Running under the theme of “Integrated Manufacturing – Customized Solutions” the LIGNA.Conference for the furniture industry was held on 4 and 5 December in Guangzhou, China, attracting over 400 attendees.

Attendees were unanimous that the conference gave a clear and compelling overview of the challenges currently facing the woodworking and timber processing industries, providing a quality roundup of the latest approaches and developments in digitization, automation, IoT platforms and product individualization. Over the course of two days, 11 speakers from diverse sectors of the woodworking, timber processing and other, allied industries shared their thoughts and experiences on digitization and the way it is being implemented in their respective production processes, focusing on current best practices.

One of the major highlights of the conference consisted of the closing panel discussion, which provided a global perspective on industrial applications and solutions for the furniture and wood industry. The following companies took part in the discussion: Biesse China; SCM Group; WEINIG DIMTER; Lignum Consulting and HOMAG Group. The discussion was highly informative, especially when it came to topics like the challenges currently facing the Chinese wood and furniture industry and the extent to which the necessary applications and solutions had already been implemented.

The Chinese furniture industry is an extremely important market for European machinery manufacturers. Ernst Esslinger, Director Methods/Tools of HOMAG Group said “The Chinese market is very important for HOMAG, and its importance will doubtless continue to grow. The conference highlighted this fact and demonstrated to us that our current focus on integrated solutions and our progressive development of the LIGNA format are precisely what the market is looking for.” The central theme of the LIGNA.Conference, “Integrated Woodworking – Customized Solutions”, is also one of the lead themes of the upcoming LIGNA show in Germany. Christian Pfeiffer: “At LIGNA 2017, China was already No. 4 among the show’s top 10 visiting nations. This conference has served to further stimulate the interest of members of the Chinese furniture, subcontracting and automation technology industries. Thanks to the conference, they are now interested in going to LIGNA in May 2019 in order to gain a window on the global industry.”

The two-day conference also featured presentations and displays by Biesse, Durst Phototechnik, HOMAG Group, Leuco Ledermann, SCM Group, Siempelkamp, Wemhöner Surface Technologies, Michael Weinig and Rosenheim University. Conference participants used this part of the event for informal dialogue and networking. The LIGNA.Conference was staged with support of the German Woodworking Machinery Manufacturers’ Association.