Pneumatics & Hydraulics

Festo at the heart of absolute automation

July 2021 Pneumatics & Hydraulics

Festo is renowned as one of the leading pneumatic automation suppliers. Over the years, the company has also set the pace in both Process and Electric Automation. This is backed by its proven record of reliability and product performance in these industries. Its ability to provide complete solutions has placed Festo at the heart of absolute automation, as very few companies can provide solutions for all three technologies without requiring third-party components. ‘The Heart of Absolute Automation’ is also the theme for its new 2021 campaign.

Tying into this theme, the Festo Process Automation solutions are regarded as the veins that help keep the heart beating. In anatomy, the veins are the channels that provide blood to the heart. This is the same in real-life Festo applications. Its process valves and configurator tools give its customers’ production a seamless and unstoppable media flow. Continuing with this analogy, the global company‘s Electric Automation solutions are the conduction system that provides seamless connectivity from the brain to the heart. In industry, these seamless connectivity solutions aim to reduce the complexity of automation tasks from the workpiece to the cloud, making different interfaces simple and easy to handle. Russell Schwulst, head of Process Automation and Marcus Gericke, head of Electric Automation, delve more into the unique Festo offerings in these industries.

Process automation technology for basic and sophisticated tasks

Festo offers a complete range of process automation products, extending from a mechanical process valve to pneumatic, electric and hybrid solutions. Its diverse product range and services include Linear Actuator DFPI, Quarter-turn Actuator DFPD, Angle Seat Valve VZXA and KVZA butterfly assembly, to name just a few. “With our diverse product range and our modular automation concept, Festo provides solutions for basic and sophisticated tasks. We can integrate our products as a complete solution and seamlessly tie them into your existing processes,” said the head of Process Automation at Festo South Africa, Russell Schwulst. He added that the Festo Customised Solutions department can assemble, test and commission butterfly valve assemblies locally to save time for customers. It can also manufacture state-of-the-art panels that comprise PLCs, HMIs, drives and all peripherals in-house.

The local team of Festo Process Automation experts, combined with the company’s engineering tools, years of expertise and international support, allows the local team of Festo to provide its customers with the highest level of efficiency, and help designers specify the best solution for applications. The company’s passion for automation, industry and service excellence inspires it to provide customers with world-leading service. Festo takes great pride in solving process automation challenges and providing customers with tailor-made solutions.

Connectivity with electric automation technology

“When we developed our automation platform, priority was placed on seamless connectivity from the outset. The mechanical system, drive system with motor and controllers, as well as software modules were designed as one unit,” said head of Electric Automation at Festo South Africa, Marcus Gericke, as he elaborated on its electric automation offering. He added that this applied to the mechanical, electrical and intelligent interfaces. Furthermore, compatibility with the many third-party controller manufacturers was also key.

For example, the latest generation of Servo Drives CMMT and Servo Motors EMMT from Festo, together with the intuitive commissioning software Festo Automation Suite, makes integration easier and speeds it up significantly. These components can be integrated seamlessly into all commonly available Ethernet-based external controllers and users will not notice that the hardware manufacturers are different. A seamless communication chain is established from the simple sensor or IO-Link device, the PLC, to the cloud. With the new remote IO system from Festo, the CPX-AP-I connectivity extends directly to the valve terminals, bringing all the diagnostic advantages. This opens end-users and OEMs to advantages such as preventative maintenance and faster fault finding, to name a few. The Festo seamless connectivity from the workpiece to the cloud offers solutions to many of the challenges faced by today’s machine builders. Reducing the complexity of the automation task enables faster, more reliable build times, reduced work-in-progress and lower costs.

Reliable partner for technical training

Festo understands that to become competitive, system users and commissioners need to be adequately trained. As leaders in technical training, Festo also offers CPD-accredited webinars covering topics such as electro-pneumatics and an introduction to PLCs. It further provides face-to-face training courses such as Process Valves and Actuation Technology to equip the machine users with skills to excel in the industry. Interested customers can visit The company is a one-stop automation partner for an array of products, training and engineering tools.

For more information contact Festo South Africa, 0860 033 786,,


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