Woodworking Machinery industry portrait
Whether in the production of the highest quality kitchens in East Westphalia, or sawn timber in Vladivostok, in the construction of nine-storey wooden houses in London, or at the carpenter around the corner, woodworking machines "made in Germany" are always there: everywhere in the world.
Technology engineered in Germany is as much in demand worldwide as ever. In 2016, German companies with around 12,500 employees sold woodworking machines worth a total of around 3 billion euros. The lion's share, namely 70 percent, was accounted for by international markets. In global terms, Germany is by far the largest supplier to the wood and furniture industry.
Diverse and finely differentiated product range
No other nation offers such a diverse range of machines, plants and components as the German companies. Manufacturers supplement the finely differentiated standard range with system concepts and special solutions that they develop together with their customers. Starting with the hand circular saw, over the standard planing machine for the carpenter, over complex furniture production plants for the batch size one up to the complete conception of plants for the production of sawn timber, chipboards, laminate flooring, wood construction systems and wood fuels. The plant and engineering business is a domain of the German manufacturers in which they have an almost unique selling proposition.
Active worldwide: together with customers and partners
Around 72 percent of the total production of woodworking machinery, in some sectors even more than 90 percent, is exported. Deutsche Engineering Technology is a brand and stands for performance, productivity and quality not without reason. From a global perspective, these are probably still the three most important criteria for customers' purchasing decisions. German manufacturers are close to their customers. Most of the 200 or so medium-sized companies in the industry are strong and have a large network of sales offices and dealers.
People and the environment
People and the environment are therefore at the heart of the companies' research and development work. Innovations revolve to a large extent around topics such as resource efficiency but also noise and dust reduction, while maintaining or increasing the performance of tools, machines and systems. The focus is on the careful handling of the wonderful renewable material wood. Manufacturers are working on ever more sophisticated solutions to obtain even more efficient building products and furniture from this valuable raw material.
Materials and processes
Architecture and design are subject to constantly changing requirements, such as lightweight construction, the combination of a wide variety of materials, innovative surface coatings or new types of timber construction, which manufacturers of machines and systems integrate into their development projects. A new lightweight panel, for example, demands completely unknown technical solutions in the manufacturing process. The pressure to rationalise, for example in sawn timber or furniture production, due to significantly rising material costs for wood and adhesives as well as the lack of qualified specialist personnel, also repeatedly leads to innovative processes that accelerate production and ultimately save costs for the customer.
Leading trade fairs
The latest technical trends can be seen every two years at LIGNA Hannover. Many companies gear their research and development work to the LIGNA trade fair cycle. This is why the trade fair is not only the number one international meeting place in the industry, but also a driving force for innovation. The dimensions of the Ligna are enormous. On over 120,000m² in halls and open-air grounds, around 1,600 exhibitors from over fifty countries will be presenting woodworking machines to touch. The fair is not only the number one for the wood and furniture industry, but also the world's largest fair when it comes to energy from wood. The fair is a must for decision-makers from all over the world and at the same time an incomparable experience for every visitor.
The VDMA and its member companies, together with their partners from Messe Nürnberg, will also be offering a special industry highlight for their trade customers in the Ligna free year. In the even years, the woodworking trade is the meeting place for carpenters and joiners in Central Europe. With almost 30,000m² and around 40,000 visitors from Germany and abroad, the trade fair is one of the top five industry meeting places worldwide.