The International Press Conference of Festo was held for the 14th time on 2nd and 3rd December at the Scharnhausen Technology Plant. The entire International Press Conference was staged under the motto of “Industry 4.0”. New business models, the future and visions for the digitalisation of production, the consequences for education and training, and new product highlights – an inspiring, multifaceted programme was provided on location for more than 60 journalists from 18 countries. You can experience the International Press Conference by following the highlights in the online stream.
Industry 4.0 is not a global “Big Bang”, but a highly dynamic process that extends to all areas of our living and working worlds. For the producing industry, maintaining competitiveness is crucial to success. In this environment, each and every company must determine for itself in which areas digitalisation supports this objective. With the Scharnhausen Technology Plant, Festo has created both virtual and real zones for giving shape to this change within its own enterprise, and has devised specific solutions that have enabled it to reach the implementation phase.
Dr. Eberhard Veit, Chairman of the Management Board: Festo on the way to Industry 4.0
Close cooperation between the industrial associations and the spheres of industry and politics is ensured by “Plattform Industrie 4.0”, a consortium established to create a basis for a uniform understanding of the concept of Industry 4.0. Technological standards are being developed here, along with business models and new forms of cooperation that will strengthen the global competitiveness of the industry. “In interdisciplinary groups, the participants in ‘Plattform Industrie 4.0’ are carrying out intensive work on the future topics of standardisation, research and safety, but also regarding aspects of new working worlds and training,” explains Dr. Veit. “We are talking here about the transformation of industrial manufacture into a fully networked, flexible production system. To remain competitive, we must take the initiative with our characteristic spirit of inventiveness and give shape to this new development.”
Stefan Schwerdtle, Head of Global Production Centre Scharnhausen: Making production adaptable
Festo’s Scharnhausen Technology Plant in the high-tech country that is Germany is at the forefront of automation for the future. The factory, where the automation company manufactures valves, valve terminals and electronics, is characterised by lean and energy-efficient processes, top-quality products and a pronounced customer focus, as well as sustainable and green production.
Klaus Zimmermann, Head of Training and Consulting, Festo Didactic SE: Consequences for Education and Further Education
The enormous rise in the quantity of data and in the complexity of plant networks and company divisions makes it necessary to develop products that make the flow of data easy to project and to use – at production level, but also for training and developing workers’ skills. For the operation and ongoing optimization of facilities, to maximize adaptability, and to develop flexible, intelligent components, 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.
Tomislav Babic, Product Manager Customer Solutions: The new VUVG assembly lines had a dream: handling systems engineered within 20 minutes
Manufacturers of complex highly automated assembly lines – such as those used in Festo’s Scharnhausen Technology Plant to assemble VUVG valves – are particularly pleased that the new software tool enables them to drastically reduce their time to market. These assembly lines incorporate up to 20 handling gantries. The costs of engineering carried out with traditional methods used to be relatively high, but this has now been revolutionised by Festo's Handling Guide Online.
Dr. Claus Jessen, Board Member Product Supply: Preparation for the Future of Production
This transformation in the world of production is founded on digitalisation, a crucial element in the merging of the virtual and real worlds. Dr. Claus Jessen, Board Member Product Supply at Festo, sees great potential here: “Digital refinement will give rise to increasingly intelligent products. In future, the individual elements of an overall system will be able to communicate with each other and autonomously control and regulate themselves. They are the core of industrial digitalisation and support the production process through enhanced functionality – from self-sufficient energy supply up to condition monitoring.” Festo is working in close collaboration with its customers to develop new concepts and business models – from the development of communication-capable components with decentralised intelligence, to their integration into superordinate automation environments, up to new service models.
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