like to think the media plays a small but important role in these advancements through the sharing of information and, at International Forest Industries, we take that role particularly seriously as the industries only integrated upstream-downstream, international publication, which is therefore capable of sharing technology, innovation and leadership throughout the wood-product life cycle.
We can’t wait for next year.