Festo is a privately owned German industrial control and automation company based in Esslingen am Neckar, Germany. Festo is an engineering-driven company that sells pneumatic and electric transducers primarily to the automation industry.
Festo was founded in 1925 by Gottlieb Stoll and Albert Fezer. Initially, it manufactured wood cutting tools and later diversified into the automation industry. A noteworthy early product was the first portable, gasoline-powered chainsaw. In 2000, its portable power tool activities were spun off into an independent company, Festool. In 2002, Festo went to the United States Supreme Court to defend a change to a patent application in Festo Corp. v. Shoketsu Kinzoku Kogyo Kabushiki Co..
Festo also offers Engineering Services via its Customer Solutions department. These solutions range from simple assemblies and kits, to full automation solutions utilizing Festo and third party components. Typical tasks include custom machine design and process automation.
Festo has links with universities, institutes and development companies through their Bionic Learning Network program. They are using this to explore ideas and initiatives which go beyond the core business of automation and didactics and may lead to future products and product areas, currently these projects involve their new line of pneumatic actuators. Some of these projects are the Aqua Jelly, AquaPenguin, the Aqua Ray, Airic’s arm, the Airacuda, and SmartBird.