Festo recently hosted the first online press conference in South Africa at its Isando offices, giving an exclusive preview of the company’s latest innovations in automation showcased at the 2014 Hanover Fair. “We are excited to be able to offer a local, direct experience of the Fair,” said business development manager, Russell Schwulst. With the theme 'Integrated industry – next steps', the fair addressed the introduction and practical implementation of the German government’s Industry 4.0 initiative in which Festo is heavily involved. Industry 4.0 is being hailed as the fourth industrial revolution.
The Festo team seen at the online press conference, from l: Tracey Swart, marketing coordinator; Marthinus Venter, industry segment manager; Russell Schwulst, business development manager; Brian Abbott, pneumatic product manager.
“Automation is getting ever closer to the idea of work pieces controlling their own production,” explained Schwultz. “Traditional and rigid central control systems are giving way to decentralised intelligence that will allow machines, plant, work pieces and components to exchange data and messages in real time. The smart factory of the future is fully networked and integrated,” he continued. “Festo’s automation platform, CPX is an important milestone on this road towards integrated industry.”
Among the other exciting new technologies presented by Festo experts was the BionicKangaroo, complete with 3D-printed tail, which like its natural model can recover the energy generated from jumping, store it and efficiently use it for the next jump; and the SupraMotion exhibits – SupraHandling, SupraShuttle and SupraChanger – demonstrated the frictionless movement of hovering objects without any contact – the first possible applications of superconductor technology in the automation sector of tomorrow.
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