Manufacturer marks 50 years with manufacturing, R&D expansions

Festo marks its 50th anniversary with expansions to its Mason, Ohio, campus, which will be the site of a global production center and expanded technology engineering center.

By Festo Corporation August 16, 2022
Most of the more than 100 guests at the Festo 50th Anniversary Gala held in Cincinnati had their pictures taken with the Bionic Swift and Butterfly – Festo flying robots modeled after nature. From left to right: Frank Notz, Festo Management Board Member; Bill Gerbig, President of Ralph W. Earl; and Mark Snyder, Director of Festo North America Channel Management. Courtesy of: Festo U.S.

Manufacturing Insights

  • Festo U.S. celebrated its 50th anniversary of being in the United States and held a celebration in Cincinnati, where they talked about the future of the company.
  • The company announced it will be adding a 47-acre campus in Mason, Ohio, to be the site of the Festo global production center and be their most advanced automated facility.

Festo U.S., celebrating its 50th anniversary year, announced expansion plans for its 47-acre campus in Mason, Ohio. A new production facility and the expanded research and development (R&D) center will be dedicated to U.S.-centric automation components, systems, and solutions. Festo, a $3 billion family-owned company, is a leader in pneumatic and electric automation systems.

The campus, 30 miles north of Cincinnati, will be the site of a global production center (GPC) for the company’s advanced automated manufacturing facilities. The GPC will focus on flexible automation, which is a direct response to customers who want custom solutions for their machines and systems. The GPC is scheduled to begin production by the end of 2022 and will be the first in North America for Festo and the 12th within the company. The most recent GPC was dedicated in Suncun, China, in 2019.

The Mason campus is also the location of the newly expanded Festo Technology Engineering Center (TEC), which is expected to be complete by the end of September. 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, Mass., 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.

A guest at the Festo 50th Anniversary Gala marvels at the lifelike flight of the Festo Bionic Swift. Courtesy of: Festo U.S.

A guest at the Festo 50th Anniversary Gala marvels at the lifelike flight of the Festo Bionic Swift. Courtesy of: Festo U.S.

The 47-acre campus is currently comprised of three buildings totaling 565,000 sq ft. The 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. 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 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.

“As Festo builds on its remarkable past as an automation innovator, we confidently forge ahead toward the future,” said Carlos Miranda, CEO, Festo Business Region North America. “Festo U.S. is growing year over year. We are penetrating new markets as we continue to build on our strong position in the U.S.

“The post-COVID world is changing,” Miranda continued. “Supply-chain issues and other disruptions are causing regionalization and localization to rise. This means the U.S. must expand manufacturing. With a shortage of skilled labor, automated production and training of automation technicians will play an increasing role in U.S. manufacturing growth. As an automation provider and training specialist, Festo’s mission is to support our customers in becoming more productive, more efficient, and more competitive.”

– Edited from a Festo press release with additional information by Tyler Wall, associate editor, CFE Media and Technology,