The Festo Group
A responsible family-owned company and a global player in digitalisation
Festo, the world’s leading supplier of automation technology and technical education, is deploying its products and services to meet the challenge of smart production for the future in the course of digitalisation. Established in 1925, the independent family-owned company based in Esslingen a.N., Germany, has been a driving force in automation for over 60 years and with its unique range of offers has become the world market leader in technical education. 300,000 customers worldwide in factory and process automation put their trust in the company’s pneumatic and electric drive solutions. In addition, Festo Didactic provides state-of-the-art training solutions for industrial companies and educational institutions throughout the world. The Festo Group registered sales of around €3.1 billion in the 2017 financial year and is represented worldwide at 250 locations throughout the world with a total of 20,100 employees. 8% of its annual turnover are invested in research and development.
As a family-owned company, Festo thinks and acts responsibly and with a long-term perspective. Festo stands for clear values, utmost quality and customer-oriented innovation. It has set standards in industrial automation technology and technical education ever since its establishment, thereby making a contribution to sustainable development in the economy and society.
Festo is advancing digitalisation in all its corporate divisions. Many aspects of Industry 4.0 are already reality today in the Festo Group. Festo is leading its customers and employees into the digital future. To this end, the company is developing new future-oriented concepts founded on the triad of innovative and energy-efficient technologies, intuitive human-machine collaboration, and education and further training.
Productivity – Festo’s core competency
Innovation for the best possible productivity, a global presence and close, long-term partnerships with its customers are the hallmarks of Festo. In the 1950s, Festo became the first company in Europe to use compressed air as a drive medium in automation. The company now offers over 30,000 products and system
solutions for pneumatic and electrical automation technology which, thanks to a large variety of modular systems, can be tailored to specific customer applications in many different factory and process automation industry segments.
These include pneumatic and electric drives, valves, servo controllers, motion control, valve terminals, installation-saving connection technology, handling and assembly technology, air preparation equipment, fittings, vacuum technology, position and quality inspection, sensors and control technology.
The core product range comprises components from every phase of the pneumatic and electrical control chain, with which around 80% of all applications can be accomplished effortlessly and quickly. Festo also offers a wide range of modular systems solutions and standard handling systems.
Important industry segments are the automotive sector, the food and packing industries, electronics and assembly, biotech, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, medical engineering and laboratory automation, the chemical industry and water treatment.
Digitalisation and Industry 4.0 – smart products for the future
It is only through self-organising components that production plants really become flexible and are therefore able to meet constantly changing requirements. Products from Festo are becoming increasingly intelligent and incorporate more and more software-based applications as well as the ability to integrate embedded functions. Smart products optimise themselves, adapt to external influences, identify themselves and have a digital map in the form of a product key. Integrated sensor technology ensures that processes are transparent and self-diagnosing, thus enabling preventive maintenance.
Universal standards and interfaces such as the OPC UA common interface fulfil the requirements for smart products suitable for plug&produce applications and Industry 4.0.
The energy efficiency module MSE6-E2M is a world first that provides optimal compressed air preparation and energy monitoring.
Festo is introducing a genuine Industry 4.0 component on the market for the first time: the breakthrough innovation Festo Motion Terminal VTEM. This is the world’s first pneumatic automation platform to be controlled by apps and demonstrates how digitalisation is making its way into pneumatics.
Festo offers comprehensive digitalisation of the customer interface. The “digital customer journey” shows in digital form all of the contact points – from the engineering process with CAD tools, via product selection, configuration, virtual commissioning, up to monitoring over the entire product life cycle.
Qualification for Industry 4.0
The enormous rise in the quantity of data and in the complexity of plant networks and company divisions is also requiring new and highly flexible qualification solutions for staff in industrial environments and students in vocational education. For the operation and ongoing optimisation of facilities, and to maximise adaptability, one needs to communicate both a general understanding of digital, fully automated production technologies and in-depth knowledge of the structure and programming of digital facility networks.
The practical training in the use of new technologies is conducted using the cyber-physical learning and research platform “CP Factory” from Festo Didactic. This platform replicates the workstations of a real production facility and makes it possible to learn how to program facilities, set up networks and optimise many other aspects such as energy efficiency and data management.