The International Woodworking Fair is the largest trade show in the woodworking industry, showcasing a wide variety of solutions to help manufacturers explore new territories and efficiencies for their business. This year’s IWF, which took place August 22-25, in Atlanta, Georgia, did not disappoint. Throughout the 4-day event, the exhibition halls were filled with the buzz of advanced manufacturing technology and the excitement of over 20,000 manufacturing professionals in search of the right solution to take their companies to the next level.
A common theme evident at this year’s show was a widespread interest in automation and industry 4.0 solutions from manufacturers of all sizes who were seeking to increase the flexibility of their production and keep up with rising demands in customization.
In response to these growing needs in the marketplace, Stiles hosted an exclusive briefing regarding the state of the industry in which Pekka Paasivaara, CEO of the HOMAG Group, and Christian Vollmers, President of Stiles Machinery discussed current market trends and the future of the woodworking industry.
During Mr. Paasivaara’s presentation, he focused on digital innovations and their impact on the industry.
“What does the manufacturer really want? They want to run their production through the cloud,” said Mr. Paasivaara. “The easy solution would be to just create a cloud-based system for all HOMAG machines, but that’s not what our customers needed. What they needed was a platform that was open to the entire woodworking industry.” He went on to explain how tapio, the first IoT ecosystem for the entire value chain of the woodworking industry, is driving manufacturing forward into the digital future.
Each machine featured in Stiles’ booth was connected totapio, demonstrating how manufacturers can dramatically increase the efficiency of production management including plant and machinery operation, predictive maintenance, production optimization and much more, all from the palm of their hand.
In addition to these exclusive industry insights on the future of the woodworking industry, Stiles also revealed HOMAG’s brand new line of modern machine designs at this year’s show, complete with advanced software and tapio IoT functionality. This was the first time that North American customers had the opportunity to see this new line of machinery from HOMAG in person.
Based on the response from attendees to the briefing as well as the widely attended networked production demonstrations and educational sessions presented by Stiles, it is clear that the North American market is ready to take the plunge into more advanced automation and digital solutions to keep up with growing customer demands.