In May, the XYLEXPO trade fair welcomed more than 17,000 visitors from around the world, 14.2% more than last year. Xylexpo is one of the world’s most significant wood-related trade shows and Italy’s premier event.

Biesse presented an up-close look at integrated installations, equipment for machining both solid wood and regular panels, and new software modules that simplify the task of managing manufacturing processes. Biesse has set out to prove that anyone can seize the opportunities afforded by the Industrial Revolution 4.0. A feature of the Biesse Group stand was a tower made with the wood-skin product (see Supplier Vol. 31 No. 4) and shown in our lead picture.

“We have taken on the 4.0 Revolution to help our clients, and our “4.0 ready” technology achieves the efficiency levels that are, more than ever, a fundamental requirement for remaining competitive in an increasingly global market. We fully believe in this unstoppable industrial process – indeed, so much so that we are dedicated to spreading the culture of automation among all of our customers, even medium-sized and smaller companies, in order to guide them on the path to increased competitiveness,” said Federico Broccoli, Wood/Sales Division Director and Subsidiaries Division Manager.

“Biesse is perfectly in sync with the advantages of this revolution and aims to merge the large-scale figures of the assembly line with personalisation and with the value of artisan-ship. In a world where making personalisation and quality available at increasingly lower prices has become the secret to success, factories are going digital: the machines communicate amongst themselves via automation systems and interaction software, and can “imagine” the product, simulate construction and carry out tests before it has even been made,” commented Raphaël Prati, Marketing and Communications Director for Biesse Group.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Felder company. Hansjorg Felder was at Xylexpo and spoke about Felder’s new Tempora edge banders and Felder’s position in Italy. The Tempora has a three second change-over between functions so it’s possible to change from 60mm high solid wood to tape edging almost without stopping the production at all. Felder also presents its Flash 3D design software; the result of three year’s development that takes product from design to machine. The software can also be integrated into your company software.

And what of Felder’s position in Italy? Well, Mr. Felder says Italy is a difficult market, dominated by one of the world’s biggest suppliers (Scm) but Felder is optimistic about making some inroads into the Italian market. “We believe we have a good product,” Hansjorg said.

At Xylexpo, the Homag Group demonstrated individual solutions for companies of all sizes — from small to large. It showcased innovative individual machines and the design of networked systems, and took a look into the future at a completely digitised world of wood processing. Technically impressive individual machines from the saw-storage combination, edge processing, horizontal and vertical CNC technology, and even packaging in batch size 1 were all demonstrated live.

Visitors enjoyed multimedia presentations of interlinked systems and skills in the networking of machines. The main focus was the new video about the Battistella Company in Pieve di Soligo, Treviso. The plant is the first in Italy with the new woodFlex cell control system. woodFlex controls and visualises flexible production cells and their parts flow. woodFlex has a modular design and is standardized for all Homag Group systems. This means that it is open for future requirements, changes or extensions, in particular with regard to production with complex and completely networked systems.

SCM Group was a major participant in the 25th Xylexpo fair, invigorated by its growing success and presenting the most extensive and innovative line of technological solutions for the woodworking industry. The group revolutionised the way machines are displayed at the fair, adding an innovative multimedia system using two large video-walls to show visitors a virtual rendering of some of its technologies. Using 3D animation, filmed at 6K high definition, the machines are reproduced in their real-life dimensions with stunning detail, offering the visitor new interaction possibilities.  Using an iPad, for example, the visitor can “enter” these machines and follow from up close every single detail of the woodworking process. Scm displayed integrated cell systems, easy to program and reconfigure and with advanced storage systems that take up little space and consume less material, less energy and less investments: automated cells with rapid set-up times and ever more user-friendly interfaces, even for unskilled personnel.

Weinig returned from the specialist wood trade fair Xylexpo in Milan with good results: 71 wood processing machines and systems were sold group-wide. This means a strong improvement compared to the last Xylexpo. In Milan, the Weinig Group presented its flagship models, new developments and innovations covering the entire value chain. The business unit, Panel Processing, represented by Holz-Her, strengthened its position in this segment impressively. The innovations in the solid wood sector proved to be precisely tailored to the needs of the market. Attention was focused mainly on the topics of connectivity and automation. Weinig benefited from its unique competence as a complete provider.

In the past years, the traditional Xylexpo trade fair had to cope with a strong downturn. Many market leaders from the wood industry and woodworking segment had not attended the world’s second largest sector trade fair, but came back again this year. Weinig, however, remained loyal to the fair even in hard times. At a ceremony, Acimall (the association of Italian manufacturers of wood processing machines) honoured the company for its 25th participation since the fair’s foundation 50 years ago.