Festo US Corp., a supplier of pneumatic and electrical automation technology offering industrial and process automation, components and more, on Oct. 20 celebrated 50 years of service to the U.S. market during a party that took place at New York City's Gotham Hall.

During the event, the family-owned company recalled the history of starting up its U.S. division in Port Washington, N.Y., on March 15, 1972, later moving operations to Hauppauge, N.Y., and then to Islandia, N.Y. The Mason, Ohio, 47-acre campus serves as a regional manufacturing, distribution and research and development center for North America. 

"Festo was founded in 1925 in Europe. When Festo [became a] pioneer by using pneumatics and automation was when we felt ready and strong enough to compete in the American market," Dr. Ulrich Stoll, third generation of family founders and vice chairman of the supervisory board at Festo, said during the event. "We entered the U.S. market as a full-range supplier, which was rather unique at the time. At Festo, you could get cylinders, actuators, [and more], solving all of your automation needs with one single supplier. That is what Festo still is today. We will continue to bring innovation to our customers for 50 more years."

In the future, Festo is committed to the United States, he added. "We will continue investments and manufacturing in the USA with delivery and development. ... Many family members have spent a lot of time here. We have a close bond to the U.S. We believe in the potential of this country and the potential of manufacturing. ... If you ask me about the future, I am optimistic for the next five months, five years and the next 50 years."

Curt Michael Stoll, deputy chairman of the supervisory board, continued the U.S. plays a key role in the development of Festo, as innovation and technology are part of its DNA.

"My dad, Curt Stoll, brought the idea of pneumatics as a key technology for industrial automation," he said. "... In my mind, the strengths of innovation are not only based on technological advancement. They are also apparent in the business model."

Festo CEO Dr. Oliver Jung noted the company will continue its strategy of performance, speed and especially innovation. "We want to differentiate with our products and innovations," he said. "We have products we call controlled pneumatics, which reduces the air consumption of the CO2 footprint by 70 percent. As an engineer, this is a revolution."


All about automation

Carlos Miranda, chief operating officer relayed the world is changing, with supply chain issues at the forefront. "Automation will be the engine for the driving the growth," he said. "... "Factories must provide innovative solutions, lowering the overhead for customers."

The Festo fully automated distribution center in Mason can pick and ship 10,000 products per day with no errors, Miranda stressed. 

"Festo established its first Life Tech (Life Science) research and development center in greater Boston. This center is instrumental in developing technology and solutions for life customers, such as vaccine manufacturers and laboratory automation equipment companies. We also invested in California, the center of the digital world. We have a Festo Experience Center where we explore innovations in electronics and the semiconductor business."

However, this is not the end of Festo's investments, Miranda asserted. Reducing the manufacturing footprint will be a major goal moving forward.

Miranda concluded by stating what makes Festo different from competitors. He recalled a conversation he had with a customer.

"'You offer solutions that add value and long-term solutions. Because of this, we are proud to have Festo as our automation partner.'

"We are a family-owned business. We care about one another. We care about our customers. We invest in the future, new technologies and in our people," said Miranda.