This year is, of course, different in that the show, such a connection point for the whole industry, is not taking place as a physical event.

For the global panels technology sector, it really is an important event: both for showcasing innovations and connecting with panel producers on a truly global scale. So, to not be taking the tram into the showgrounds and talking to all the companies in one place face-to-face is a very strange experience after personally attending the last nine events.

In one sense, it really is impossible to replace that in-person contact.

After initially postponing then cancelling Ligna, Deutsche Messe has managed to put on the Ligna Innovation Network – a digital event which is designed to bring people together on a virtual platform and talk about the important technology and wood industry trends of the day. Taking place on September 27-29, the Network will give machinery producers an opportunity to communicate their innovations in the digital space.

It’s a great opportunity for companies to connect with a worldwide audience and we hope it will at least partially fill the gap of not being in Hannover. Although, one thing an online event can’t do yet is a digital drinks reception!

Ligna show director Christian Pfeifer encouraged WBPI readers to get behind the event when he spoke at the WBPI Beyond Covid Conference in May. We would also encourage people to attend and hopefully the unique Ligna experience can be recreated in part in the online world.

Our preview of the Ligna Innovation Network can be found.

Also, in this issue we feature part 2 of our annual MDF survey, this time focusing on the “rest of the world”. Our industry expect Geoff Rhodes has been hard at work compiling Part 2.

For the ‘rest of the world’ areas (excluding Europe, North America, and Mexico), after updated data inputs, we now show an increase in installed capacity in 2020 to 74,925,000m3, while further investments identified in this region for 2021 and beyond bring the total up to 80,920,000m3.

So, for 2021/22 and beyond, when this figure is added to the European future capacity of 30,925,000m3 and the North American future capacity figures (including Mexico) of 6,667,000m3, we see global MDF capacity growing to 118,512,000m3.

Elsewhere, in this issue you can find an update on the resins sector on pp39-44 and a report on Huber Engineered Woods’ plans to build a new OSB plant in the US.