Festo is the Driver of Change in Automation and Didactic

In the digital transformation of its customers in factory and process automation, Festo has the human in focus in addition to the technology, with new forms of human-machine cooperation and qualification solutions 4.0.

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In the digital transformation of its customers in factory and process automation, Festo has the human in focus in addition to the technology, with new forms of human-machine cooperation and qualification solutions 4.0. At the Hannover Messe trade fair, the company is already presenting initial applications for flexible networked production of the future. Festo is also contributing its competence to the Industry 4.0 platform and invested in its own digital production during the past financial year with the Scharnhausen Technology Plant. With a sales volume of €2.64 billion in the 2015 financial year, the company grew by 8 % (2014: €2.45 billion). Since 1st January 2016 Dr Claus Jessen, who over the last few years had already helped shape the course of technological developments at the company as Member of the Management Board for Product Supply, has been the new Chairman of the Management Board of this family enterprise with its 18,700 employees.

The 2015 financial year

Festo continued to grow in the past financial year. The growth amounted to 10 % in Germany and 6 % in the core market of Europe. Similar growth was registered in the regions of Asia with 10 % and America with 12 %. Demand abated over the course of the year in Europe and in China and the USA, but also in Brazil and India, and was smaller overall than had been expected. Against this background, the company achieved a sales volume of €2.64 billion for the past financial year, corresponding to an overall growth of 8 %. Festo Didactic further consolidated its position as world market leader in technical education with qualification 4.0, and recorded a positive year overall.

A further step into the future

The company is reinforcing its orientation towards the future under the leadership of Dr Claus Jessen, its new Chairman of the Management Board. A key driving force for the future development of Festo is the ongoing digitalisation of industrial automation. “Festo makes its customers more productive. To this end, we develop solutions that meet their own particular requirements. Our experience in pneumatics and in electric automation sets us on an ideal footing in this regard. And with our new industry-specific solutions for increasing flexibility up to lot size 1, we are now going a stage further – and thereby taking yet another step into the future,” said

Dr Claus Jessen on the occasion of the Hannover Messe 2016 trade fair. Over the next few years, the company intends to consolidate its leading market position in industrial automation and in technical education and training.

Digitalisation in focus

Festo works in close cooperation with its customers to devise new concepts and business models – from the development of communication-capable components with decentralised intelligence, to their integration into superordinate automation environments, and up to new service models. The company invests around 8 % of its sales volume in research and development.

This includes intensification of software activities with the “House of Software”, the development of a superordinate decentralised automation platform and the extension of electric automation. With the takeover of Eichenberger Gewinde AG at the beginning of this year, the Electric Automation division was also strengthened in the field of linear actuators.

“We are expediting digitalisation throughout all divisions of our company. Research and development, the supply chain, IT, the sales sector with interfaces to the value-creation processes of our customers – everything is becoming virtually networked to an increasing extent and is growing together. Nevertheless, our people remain a key success factor. We can only tap the great potential offered by Industry 4.0 if we reinvent working worlds and develop training concepts in keeping with the changing requirements,” said Dr Claus Jessen. The company is already putting Industry 4.0 into practice in technical training and cooperation projects at the Scharnhausen Technology Plant, near the corporate headquarters.

Festo is pressing ahead with research and development in Industry 4.0 for both factory and process automation. With the Multi-Carrier-System in factory automation and new concepts for modular production in process automation, the first products for flexible networked production of the future were already launched on the market last year. At this year’s Hannover Messe trade fair under the motto “Discover Solutions”, the focus is on specific applications with Industry 4.0-capable components and systems.

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