Pneumatic and electrical automation technology supplier Festo reached €3 billion ($3.6bn) turnover in 2017, with the business experiencing a record 14-15 per cent growth.

International press manager Christopher Haug revealed the soon-to-be-released results to Plastics in Packaging at Anuga FoodTec in Cologne: “We did better in every region but made great growth in China and plan to open a factory in the country soon in an area equidistant to Shanghai and Beijing.”

The German business was showcasing its VTEM Motion Terminal at the show, a machine Haug claims will propel pneumatics into the era of Industry 4.0 with apps that can replace over 50 standard components: “We currently have 50 pilot customers working with it at the moment, including the likes of Bosch.”

Piezo technology, integrated stroke and pressure sensors – together with control via motion apps – are said to open up new areas of perspectives for machinery and plant manufacturers. It will be able to offers ten different functions via motion apps: from basic modification of the directional control valve functions to energy-efficient motion, and from proportional control to different motion profiles.