The digitalisation megatrend – the key to increased productivity

A phenomenon that has become a standard part of our private lives is now also spreading into industry: digitalisation. One thing is for sure: everything that can be digitalised will be digitalised. And that is why Festo is investing resolutely in the digitalisation of the company and its portfolio. But where exactly does Festo stand on a topic that often raises more questions than it answers?

Actively shaping change

Festo is actively leading the way in digitalisation in order to take control of the future, taking an approach that is comprehensive as well as agile and cooperative. Initially, this meant that products had to be compatible with the digital challenge because that is the common basis for all subsequent activities. Come what may, Festo is determined to explore the possibilities that lie between the real production world and the digital world, and to pass this experience on to customers.

Keeping staff on board

Employees are crucial to the success of digitalisation. The Festo Human Resources department has a clear mandate to make sure employees are fit and ready for the company’s pursuit of digitalisation. Its job is to optimise processes and support employees as they make the transition to digital working. Throughout the company, employees are to be equipped for new approaches to working, not only in line with the concepts of “new ways of working” and the “workforce of the future”, but also so they can engage in agile forms of working such as “design thinking”. In this age of information overload, the ability to prioritise and filter information is one of the most important digital skills.

From hardware to software-based added value

Data management is all about adding value. That applies just as much to knowledge about products and solutions as it does to knowledge about customers. This is undergoing a dramatic change with the transition from hardware to software-based added value. Although hardware will never stop being important, advances such as digital twin technology are opening up new forms of added value and help to boost productivity through simulations and rapid trials.

As an automation expert, Festo has both the hardware knowledge and the application experience to reap the benefits from new data that will be of value to customers. These are the first steps to introducing greater intelligence into the production environment and to realising the promise of gains in efficiency, competitiveness and productivity. In addition, they are the key to future-proofing your production. At process level, they speed up time to market, and make processes leaner and faster.

Benefits of digitalisation

If the power of digital transformation is harnessed correctly, there are many advantages for everyone:

  • Greater productivity in design and production
  • Optimised and accelerated processes
  • Improvements in overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), primarily through preventive and predictive maintenance concepts
  • Traceability of production
  • Energy monitoring, and many more

Never losing sight of our customers’ needs

Always keeping sight of our customers’ needs is the primary principle for Festo. With this in mind, we have identified four areas that are absolutely vital to maintaining a solid and successful partnership with customers as we journey into the digital age. The first area is the digital infrastructure of which the Festo Cloud will be an important part. Secondly, digital products and services open up new business models and boost the productivity of the partners involved. The third area, the Internet of Things (IoT) automation platform, links smart and intelligent products to one another, e.g. CPX/MPA with an IoT gateway. And finally, the digital customer journey that will make it much easier for the customer to navigate each process station thanks to the consistent look and feel. The level of complexity associated with these four tasks can only be managed by adopting an interdisciplinary approach.

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