DREMA 2020 - reacting to the challenges of the industry [interview]


Director of DREMA and DremaSilesia Andrzej Półrolniczak talks about the challenges in the woodworking and furniture industry, about building a competitive advantage in the industry and why DREMA is the most anticipated meeting of the representatives of the woodworking and wood processing sector.

The DREMA trade fair is a well-known and recognizable brand. Where does its strength come from?

Andrzej Półrolniczak: The DREMA International Trade Fair of Machines, Tools and Components for the Wood and Furniture Industries is one of the largest world exhibitions dedicated to the woodworking and wood processing industry. It is the only event in Poland that has received EUMABOIS recommendation! However, it is not possible to build a strong position in the trade fair industry quickly. These are years of hard work based on thorough market analysis, business relations and trust. The MTP Group, which has been organizing fairs for the representatives of the woodworking and wood processing industries for several decades (2019 marked the 35th edition of DREMA), created a center of global trends in this sector in Poznań. We are shaping the future of the industry - this is the slogan accompanying the forthcoming edition of DREMA 2020. Our partners appreciate many years of experience. In 2019, DREMA saw nearly 600 exhibitors who presented their offerings. While the impressive stands occupied a total of 28,700 m2, the exhibition of modern machines, specialist equipment and tools attracted 15,450 professional visitors to Poznań. These impressive figures leave no doubt. DREMA is the biggest and most significant event of the wood and furniture industry in this part of Europe. DREMA is not only an exhibition with extensive presentations of industry leaders, but it also includes numerous conferences, debates and trainings. Every year, the four-day event is built on the knowledge of experienced experts and supported by key associations and institutions operating in the wood and furniture industries. We are aware that DREMA could not exist without our exhibitors. They are our greatest inspiration and motivation. Thanks to this support we are constantly developing and we can proudly organize the largest trade fair for woodworking and processing in Central and Eastern Europe. All the facts and know-how that have been developed over the years underpin our success.


Why is it worth showcasing your products at DREMA?

Andrzej Półrolniczak: For years the DREMA trade fair has been an opportunity to present the latest achievements of Polish and foreign manufacturers of machines, tools, equipment and components for the woodworking and furniture industries. It is also an ideal place to present modern technologies and solutions dedicated to the woodworking industry. Exhibitors are eager to boast of new developments and innovative achievements. The woodworking and furniture industries are undergoing continuous transformation and are faced with serious challenges. Over the last few years, it is not only production rules that have changed, but also customer expectations in terms of adapting products to the changing lifestyle. These determinants also significantly shape the way trade fairs are organised. As time goes by, DREMA is also changing! Above all, what makes the event so special is the diversity of the exhibition. Up to now, the International Trade Fair of Components for Furniture Production and the International Trade Fair of Upholstery Materials and Components for Upholstered Furniture have been independent events, but will have become an integral part of DREMA since the 2020 edition. That will provide participants with a holistic presentation of technological solutions for the woodworking and furniture industries (from raw materials, through materials and components to technologically advanced machines and equipment for furniture production). From 15 to 18 September 2020 in Poznań, together with market leaders and renowned brands, we will be shaping the future under one globally recognizable brand with a new name - DREMA International Trade Fair of Machines, Tools and Components for the Wood and Furniture Industries. In order to provide maximum comfort to our exhibitors, we propose special conditions for companies organizing machine demonstrations in their exhibition space at the DREMA 2020 edition. These include discounts for participation in DREMA and DREMASILESIA fairs, for electrical outlets, for mounting dust extraction systems, lighting, etc., and a possibility for early assembly free of charge. It is worth noting that we have also introduced a new deadline for applications - the best prices are available until 28 February 2020.


Does the trade fair follow the changing situation towards digitization and new technologies?

Andrzej Półrolniczak: The forestry, wood and furniture industries, together with cooperating industries, currently have a significant potential in Poland. Taking into account the changes that are currently taking place in terms of the use of new technologies, rational use of raw materials and higher requirements set by customers, implementation of innovations is the responsibility of entrepreneurs. Furniture production in Poland is still growing, the industry is developing, manufacturers are seeing a growing number of orders, but they lack qualified staff. This makes many factories more and more focused on automation of production, both to increase production capacity and to optimize the time of delivery. Participation in the DREMA trade fair is an excellent opportunity, on one hand, to present new products and improved solutions in line with Industry 4.0 and, on the other hand, to get familiar with a wide range of companies from the industry as well as current trends.


