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Trends at Ligna 2019: Will We See Felder or Festool Safety Saws at IWF 2020?

31. May 2019 17:41

Watching the reports filter in from Ligna 2019, the big global woodworking show that ran in  Hannover, Germany last week, we're beginning to pick up on some exciting technology revelations. 

Owing to the lead time in market channels, some of these developments could make their first North American debut at the August 2020 International Woodworking Fair.  In particular, we are intrigued by developments in table saws, with Woodworking Network reporting this morning on Ligna trends in safety saws - specifically Felder's new PCS (Preventive Contact System), and a possible development by Altendorf of a similar saw. Here's how Felder describes its development (shown in the video below):

  • Safety environment recognition with early approach detection 
    Upon detection of unexpected, fast approaches within the saw blade area, PCS triggers its safety lowering system. The safety environment encloses the saw blade and protects against access from all directions by lowering of the saw blade under the saw table at the speed of light. The functionality based on electromagnetic repulsion, which allows for an all-time extremely short response time of a few milliseconds. The PCS safety lowering works damage free and there are no reset costs. The sliding table panel saw is immediately ready for use at the push of a button. PCS works without consumable parts and therefore completely adjustment and maintenance free. 

The technology is contrasted with both the U.S.-based SawStop - now owned by Germany's Festool - and which uses a brake to instantly stop the sawblade; and Bosch, also in Germany, which uses a piston to drop the blade below the cutting level before it can do damage. Bosch lost a trade dispute that led it to discontinue import to the U.S., but the saw may be available in other markets.  

Festool showed visitors to Ligna its Festool tablesaw with flesh sensing technology (below). Festool showcased this version of its bench-mounted circular saw complete with SawStop technology to prevent operators from suffering serious cuts.



If Altendordf enters the safety saw market, it would be a natural step in its evolution since its acquisition, in 2017,  by the investor Avedon. Soon after Stiles Machinery ended its distribution agreement for Altendorf saws.  The Altendorf Group says it aims to become a supplier of high-quality machines forthe international craft businesses in the field of panel-based furniture manufacturing. In addition to its classical sliding table saws, it now sells edgebanders made by Hebrock, a company based in eastern Westphalia, Germany, whose edge-banding
machines have made an international name for themselves, and further acquisitions are planned. The Altendorf Group America was established in Mooresville, North Carolina at the beginning of 2019.

The Ligna show producers also provide their own summary of trends at the show - here's an excerpt:  

Manufacturers of wood processing machinery for solid and engineered wood concentrated on automation and integrated systems, especially on modular technologies as a gateway to digitization. The approach here is one of end-to-end digitization – with concepts spanning everything from planning and design to production and monitoring – as opposed to island solutions. The other notable feature of these new digitization technologies is that they are as easy and intuitive to use as smartphones.

Five axis aggregate

Meanwhile, robotics technology is increasingly becoming the norm across all areas of industrial manufacturing, from materials handing to collaborative processing by humans and machines, right through to surface finishing. The surface-finishing link in the value chain is becoming increasingly integrated into the overall production system. Automated guided vehicle systems are optimizing materials flows. And advanced central system control modules are intelligently managing the associated data and aggregating it quickly and efficiently for even the most demanding of single-batch production scenarios.

IMA Schelling Ligna

From the cloud technologies on show, it was abundantly clear that cloud-based data management has now fully made the transition from proprietary systems to digital ecosystems. Thanks to a growing array of digital assistance solutions, the use of production data for preventive maintenance and production planning is getting more efficient all the time. At this rate, the vision – presented at this year's LIGNA – of end-to-end cloud-based material and tool management may soon be a reality.


Another vision that is getting closer and closer to becoming a reality relates to networking based on standardized communication protocols for all machines. On that score, the European Federation of Woodworking Machinery Manufacturers (EUMABOIS) and the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) used LIGNA to present a framework for a new P&W (Plug & Work) standard. The framework is a joint project by eight leading European manufacturers of woodworking machinery.

Another key trend in the woodworking and wood processing industry is augmented reality – most notably the use of VR headsets and tablets to visualize work-steps and machine states.

LIGNA 2019 also presented "all-in-one" solutions that can efficiently bring together multiple standalone machines to create integrated process flows. The show likewise featured new developments in saw technology that deliver industrial safety benefits. These involve high-performance sensor systems for material detection – a new generation of self-learning scanner technology that represents an exciting initial implementation of AI in woodworking.

