Ligna 2017 drew to a close on Friday 26th May with a significant increase in the number of exhibitors and visitors from abroad; and a new impetus for the trend in digitalisation currently re-defining the industry.

At the closing press conference, Dr. Andreas Gruchow; Wolfgang Poschl (Weinig); Luigi De Vito (SCM); Jurgen Phillips (Siempelkamp); Pekka Paasivaara (Homag) and Ms Anja Brokans (Media Advisory) were unanimous in praising the 2017 Ligna fair as “delivering big” on innovations.

Visitor numbers overall were down; but only by three thousand to 93,000. Visitors from outside Europe were up this year by two thousand or so to 42,000, following last year’s rise of over seven thousand. This trend is likely to continue as more foreign companies look to Ligna as the World’s foremost international trade fair for the woodworking industries. As noted by Mr. Gruchow: “These impressive figures confirm that international decision-makers have come to place their trust in LIGNA as the event that can give them a full grasp of the latest wood processing and woodworking trends and developments.”

Exhibitors from outside Europe were again very strong. Some halls used last show was empty this time; but only a few dozen less exhibitors were on hand this year. This was most likely due to the reorganisation of the halls and this was voted “good” or “very good” by 80% of visitors asked. Many exhibitors have opted for stands with a highly stylish design, in some cases even going for radically new structural approaches. This has put a fresh face on LIGNA and gone down very well with all concerned.

Pekka Paasivaara, CEO of the HOMAG Group said “This has been an outstanding LIGNA for us. We had excellent visitor turnout at the HOMAG stand. There was a higher international presence this year, and LIGNA has clearly confirmed its profile as the leading global trade fair in its sector.” Luigi De Vito, Director of the Woodworking Machinery Division of the SCM GROUP said “We were overwhelmed by the internationality of this LIGNA. We had customers from more than 60 countries at our booth. This has created significant opportunities in new and existing markets for SCM.”

A key trend at LIGNA was ways of significantly boosting production efficiency with minimal demands on the operator. One exhibitor presented the first-ever “three-click” process for producing a complete item of furniture. Meanwhile, in the area of machine components and automation, robots continued their momentum. The next LIGNA will be staged from 27 to 31 May 2019.