Sustainability bringing an added sparkle to the Stars in Automation Technology
The "Stars in Automation Technology" are more than 2200 pneumatic and electric automation products from Festo, which are quickly available worldwide, durable and attractively priced. Now the core products from the Festo portfolio are being developed to be more and more sustainable, with savings in terms of weight, volume and energy as well as space and materials required.
The ‘Stars of Automation’ include over 2200 components from every phase of the pneumatic and electrical control chain, from compressed air preparation, valves and cylinders to accessories, such as matching tubing and fittings. With the Festo Core Range, machine and equipment manufacturers can realise around 80% of all applications effortlessly and quickly at attractive prices, even when large quantities are needed.
Fast availability worldwide
Many of the components marked with the star are ready to be shipped just 24 hours after the order is received, while configurable products are ready for delivery within a few days. All products in the Core Range are available worldwide and with the same level of quality thanks to automated production at various decentralised locations in the core markets of Germany, China and the USA. There are further plants in India, Brazil, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Switzerland. Distribution is also decentralised thanks to highly automated logistics centres in Germany, China and the USA, so 70% of all customers can be reached within one day.
The hallmark of the latest components of the Core Range is that they are being developed to be more and more sustainable, with the goal of saving weight, volume and energy as well as raw materials and installation space. Each goal increases sustainability – in the production line through savings in installation space, in the machine design through savings in raw materials, in end-of-arm applications through savings in energy, in the warehouse through savings in volume and in handling systems through savings in weight. For example, the new round cylinder DSNU-S offers the same performance as the tried-and-tested round cylinder DSNU, but is 35 mm shorter and its mounting interface is up to 40% narrower. Or reduce installation by 32% with the one-way flow control valve VFOE compared with the best-selling GRLA-D.
The design engineers and production planners at Festo worked closely together during the development of these products to ensure that the Festo plants can manufacture the components with a high degree of automation. For example, Festo engineers manufactured the yoke and slide for the mini slide DGST as a single part in order to enable large quantities to be produced efficiently. The developers successfully reduced the number of components by 10% compared with the previous model.
Shorter cycle times
This collaborative engineering approach allowed Festo to reduce cycle times by almost 50% for the DGST or the guided drive DFM. Festo plants can now produce a DFM every minute, for example. Another example is the fully automated production line for the standard valve VUVG, which produces a fully assembled valve every 12 seconds.
New organisational methods such as basing production and assembly on value flows as well as consistently applying the methods of operational excellence (OPEX) such as lean management or Six Sigma shorten the distances between the individual production steps and reduce the throughput times. And this will enable Festo to boost the efficiency and productivity at its production, assembly and logistics sites in the coming years.
New stars in the world of automation
The accelerated product development process has paved the way for the latest Stars in Automation. The mini slide DGST, for example, is the smallest of its kind and the shortest slide drive on the market. However, it is strong when it comes to precision, forces, motion control, durability and reliability.
Other best sellers among the Stars in Automation include the lightweight compact cylinder ADN-S, which is produced almost entirely as one part and can perform small and micro-movements in the smallest of spaces. The regulators and filter regulators of the MS2 series service units are designed for use close to the process directly in the machine and for end-of-arm applications. They are lightweight and compact, but with high flow rates of up to 350 l/min. The tubing/fitting combination PUN-H/QS also ensures reliable compressed air supply in standard applications and in wet areas.
Copper-, zinc- and nickel-free
Depending on the application, products in battery cell production must not emit any interfering particles such as copper, zinc or nickel. Otherwise there is a risk that the quality of the batteries is reduced or that they are unusable. That is why Festo has defined criteria restricting the use of copper, zinc and nickel in its product development: metallic materials with copper, zinc or nickel as a main component are excluded from use for such variants. This means that many products from the Festo Core Range are also suitable for secondary battery production.
Festo is a global player and an independent family-owned company with headquarters in Esslingen am Neckar, Germany. Festo 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. The company supplies pneumatic and electrical automation technology to 300,000 customers of factory and process automation in over 35 industries. The LifeTech sector with medical technology and laboratory automation is becoming increasingly important. The products and services are available in 176 countries. With about 20,800 employees in over 250 branch offices in around 60 countries worldwide, Festo achieved a turnover of around €3.81 billion in 2022. Each year around 7% of this turnover is invested in research and development. In this learning company, 1.5 % of turnover is invested in basic and further training. Festo Didactic SE is a leading provider of technical education and training and offers its customers worldwide comprehensive digital and physical learning solutions in the industrial environment.