Festo’s digitisation programme is making an impact, and the market is taking note. Because we were among the three finalists nominated for the Digital Transformer of the Year award in the ‘Industry and Technology’ category. The nominees and winners were chosen in November at a festive evening event in the Microsoft Atrium in Berlin. The prize was awarded on the basis of an industry survey and jury decision. It honours transformation services that serve as examples for all.
‘We are very pleased about this nomination. Above all, because it shows that the automation market and our customers see us as being ahead of the game,’ says Dr Frank Melzer, director of Product and Technology Management.
First, more than 1,000 industry representatives voted for the top three in an online survey, then a jury selected the winner from those nominees. In addition to Phoenix Contact GmbH & Co. KG and the winner, BASF SE, Festo was nominated in the ‘Industry and Technology’ category.
Cooperating with partners a factor for success
Digitisation has many facets and requires interdisciplinary cooperation. Not only within Festo, but also with other companies. Together with partners, Festo is developing standards and business models. ‘Industry 4.0 is not an individual business. We have to think differently and see competitors not only as competitors. Standards can only be developed together with partners. Alliances such as MindSphere World are crucial for taking a leading role in digitisation,’ says Andreas Oroszi, head of Digital Business at Festo and member of the MindSphere World Management Board.
New impulses through bionics and start-ups
Start-ups are also a valuable source of new ideas and technologies for Festo, particularly in the field of digitisation. Festo is part of three accelerator programmes and is already working successfully with a number of young entrepreneurs.
Nature also offers plenty of inspiration for innovation. Tasks such as gripping and moving are solved by nature as a matter of course, simply and energy-efficiently. What could be more natural than to look at nature’s phenomena and to learn from them for automation in everyday factory life?
Looking ahead: a pioneering role in artificial intelligence (AI)
We have ambitious plans for the future. ‘We have significantly expanded our AI expertise with the acquisition of Resolto Informatik. AI is now to be integrated into our components and systems,’ says Andreas Oroszi, looking ahead.
At the SPS IPC Drives trade fair in Nuremberg at the end of November we will be showing some initial applications together with Resolto: AI monitors the CPX-E-CEC controller and the new CMMT motor controller. These can be extended with Resolto’s machine-learning algorithms and offer intelligent process monitoring, for example to detect faulty batteries.
The Digital Transformer of the Year award
The Digital Transformer of the Year award was presented for the second time in November 2018. A jury selects the winner from three nominated companies for each of these categories: Automotive; Mechanical and Plant Engineering; Industry and Technology; Energy; and Media.
The prize is awarded for transformation services that serve as examples and provide practical assistance. The award is under the patronage of Dorothee Bär, parliamentary state secretary in the federal chancellery and federal government commissioner for digitisation.