As an innovation leader, we have our eyes on the future and are always on the hunt for good ideas, new technologies and solutions. Partnerships and cooperation are an integral part of our corporate philosophy. That is why we support and sponsor start-ups and assist them on their way to practical industrial applications.
Since 2014 we have been working consistently with several promising start-ups that benefit from Festo’s industry expertise. Our collaborations focus particularly on technologies and solutions that can be used in our products and services to create added value for our customers or make our processes more efficient.
Start-up pitches at Festo
We therefore have regular start-up pitches for specific areas of technical research as well as for processes and procedures. The start-ups that are invited to pitch their ideas can then discuss the challenges and possible solutions directly with the departments and explore the options for collaboration.
Watch the video for insights into a Festo start-up pitch:
Festo is a member of the Gründermotor start-up initiative
The Gründermotor initiative is the decentralised innovation platform for Baden-Württemberg, designed to lay the foundations for the digital SMEs of the future. To achieve this, the initiative works closely with several colleges and universities across Baden-Württemberg. Innovative start-ups are given access to a premium network of experienced mentors, well-known investors and partners from science and business.
Festo is a partner to M.Tech Accelerator – Engineering the Future of Mobility
M.Tech Accelerator is a key platform for technology start-ups in the south of Germany, providing new ideas for the development of the Stuttgart region as a centre of engineering and mobility. The programme is supported by the state capital Stuttgart, bwcon GmbH, TTI GmbH, wizemann space and the Stuttgart Region Economic Development Corporation. After the application phase, 25 start-ups are accepted to the accelerator programme and are supported over a full 12-month period. M.Tech Accelerator supports individuals and start-up teams who are in the pre-founding or founding phase and have innovative products or business models in the areas of mobility, manufacturing and engineering.
Festo is a partner company of startup2mittelstand
We have joined forces with other SMEs to find intelligent solutions with a focus on optimising and digitalising business processes and supporting this through new technologies – for example in the areas of purchasing, HR or for our plants. The companies involved in the "startup2mittelstand" (start-up to SME) initiative are more successful together in identifying and evaluating start-up solutions and are also more appealing to the start-ups.
Festo is part of the TechFounders accelerator programme
The TechFounders accelerator is a 20-week programme during which technology start-ups are brought together with strong partners from industry. With the help of various mentors and their networks, the start-ups prepare a business idea with the aim of implementing initial applications in the form of pilot projects. In addition to Festo, other companies including BMW, Bosch, Linde and Miele are also involved in the accelerator programme.
Example of collaborations:
Simple networking of various interfaces, appliances and machines – this is the objective pursued by the Stuttgart start-up aucobo. The two-person founder team started its work at the beginning of 2016. Their smart systems, for example a smartwatch, enable information to be easily exchanged between employees and machines. Processes in production are thereby optimally networked with each other.
Pilot project at Festo
The mobile machine operation is already being used at the Scharnhausen Technology Plant. The production workers can use the smartwatches to make adjustments in a flexible manner. Status changes and machine faults are sent directly to the employees on their smartwatch. It is also possible to ask for support from other facilities. The solutions increase machine availability and reduces unnecessary walking by the employees in production.
The Austrian software developer, Holo-Light, focuses on Industry 4.0 solutions with augmented reality devices such as the Microsoft HoloLens. The user of such devices can enhance their real surroundings with additional information digitally. Holo-Light develops intuitively usable mixed reality software products for a wide range of industry applications, such as data glasses during production or at trade fairs. The start-up was founded in April 2015.
Pilot project at Festo
The HoloLens data glasses are being tried for the first time in a pilot project at the Festo plant in Rohrbach. The technology helps with typical, repetitive processes, for example during employee orientation processes. Instead of working directly on the machine in the factory, the assembly process is projected in a training room via the data glasses.
With the help of holographic images and voice instructions, the operating procedures, including all the necessary details, can now be learnt virtually step by step. Practising assembly processes, getting to know products and providing important conduct and safety training courses: with the data glasses, these training stages can take place without interrupting the production flow. The HoloLens application thus helps to save costs and time as well as to produce well-trained employees.
realworld one is a global provider of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). It serves customers in the fields of life sciences, analytics and diagnostics, as well as the pharmaceutical and chemical industry and process technology. It offers a systematic approach to the implementation of VR and AR in sales, marketing, service, support and production. realworld one currently has more than 200 employees, including at the corporate head office in Freiburg im Breisgau and in four other branches.
(Pilot) projects at Festo
The Scharnhausen Technology Plant introduced VR for system procurement back in 2017 to optimise the procurement process for new systems. VR has since become an important part of many other processes, including some collaborative projects. For example, VR is used in assembly system planning to gather feedback from staff at an early stage and optimise the assembly and workplace layouts. This means that new manual workstations or machines can be comprehensively, and above all realistically, analysed and optimised when still in the design and planning phase. A virtual experience of future assembly systems also reduces costs for subsequent changes and training procedures and significantly improves the speed of work, ergonomics and employee satisfaction.
Sonic Technology AG develops easy-to-use apps for day-to-day processes in production and maintenance. Interactive interfaces and a varied range of data connections enable valid data to be gathered directly at the location where value is created. The data can then be used to make effective improvements and identify trends. Every day, many thousands of users use the intuitive apps to make decisions more quickly and to achieve ongoing improvements in efficiency. Typical applications include day-to-day shop floor management, manufacturing execution systems, worker assistance systems and maintenance management.
Pilot project at Festo
The shop floor management system was thoroughly digitalised in a close collaboration between Sonic Technology and staff and managers at the Scharnhausen Technology Plant. Important reference data such as the actual quantities, wastage and reasons for faults are now only a click away, as are the tracking and trend analysis actions. The productivity of the plant was significantly increased in conjunction with other organisational and process measures.
The sharing economy goes industry!
V-INDUSTRY enables an economic and transparent commissioning of external production. The V-INDUSTRY platform makes it quick and easy to find suitable machines for a production order as well as available machine capacities. The start-up from Ostfildern thus optimises the commissioning of contract manufacturers and sustainably streamlines administrative processes in the value stream.
Pilot project at Festo
The V-INDUSTRY platform is used in the construction of Festo’s production facilities in Scharnhausen. With the help of the tool, orders can be placed more quickly and more flexibly. Now it is possible to make these work steps more efficient and automated: V-INDUSTRY takes a holistic approach to digitisation/Industry 4.0, which results in considerable potential for optimisation of administrative processes.