On last Tuesday, the "First International Festo Press Conference for Process Automation Solutions" began in earnest. We were greeted by Chrstopher Haug, Customer Magazine and Technical Press Director, and then treated to a discussion by Dr. Eckhard Roos, Head of Global Process Automation Management as to "Why is Festo a Good Choice in Process Automation."
Considering that Festo's offerings in process automation are limited (they don't make a PLC, or a DCS, or many sensors, or other typical process automation products) to valve actuators, valves, and controllers, you would think that their process automation relevance would be small.
But not so, as Dr. Roos pointed out. Festo doesn't want to compete with the big six automation companies. Far from it. Festo wants to work with them, and has developed a methodology for becoming more important to the projects Festo takes on than the products it sells. This, obviously, is a value add.
Dr. Roos noted that companies do not have the unencumbered talent to do projects with specific expertise...like valve controls, for example. Festo wants to be part of the project at the very earliest time, and help to design and consult in the basic engineering phase, and act as a procurement consolidator and, essentially, Main Automation Contractor for these projects, and now handle Installation, Commissioning, and finally Operation and Maintenance.
Clearly, this is a wise positioning for Festo to take in process automation. They can parlay a relatively small product sale into a decent engineering, installation and procurement solution that is a win for Festo (they sell their products) and a win for their customer (the customer gets a turnkey project).
Dr. Roos set the stage for us to look at each of the seven case studies through the MAC lens.