Fluid Power Journal

Festo Marks 50 Years with Expansions

Festo U.S., celebrating its 50th anniversary year, recently announced expansion plans for its 47-acre campus in Mason, Ohio.

A new production facility and the expanded research and development center will be dedicated to U.S.-centric automation components, systems, and solutions. Festo, a $3 billion family-owned company, manufacturers pneumatic and electric automation systems.

The campus, 30 miles north of Cincinnati, will be the site of a new Festo Global Production Center, the designation for the company’s most advanced automated manufacturing facilities. The GPC will focus on flexible automation in a direct response to Festo customers who want custom solutions that serve to maximize performance and differentiate their machines and systems from the competition.

The Mason GPC is scheduled to begin production by year’s end. It will be the first of its kind in North America for Festo and the twelfth within the company. The most recent GPC was dedicated in Suncun, China, in 2019 and is a leader in high-volume automated production.

The Mason campus is also the location of the newly expanded Festo Technology Engineering Center. Festo TECs are research and development centers where customers collaborate with Festo personnel to co-develop solutions. Festo personnel also engage in market-focused product and system development at a TEC.

This is the second Festo TEC in the U.S. The first facility opened in 2018 in Billerica, Massachusetts, and is devoted to life science solutions, including precision liquid handling and mechatronic systems for high-speed automated laboratory equipment. Personnel at the Billerica TEC developed solutions for automating COVID vaccine production and high-speed automated testing for COVID infections.

The Mason campus consists of three buildings totaling 565,000 square feet. The seven-year-old complex houses the Festo North America logistics and warehouse center. This fully automated replenishment and inventory facility receives, stores, and ships a large selection of the 30,000-item Festo catalog throughout North America. Systems within the center can pick 10,000 products per day without an error. The storage capacity end-to-end is 35 miles long with automated material handling equipment that can accelerate faster than a sports car.

The Mason campus is also the site of the Festo North America production center where products are assembled and customized. These products include valve terminals, gantry robots, robotic surgical arms, automated pipettes for laboratory devices, and systems for semiconductor manufacture, to name a few. Personnel at the production center have the expertise and the digitized systems available that enable a high level of customization. The new GPC will expand these capabilities exponentially through flexible automation.

Festo Didactic North America recently relocated to the Mason facility. Festo Didactic supports educators, educational institutions, and industries to develop the workforce of today and tomorrow through both hands-on and digital learning experiences.

Currently Festo U.S. is developing automated solutions for the commercial space industry, electric vehicle manufacture, warehouse automation, and the fast-food industry. Festo U.S. continues to support industries already using automation for assembly, testing, food and beverage processing, packaging, and automotive manufacturing to name just a few.

As part of its anniversary celebration, Festo U.S. held a gala in Cincinnati, Ohio, in July and will host a second celebration in New York City in October. Members of the Stoll family, government dignitaries, customers, distributors, and team members will attend.

For more information, visit www.festo.com/us/en/.

 

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