The highlights of the wood-based construction area of the show included the world premiere of a six-axis aggregate that can process work-pieces on all sides without repositioning. There was also a newly developed membrane press that can handle curved and uneven surfaces. And in the digital printing part of the LIGNA surface technology showcase, visitors witnessed a new software that can generate even extremely challenging decorative laminate layers, such as stone-look, in a single pass while maintaining an extremely high level of quality.

In the forestry technology section of this year's show the spotlight was on climate change, Forestry 4.0, digital machine integration, supply chain tracking, timber flow management, the use of VR headsets for machine control, and apps for various in-forest operations. Other key themes related to the development of forest access routes and new approaches to forest logistics.

The program also included an array of special zones and events that generated a great deal of visitor interest, among them the LIGNA.Forum, the LIGNA Campus, and, of course, the LIGNA Training Workshops for equipment users from the joinery, cabinetmaking, carpentry and assembly trades. And then there were the absolute visitor magnets, chief among them the Crane Driving Championships and the German Logging Championship.

The next LIGNA will run from 10 to 14 May 2021 in Hannover, Germany.



Sustainable Innovation is Built on Trust

27. April 2018 11:28

By: Monique MacKinnon, Energetic Evolution

Everything is energy. And since hugging a tree can benefit our mental and physical well-being, do different woods elicit different moods? The simple answer is yes.

Woodworkers and furniture manufacturers can also influence customers’ states: through their craft and level of consciousness. Consider this: How do you respond to people who trust you? Are you more likely to trust or distrust them? On the consciousness scale, trust is in the neutral position.

Therefore, if you trust yourself, does trusting others come more easily to you than for someone with trust issues? Do you prefer doing business with and being someone with a toned trust muscle, developed through years of discernment? If your company or business is known for being trustworthy and reliable, how does this affect your and your sphere of influence’s prosperity and quality of life?

We will deep dive beyond tree hugging into where you most trust yourself to be successfully and sustainably innovative in the woodworking industry.

 Learn more about this topic during the "Sustainable Innovation is Built on Trust" at the IWF 2018 Education Conference.





Do you know what your business is worth?

24. April 2018 15:39

By: Jack West, Federated Insurance

Often, shop owners who are ready to get out of the business simply opt for selling off their equipment at auction and leave it at that. However, it’s important to think about this critical topic long before you are ready to move on. Ideally, you should have an exit plan established the day you start your company. That being said, if you haven’t thought about this yet it’s not too late to start the process.

So how do you set up your woodworking business for eventual sale and maximize its value? To start, you need to know what banks and buyers will be looking for; how to get it all in order; valuation methods; timelines; real-world expectations and common pitfalls. Successful business successions don’t just happen, they require planning and implementation.

Easier said than done, right?

The obvious first step is determining your overall objectives. Do you want to make more money while you own the business? Or perhaps you want to have more free time while you own the business? Maybe you are interested in having enough money for a good life after leaving the business. Or do you want to keep the business in the family?

The ultimate question is what kind of lifestyle do you need (or want) on complete retirement? This involves determining a “reasonable” budget as well as a “stretch” budget. Then you need to be realistic calculating the amount that you currently have saved and also how much more you will need to get where you want to be.

Once you’ve determined what you want, your insurance company is a good place to go next. Many insurance providers, like Federated Insurance, offer valuation services as part of their packages. They can refer you to an attorney who is an expert on the subject and can assist you through the process.

For more tips about how to sell your company, attend the IWF seminar “Building a valuable business”.




The struggles of running a small shop

24. April 2018 15:33

By: Dan Moshe, Tech Guru and Caring Technology Company

If you are the owner, leader or manager of an entrepreneurial organization, it's a given that you want to see your business consistently run better and grow more quickly. But even the most successful entrepreneurs find that running a business can be more challenging than they expected. Many regularly grapple with a variety of problems – a lack of control over time, the market or the company; people not listening, understanding, or following through; profit (or lack thereof); an inability to break through to the next level of growth; and “magic pill” solutions that don’t prove to be very magical. If these problems seem all too familiar, you’re not alone.

I’ve found that this resonates even more in the woodworking industry since many of the small business owners are craftsmen at their core. They may not have any formal training in managing a business, but they are the masters of their craft. Typically, these two skill sets are not found in the same person.  Craftsmen are truly artists – they are creative and passionate. Businessmen, on the other hand, are analytical and logical. A creative-analytical person is truly unique and hard to come by, yet there are ways to harness business skills for even the most creative craftsman.

Successful small shop owners don’t necessarily have to possess the required skills to effectively run their business, because there are resources they can take advantage of.  One of the ways to help craftsmen manage their business is to create systems. These systems can be as simple as paper checklists or as robust as project management software. You could still be using a Rolodex to manage your contacts or perhaps you’ve implemented a full-scale CRM. Whatever you choose to use, systems help streamline processes and procedures so you can run your business – instead of it running you.

