Advanced-automation technology provider Festo Corp. will soon expand its existing Regional Service and Manufacturing Center in Mason, Ohio by approximately 350,000 square feet. The move will nearly triple the company’s capacity in logistics, production and industrial training setups offered through its Festo Didactic Learning Center (which serves manufacturing companies and colleges throughout the tristate area).
Construction will be conducted in two phases and is expected to be completed by 2024. The company also plans to add 350 jobs in the fields of engineering, mechatronics, purchasing and material management, as well as production and logistics operations, over the next five years.
Festo, which maintains United States and North American regional headquarters in New York, first announced its move to Mason in 2013, opening doors in 2015 to a $50 million, 150,000 square-foot facility located along the I-71 Innovation Corridor. Festo’s leadership team credits the strong foundation established with city, regional and state officials, as well as the opportunities the regional ecosystem provides regarding talent, connectivity and innovation in Industry 4.0/Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), as the impetus to locate and expand here. This new investment is a next step in maximizing the 47-acre campus acquired by Festo to meet growing demands in the North American market.
“Strong market growth in the U.S. and other North American countries requires us to expand capacity in logistics and production to ensure product and service excellence for the customers,” said Oliver Ring, Festo’s global senior vice president of supply chain and logistics. “We are pleased and proud to announce this substantial expansion here in Mason, where the team feels welcome and at home. We look forward to a long future of collaboration and success with customers and partners.”
“As we continue to grow in the U.S. and North America, this strategic investment in production, logistics and supply chain excellence will enable us to better supply customers long term,” said Carlos Miranda, chief executive officer of Festo, North America.
“Digitalization trends around Industry 4.0 (IIoT) are driving fast-paced changes in the automation industry,” said Rich Huss, president and chief executive officer, Festo U.S. “To keep up with and meet customers’ high expectations, this investment will allow us to increase local production and strengthen the regional supply chain long term.”
“While this may seem like a traditional economic development announcement on the surface, this investment represents far more,” said City of Mason Mayor Victor Kidd. “Our four-year friendship with Festo runs deep. Through its incredible generosity to the community and schools, Festo has redefined what it means to be a partner, helping to inspire curiosity in STEM education in the youngest residents.”
The City of Mason, REDI Cincinnati and JobsOhio are collaborating to create an incentive package for Festo. The expansion is contingent upon the approval of those incentives at the local level and from JobsOhio, which will be made public after review from the appropriate approval bodies.
“Festo’s expansion is an example of how talent, collaboration and commitment to innovation can help a global advanced manufacturing leader thrive in Ohio,” said JobsOhio Director for Advanced Manufacturing Glenn Richardson. “Festo has been a fantastic partner in Mason, investing in cutting-edge technology, creative training, and hundreds of new jobs for Ohioans.”
“Festo has a passion for transforming the way people work with their innovative technology setups,” said Kimm Coyner, vice president of business development and project management at REDI Cincinnati. “Their increased investment in the region helps advance our leadership in IIoT. We are proud of the partnership, which has focused on strengthening talent … including sponsorship of the City of Mason’s Innovation Week.”
Changes in leadership at Festo in Mason, Ohio
Festo also will mark a leadership transition at its Mason campus. Yannick Schilly, the chief operating officer and vice president of product supply for North America who successfully relocated and established Festo’s Regional Service and Manufacturing Center in Mason, will step down. Dr. Nikolas Gebhard was announced as Schilly’s successor earlier today during the company’s Town Hall Meeting. Gebhard has served since 2012 in various positions at Festo in engineering and with the supply chain division. Schilly will stay on through June to ensure a smooth transition.
“After four successful years, I have decided to establish my own business venture here,” said Schilly. “Mason has become home to my Festo family, as well as my own family.”
“Having worked in Italy and Germany, I am excited about this investment and my new professional and personal challenge here in the U.S.,” said Gebhard. “After several months of close collaboration with the local Festo team in Mason, I now look forward to taking the Mason campus to the next level and to fostering the wonderful partnerships Festo has forged here. My family and I look forward to joining this community, which has already embraced the Festo family.”
Under Schilly’s leadership, Festo has worked closely with the City of Mason to foster a strong public-private-partnership that supports community education and talent development; inspires students of all ages to take an interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields; and brings economic benefits to the technology ecosystem already present in the city and region. Festo served as a founding partner in launching the City of Mason Innovation Week in 2015 with its Bionic Learning Network.
Festo is a worldwide supplier of intelligent automation setups including pneumatic and electromechanical systems, components and controls for process control and factory automation. Festo’s products and services come in 176 countries. With approximately 20,000 employees in more than 250 branch offices in 61 countries worldwide, Festo’s sales exceeded $3.5 billion last year. Actual figures for 2017 will be released in late April. Each year, Festo invests approximately 8% of its revenue in research and development. For more information, visit www.festo.com.
For more information on Festo Didactic, visit www.festo-didactic.com. For more information about the City of Mason, visit imaginemason.org or whymason.com. JobsOhio works with six regional partners across Ohio — Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth, Columbus 2020, Dayton Development Coalition, REDI Cincinnati, Regional Growth Partnership and Team NEO. Learn more at www.jobs-ohio.com.