Industrial Utility Efficiency

Five Decades of Innovation at Festo USA

Festo USA 50th Anniversary Gala in New York City’s Gotham Hall.


Festo USA continued the 2022 celebrations of its 50th anniversary by inviting customers, business partners, members of the board, media and employees to a gala in New York City’s Gotham Hall on October 20, 2022. 

I was honored to be invited and very interested to learn more about the history, innovations and people at this leading manufacturer of pneumatic and electromechanical systems powering automation in virtually all modern manufacturing processes.

This truly celebratory evening featured an elegant dinner, an energetic band, and a line-up of distinguished speakers from Festo’s Supervisory Board and executive management team. The theme of the evening was “Five Decades of Innovation.”

Dr. Ulrich Stoll, Vice Chairman of the Supervisory Board, began the presentations with a look at the history of Festo. “The history of Festo began in 1925 in Germany. Festo USA was founded on March 15th, 1972 in Port Washington on Long Island, with the focus of being a full-line supplier of pneumatics – a focus we continue with today.” 

Dr. Ulrich Stoll speaking at the Festo USA 50th Anniversary Gala.

Curt Michael Stoll, Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board, spoke of Festo’s historic and continued focus on innovation when he said, “Many years ago, my father Curt Stoll discovered pneumatics on a trip to Chicago and brought the innovative idea back to Germany.” Emphasizing Festo’s long-standing focus on innovation he continued, “Whether it’s technology for life sciences or a 200-laser machine using argon gas pneumatics, we will continue to focus on supporting start-up technologies on the cutting edge of innovations changing the world.”

Curt Michael Stoll, Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board, spoke about Festo’s history with innovation.

Dr. Oliver Jung, Chairman of the Management Board and Member of the Management Board Human Resources, said sustainability is a core value of the company. “Festo is focused on helping our partners reduce their energy consumption related to pneumatics by 70 percent.” Recent announcements relating to “Smart Pneumatics” and the new Festo Artificial Intelligence (AI) Solution, called Festo Automation Experience (AX), certainly support this.

Board Members and Executive Management pictured are Frank Notz, Christoph Stoll, Dr. Ulrich Stoll, Dr. Wilfried Stoll, Carlos Miranda and Dr. Oliver Jung (left to right).

Readers of Compressed Air Best Practices® Magazine are familiar with our long-time editorial focus on industrial sustainability as it relates to energy and water conservation opportunities. Over my 30 years in the compressed air industry, I’ve observed the patience deployed by firms, like Festo, who have long had the ability and technology to help clients save energy on the “demand-side” of the compressed air system. The current energy crisis in Europe and consumer-demand for sustainability in the U.S. have finally increased the demand for projects able to deliver considerable energy savings, meaning compressed air is receiving more attention than ever. What Festo is talking about is the next-level of optimization. I look forward to seeing the full cooperation and power of compressed air system optimizations when the “demand-side” optimization projects with pneumatics receive the investments and resources they deserve. I fully believe and support the 70% energy savings numbers mentioned by Dr. Jung in his speech as this includes the fact that production equipment will actually produce more – once the pneumatic components and compressed air supply (pressure and flow) are fully optimized for energy efficiency. This highly technical work will be central to helping corporations hit their ambitious and highly publicized corporate carbon reduction targets.

Past Festo USA CEOs were recognized. Pictured are Dr. Wilfried Stoll, Dr. Horst Saalbach (CEO; 1978-2000), Curt Michael Stoll, Richard Huss (CEO; 2011-2021) and Dr. Ulrich Stoll (left to right).

Carlos Miranda, Chief Executive Officer North America, said several factors, including COVID-19 and global supply-chain issues, are causing automation-focused manufacturing in the U.S. to grow. “As this market grows, Festo’s market share in the U.S. has grown significantly over the past five years due to our ability to add value with solutions, components and innovations. Our significant investments in our Long Island (Islandia, New York) headquarters and our Mason (Ohio) fully automated distribution center, effectively supports the needs of our partners.”  Mr. Miranda went on to say that further Festo manufacturing and automated warehousing investments are expected in the U.S., particularly at the 47-acre campus located in Ohio. He also provided a list of key focus industries including Assembly and Test, Automotive, Food Manufacturing, Electronics and Batteries, and Life Sciences.

Carlos Miranda, Chief Executive Officer North America, described the growth of automation and the recent significant market share increases by Festo in the U.S.

John Holmes, Vice President of Sales North America, said he was proud to work for a \$4 billion revenue family-owned enterprise whose employees can be characterized as “overflowing with respect, ambitious, tech-savvy, and who are proud to work for Festo.” He said, “Tonight, I’d like to recognize the more than 50 Festo USA employees with more than 25 years service who share my appreciation for Festo’s culture and values – a culture exemplified by the recent $1 million donation to Ukrainian families in need.”

John Holmes, Vice President of Sales North America, recognized Festo USA employees with 25+ years experience.

Our congratulations go out to Festo USA for their 50th Anniversary and we look forward to the Festo (global) 100-year anniversary in 2025!


About Festo U.S. – 50th Anniversary 2022

Festo is a leading manufacturer of pneumatic and electromechanical systems, components, and controls for process and industrial automation. Celebrating 50 years in the U.S., Festo Corporation has continuously elevated the state of manufacturing with innovations and optimized motion control solutions that deliver higher performing, more profitable automated manufacturing and processing equipment. Through advanced technical and industrial education, Festo Didactic Learning Systems and its partners prepare workers for current and future manufacturing technologies. For more information, visit

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