The Festo Group
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. The company also relies on artificial intelligence and machine learning. 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 56,000 industrial companies and educational institutions throughout the world. The Festo Group registered sales of €3.07 billion in the 2019 financial year and is represented at 250 locations throughout the world with a total of 21,000 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 of the environment, 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.
Added value through digitalisation
Smart products, connectivity, the mining and interpretation of data, including via the cloud, and dashboards for visualisation, already offer added value for customers. Products like the energy efficiency module E2M, IO-Link-capable components, the CPX-IOT gateway or interfaces like OPC-UA contribute to this process. Another basic requirement for successful and consistent digitalisation is mechanical, electrical and intelligent connectivity through software solutions, enabling all customers to find their bearings quickly and intuitively.
Festo is promoting this with an open automation architecture and a large product portfolio made up of axes, motors and controllers. Standardised software tools are also being developed: configurators for smart engineering, the Festo Automation Suite for easy commissioning and the digital maintenance manager Smartenance for reliable operation. Digitalised pneumatics such as the Festo Motion Terminal VTEM makes pneumatics more flexible than ever before. The reason: apps define the function, the hardware remains the same.
In addition, data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence are shaping the agile product development of the future. With the takeover of Resolto Informatik GmbH in 2018, the competence in the field of AI has been further expanded.
Qualification for Industry 4.0
As a leading provider in the field of technical training and further education Festo Didactic is a trendsetter. This involves the digitalisation of learning methods as well as the provision of forward-looking learning content for self-organising production and industry 4.0. Central topics such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and mobile robotics are increasingly finding their way into learning environments and training courses.
Festo Didactic offers a comprehensive range of learning solutions for the trend topics of digitalisation and energy turnaround. The learning content is specifically tailored to these topics in learning paths and conveys the skills that will be in demand among the specialists of tomorrow. Technological knowledge is imparted both in team-oriented training sessions on physical learning systems and, increasingly, independently of time and place through digital online learning options. Festo LX (Festo Learning Experience) is the new online portal for learners and trainers, which stands for customised, motivating learning in vocational training.