The industry is struggling with staff shortages, rising labor costs and declining profitability. How can trade fairs help to attract new customers?

Andrzej Półrolniczak: Rising costs of raw materials, rising labor costs, environmental protection, logistics - these are just some of the challenges faced by the woodworking and furniture industries, which affect both large manufacturing plants and micro-enterprises. In cooperation with our exhibitors, trade associations and media partners, we arrange the exhibition space in a way that makes it possible for DREMA to set the directions for the development of the industry and to present the latest global technological and technical solutions in a comprehensive manner. The new formula of DREMA 2020 will serve this purpose all the same. The existing Furnica and Sofab trade trade fairs will become part of DREMA. This will provide an opportunity for a comprehensive presentation of solutions - from the process of designing products for the wood and furniture industry, through materials and components, to modern production technologies and logistics. DREMA's advantage comes from the fact it offers machines and technological lines in operation, facilitating the selection of the best solutions for woodworking and furniture plants. Moreover, the trade fair will be accompanied by congresses where we will set directions for the development of the woodworking and furniture industries. As part of the Trend Forum and Drema Design, we will discuss trends in materials and components for the production of furniture and wood products and promote the best solutions for designers of wood and furniture products. It is worth highlighting the fact that the woodworking and furniture industries demonstrate its best aspects at DREMA.


DREMA has for years been associated with modern machines - is automation of processes in the wood and furniture industry inevitable?

Andrzej Półrolniczak: That automation has already started, companies that still take notice of it, will be forced to do so by their competitors. The DREMA trade fair allows exhibitors to display machines and equipment that improve not only production, but also other processes in the industry. It is often the case that visitors to the trade fair only discover new solutions that will optimise their operations and solve real problems right here. Oftentimes, the machines shown by our exhibitors can replace the work of several people. Our intention as the organizer is to encourage automation of processes not only in production, but also throughout the supply chain. For many companies struggling with personnel shortages this is the best solution.


Can participation in the DREMA trade fair, despite the slowdown in the industry, effectively raise the status of the Polish furniture industry and Polish products on the European markets in the coming years?

Andrzej Półrolniczak: The Polish manufacturing output potential is constantly growing. In 2018, the value of furniture production in Poland exceeded PLN 49 billion, and the value of export is approaching PLN 48 billion, which leaves Polish manufacturers second in Europe. The success of Polish furniture worldwide is important for the Polish economy as the sector generates as much as 2.31% of the Polish GDP, while the average for the EU countries is 0.61%. Innovative machine and technological solutions undoubtedly play an important role here. And the DREMA trade fair is undoubtedly the best place to see them. That is why I am calm and optimistic about the future of the industry and the future of DREMA.


Among the representatives of the woodworking and furniture industries, the Poznań event is often compared to the Ligna in Hannover and there are many voices recommending that DREMA be organized every two years. How does the MTP Group relate to these suggestions?

Andrzej Półrolniczak: Like the other countries, we have our own exhibition as well. Looking closely at the entire timber industry, I can say that Polish furniture production is progressing steadily, which translates into the development of the trade fair industry. The success of DREMA is supported by 40 years of experience. To a large extent, we owe the progress to the Western markets, which recognize Polish craftsmanship and high quality Polish products. These markets drive and contribute to the development of DREMA. Foreign customers dictate their requirements to us, but also show us technical solutions and thus inspire us to develop and invest in innovations. Today, Polish entrepreneurs offer comprehensive solutions for technological processes, from wood cutting to advanced solutions for the furniture industry. Domestic companies have a lot to boast about - many innovative products or solutions are no worse than foreign technologies, and high quality of workmanship, modern materials and better prices allow us to compete effectively with major players on the global market. So, as long as Polish manufacturers want to develop and satisfy demanding European markets, we, as the MTP Group, want to provide them with such an opportunity.

DREMA International Trade Fair of Machines, Tools and Components for Wood and Furniture Industry will be held in Poznań from 15 to 18 September 2020.