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Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 from the perspective of Festo, a leading automation technology provider

bjoern.sautter Friday July 28, 2017

Festo is a family-owned company with about 19.000 employees worldwide. It is a worldwide leader in automation and a world market leader in technical training and development. The company has a holistic view of the changes in the production world, often subsumed under the term Industry 4.0. Thus, from Festo’s holistic perspective on Industry 4.0 new requirements are imposed on production systems, machines and people in many areas such as e.g.

  • digital depictions of production plants and factories (The Virtual Factory)
  • autonomously functioning mechatronic assemblies (Intelligent Components)
  • direct interaction between man and machine (Human-Machine Interaction)
  • data collection and processing in real time (Data Acquisition and Analysis)
  • qualifications for work in future production environments (Training and Qualification)
  • secure data exchange and synchronisation with external systems (Networking with External Systems)

In the field of intelligent components, Festo recently launched the world's first pneumatic valve, which is completely controlled by using apps. This called Festo Motion Terminal is a standardised platform that will develop into a “Cyber-Physical System” thanks to its intelligent fusion of mechanics, electronics and software. It implements functions using programs in the form of motion apps. Flexible programmable processors and smart actuator technology are integrated within the system. The decentralised intelligence and software-based function implementation make the system more flexible than "hardwired" components. Adaptations can now be carried out decentrally within the system. This reduces both the bandwidth required for communication and the complexity of controlling and programming tasks for the entire system. Thus, this intelligent component enables mechanical engineers to build new machines that are truly ready for Industry 4.0, even in terms of pneumatics.