Artificial intelligence in real time
If manufacturers of automation technology want to create real added value for their customers, digitalisation solutions are the way to do it. “That is why Festo developed the Festo Automation Experience, or Festo AX for short,” explains Dr. Oliver Niese, Vice President Digital Business at Festo. Festo AX boosts the performance of machines and systems, thus making customers even more successful.
“Our customer-oriented approach means we have a lot of experience and knowledge of customer applications. We therefore know exactly what software solutions our customers need for their businesses,” adds Niese. After all, Festo not only has automation technology expertise but also industry sector expertise. With the acquisition of the software company Resolto, it also has access to competencies in advanced analytics and artificial intelligence. The software solution Festo AX builds on the combination of these three pillars.
Appetite for digital solutions in machine building
The world is in a state of permanent change. “As individuals, we encounter this change every day in our private lives in the context of digitalisation. These changes will impact on our business world too,” says Niese. This means that anyone who wants to understand the world and the changes in industry needs to be aware that in ten years' time, three quarters of the working population will be so-called digital natives. These people are used to working with digital solutions in machine building. For companies involved in automation technology, it is therefore vital to their continued existence to take this into consideration for future strategies.
To take account of this evolution, Festo developed the solution Festo AX. “It helps our customers to make decisions on the basis of facts,” emphasises digitalisation expert Niese. Festo Automation Experience (Festo AX) is an easy-to-use solution that allows users to extract maximum value from the data produced by their equipment through artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.
Analysing data and boosting productivity
Users can increase productivity, reduce energy costs, avoid quality losses, optimise their shop floor and create new business models just by analysing their data with Festo AX. “With the modules Predictive Maintenance, Predictive Energy and Predictive Quality, we implement our customers’ individual solutions together with them,” explains Niese.
Festo AX analyses live data in real time. It can be integrated flexibly into the customer’s system – on premises, on edge or in the cloud. The solution is capable of using the customer’s own expertise according to the principle of “human in the loop”. The user themselves and no one else remains the owner of the collected data.
The data analysis is not just limited to components and modules from Festo itself. “A big advantage on the market is that our software also makes it possible to reliably analyse components from other manufacturers,” stresses digitalisation expert Niese.
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.