Timber Industry 4.0

CyberForum 19.12.2017

Digitization is changing all sectors - in the wood industries, too, new challenges are emerging from highly networked, industrial production processes. The EU project FORESDA starts here and supports companies in the forestry and timber business in digitization. In the framework of two kick-off events in Pforzheim and Karlsruhe, the foundations for cross-industry cooperation have been created now.

Kick-off: regional working group established

"The importance of the fourth industrial revolution is becoming increasingly apparent to the wood processing industry - an industry that receives little attention in terms of digitization, even though it employs with 1.1 million people more employees than the automotive industry," said Tamara Högler, Head of Innovation and International Affairs at CyberForum.

In order to support the forestry and timber industry in the Danube region as a whole but also in the project regions, a regional working group for Baden-Württemberg was established. On November 7 representatives of clusters, business development and politics met in the EMMA creative center in Pforzheim. The task: to develop and pronounce guidances for business, science and politics. In order to strengthen the respective regional innovation systems and promote intersectoral cooperation and innovation projects, an action plan should be developed.

In addition to the regional project partners CyberForum, Economic Development Department Nordschwarzwald and inno AG, the members of the working group include the Ministry of Economics, Labor and Housing Baden-Württemberg, the ProHolz BW cluster, the Karlsruhe Economic Development Department and the IHK Nordschwarzwald.

Digitization of the timber industry: FORESDA pilot "Smart Home / Smart Furniture"

In addition to the establishment of regional working groups, however, FORESDA will also implement regional pilot projects, so-called pilot innovation environments. They are designed to promote the innovation and competitiveness of SMEs in the woodworking sector and to stimulate the development of new products, processes and services. On November 15, a workshop of the regional working group with the topic "Smart Home / Smart Furniture" took place at the FZI Research Center for Computer Science in Karlsruhe.

The aim of this pilot project is to promote cross-industry innovation activities in the areas of furniture production and timber construction, and in particular to bring together the sectors of the timber industry and information and communication technology. But what about in practice? "For the IT industry, this means above all learning what requirements or challenges exist in the wood industry," explains Ralf Trunko, Project Manager for Innovation and International Affairs at CyberForum. "In turn, the wood industry should learn about the possibilities offered by modern IT." Specifically, the pilot project developed in Baden-Württemberg is to produce intelligent and innovative solutions in the areas of indoor and outdoor furniture as well as in timber construction. In addition, it should promote the use of novel and sustainable wood composites.

The pilot project consists of both an offline and an online component: In addition to the working group, which meets and discusses, a platform for the dissemination of information and for mutual exchange should also be created in the future. Here, SMEs and science can come together to explore new technologies, processes or methods. Responsible for the pilot project are the CyberForum, the inno AG as well as the Economic Development Department Nordschwarzwald as FORESDA project partner next to several other partners.

Find out more about the project at: http://www.interreg-danube.eu/approved-projects/foresda   

This might also be of interest to you ...

FORESDA published Transnational Strategy

The EU-project FORESDA developed a Transnational Strategy on improving the framework conditions for forest-based cross-sectoral value chains