Mexico on course for I4.0 with German know-how
Festo has been a stable partner to Mexican industry for over 40 years. The need for training regarding Industry 4.0 can be felt in all parts of the country, in the political and business worlds and the educational sector. Festo is currently supporting the digital transformation in Mexico with automation solutions and training measures for customers, conferences, workshops, visits by delegations and training projects relating to Industry 4.0.
Whether it be at globally active enterprises such as BMW, Continental, VW and Audi or at Mexican companies such as Bocar: there is increasing demand for state-of-the-art automation solutions and well-qualified employees in Mexico, above all in industry. This is particularly true of the automotive sector and its suppliers.
Founded in 1975, Festo Pneumatic S.A., Edo de Mexico, is today’s market leader, with more than 30,000 customers from the automotive, food, chemical, pharmaceutical and electronics industry, mining and water management. Festo Mexico is among Festo’s largest national companies outside Germany and has been recording stable growth rates up to the present. Close support for customers is provided by over 400 staff working at the company headquarters in the Tlalnepantla area of Mexico City and in 14 sales offices in all the regions of the country.
Today, Mexico is on the move towards Industry 4.0. The Mexican government has embarked on major structural reforms to strengthen the country’s industrial competitiveness through innovative manufacturing technologies and extensive education programmes. Festo is actively driving this change forward with automation and education solutions.
“The demand for industry 4.0 from our customers is immense. For us, this offers excellent growth opportunities for the coming years,” explains Bernd Noack, General Manager of Festo Mexico.
Specialist training in Germany and Mexico
The Mexican market for basic and further training also offers enormous potential. In 2016, 118,000 Mexican students were awarded first degrees in engineering. As the country’s leading supplier of technical training solutions, Festo Didactic works closely with educational institutions and large companies throughout the country. Festo has for years been equipping technical universities and public and private training centres with learning systems and has been training students and workers in seminars and other training events in Germany and Mexico (over 200 seminars with 2500 participants per year).
“In Mexico, Festo is regarded not only as a pioneer for Industry 4.0 in automation but also as a strong partner for training. With our training programmes, we are laying the foundation for professional and modern basic and further training in Mexico. Within this programme, our focus is on the current and future challenges which the Fourth Industrial Revolution brings with it,” explain Bernd Noack, General Manager and Armando Ramírez, Head of Festo Didactic Mexico.
Dual education for Mexico
Through its Didactic division in Mexico, Festo makes a considerable contribution to technical training initiatives, with everything from material for schools through to comprehensive training systems for university students and further-training concepts for engineers, teachers, skilled workers and technicians. The prerequisite for this is training related to everyday practice using the latest technology and industrial components, such as the Festo Didactic cyberphysical learning factory (CP Factory).
In this area, Festo works closely with over 500 schools in all of Mexico, Mexican technical training institutions such as CONALEP and the German-Mexican Chamber of Industry and Commerce with the aim of generating enthusiasm for technology among young people and establishing a dual training system in Mexico amongst others based on the German model.
In 2016/17, Festo took part in the joint Germany-Mexico Year, with an emphasis on Industry 4.0 and the dual training system. This included a symposium “Industria 4.0 - Connected Industry, La cuarta revolución industrial” on 2nd March 2017 in Mexico City, involving CAMEXA, Bosch, Siemens and T-Systems.
Skilled workers offensive 4.0 in Mexico
Many German, international and Mexican companies, such as Continental or the Mexican tequila producer Sauza, rely on Festo’s know-how and automation technology for Industry 4.0. Qualified specialists are the key to the successful implementation of new technologies. However, these are still rare in Mexico.
Today, only half of the Mexican companies invest in the training of their employees. Whoever wants to be successful in the future needs the right employees,” emphasises Armando Ramírez. This is why more and more companies are relying on Festo Didactic’s continuing education concepts to make their employees fit for Industry 4.0. But additional skilled workers are also urgently needed throughout the country.
The Mexican government has also recognised this and therefore initiated the program
PITAQ I4.0 (Program for International Teacher Assessment and Qualification for Industry 4.0) together with Festo Didactic. The program involves 12 states in Mexico. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is also participating in the project. In this way, 10,000 Mexican students are expected to acquire key skills for Industry 4.0 during their vocational training.
Festo is a global player and an independent family-owned company with headquarters in Esslingen am Neckar, Germany. The company supplies pneumatic and electrical automation technology to 300,000 customers of factory and process automation in over 35 industries. The products and services are available in 176 countries. With about 21,000 employees in over 250 branch offices in 61 countries worldwide, Festo achieved a turnover of around €3.07 billion in 2019. Each year around 8% of this turnover is invested in research and development.
In this learning company, 1.5% of turnover is invested in basic and further training. Yet training services are not only provided for Festo’s own staff – Festo Didactic SE also supplies basic and further training programmes in the field of automation technology for customers, students and trainees.