Learn more about creating systems to manage your business, in my seminar during IWF: “Are you running your business or is it running you?





The decision to transition to in-house finishing

23. April 2018 11:13

By: Diane Shattuck, Gemini Coatings

Congratulations on making the big decision to transition to in-house finishing. You have crunched the numbers, but the cost of outsourcing is only part of the equation. It’s truly the cost coupled with your concerns about quality that pushed you over the edge.

Admit it: you are a control freak. You are willing to invest the money for an in-house finishing program because you can no longer afford to sacrifice quality. You need to control this part of your business as you control the rest.  And I’ll agree that that is important.

However, you are wondering if it is possible to profitably do this. Ultimately that’s the goal, right? I hope you’re in business to make money. Even though you love the craft of working with wood, at the end of the day there are bills to pay and mouths to feed. So how can you transition to in-house finishing profitably? Let me give you a few pointers:

Ask questions

Seek the advice of others who already do their own in-house finishing. Learn from them, particularly their mistakes. One place you can do this is in the Cabinet Makers Association’s online forums.  This is an invaluable resource for members who want to hear what others have done.

Find partners

It’s important here to differentiate between a supplier and a partner. A supplier is a sales person who simply pushes their product on you. A true partner is someone who cares about the success of you and your business.

Trial and error

Experiment with different products, recipes, and equipment. A lot can depend on your environment, the humidity, etc. but you won’t know unless you try.

Hire well

Admittedly finding a quality finisher isn’t easy. It’s one of the most critical functions in the production process, and taking the time to find an experienced worker is worth it.

To learn more about “Transitioning to in-house finishing – profitably” register to attend my seminar during IWF.



Estimating – from days to minutes!

4. April 2016 12:47

Estimating – from days to minutes!

Windows/Doors/Modular Buildings: For the past 10 years D3 Technologies has been working with the leading industry tools used in the design-to-estimate-to-engineering process.  To that regard, they have also developed many of those industry leading tools along with providing clients the means to truly achieve their goals.  While working with companies that design many different products (HVAC, Fans/Blowers, Tanks, Conveyors, Canopies, etc.) we have done a lot to help clients caught in the gray area between manufactured products and construction.


The Current State: these industries are all old, which has many good things to boast, however, there are several things that can be a detractor when you consider leveraging technology and the change that it can bring or the resistance to it.  It is not uncommon to see large numbers of tenured team members with 20+ years at a manufacturer.  That ability to have very knowledgeable employees is a big strength not always seen in other industries that often have a very fluid workforce with very wide age ranges.


The Challenge: old and stable as they are, it is not without the need to adapt to market changes and to be able to leverage technology where it makes sense.  However, that is not always very easy to do considering the leap that may need to take place between the user and the technology.  It is also not without risk when you consider the fear that change can bring.  This is very true for these industries that often has a very tough and rugged industrial feel to them when you consider their cultures.


The Change: very early on in D3’s focus on automation technologies, we realized that there were some realizations starting to occur that were gaining momentum.  Certain scenarios were beginning to play out that were leading to a shift that very coincidentally led to a fundamental cultural change.  Companies in general were starting to leverage sophisticated solutions at a rapid rate.  Here are some of the ingredients that we witnessed:

·        A very predictable product that was same but different

·        Similar industry challenges from one company to the next

·        Similar industry use of Excel

·        Similar industry use of AutoCAD

·        Rapidly evolving technical solutions that solved parts of the problem

·        Early adopters – companies willing to invest to prove it out and remove the problem


Check back for my next post that will cover the solutions and results of the work we have done for others.


Daryl Price

Director of Sales

D3 Technologies



IWF Network Group Membership

10. September 2013 09:34

IWF has created a new network group. Please sign up if you are supplier/exhibitor so that you can take advantage of the opportunity to upload video, product news, blog and join the forum.


If you are user/attendee. Make sure you sign-up to join the newsletter, get special discounts on registration, post jobs, blog, join the forum etc.

The membership is at the top of the www.iwfatlanta.com home page. Where it says Are you already a member.


Welcome to the IWF Atlanta blog

23. May 2013 23:00

IWF is where people connect online and face-to-face. 


As we launch our new blog we look forward to all of you joining us in a conversation. Sharing ideas, product innovations and answers to industry challenges.


IWF is already again the largest show in the Americas with over 14 months until the next IWF. 

We look forward to you joining us online and meeting with you face-to-face at IWF 2014.



Good luck and happy writing.

The IWFAtlanta team