White Paper

Energy Efficient Automation Systems For A Profitable and Sustainable

Source: Festo Corporation

Why you cannot compare the energy efficiency of household devices with that of automation technology?

Energy efficiency is exhibited only in the total application How can you save energy and hence costs in automation technology? This question is not easy to answer for production companies. They are presented with great challenges both in the planning and the operation of new and existing production plants. The reason is that all parameters must be correct in order for a system or machine to be energy-efficient. However, they are very different. What is energy efficient in one case may not necessarily be so in another case. With washing machines, for example, saving energy is very easy: you select the product with the best energy efficiency class (e.g. A++).

Why is that so easy? This is due to the pre-defined usage scenario of the products. Washing machines are closed systems. The energy consumption of several items of equipment can be compared in a standardized manner under pre-defined general conditions. When applying this example to automation technology, it becomes quickly clear that this is not so easy. On the one hand, the system limits are not so clearly definable as for a washing machine. Should only the pneumatic cylinder, the pneumatic control chain – or the entire factory be taken into account? On the other hand, you cannot define any standardized general conditions for automation applications.

The total benefits are decisive: each technology has its specific advantages!

If you have a specific application, the next question is, how is the application designed technically? Pneumatically, electrically? Once the following criteria have been clarified and the ideal technology for the application found, the search for the products with the best energy efficiency for the application can be started.

Technical criteria

  • Speed range (min. – max. speed)
  • Overload capability, load capacity
  • Performance/weight ratio/capacity
  • Precision
  • Control behavior
  • Load rigidity
  • Efficiency
  • Sturdiness/sensitivity (dust, humidity, EMC)

Economic Criteria Purchase Costs

  • Purchase price
  • Commissioning
  • Installation (energy supply, energy supply unit/ transformer station, compressor, compressed air system, air conditioning)

Operating costs

  • Maintenance
  • Service life
  • Energy costs

Sustainable energy efficiency in automation requires a sophisticated concept which covers a total of four areas:

  • Intelligent dimensioning
  • Energy-efficient products and solutions
  • Services
  • Training and consulting

Each of these four areas contributes to an increase in energy efficiency – regardless of where the road begins. For optimum energy efficiency which meets the current standards or, looking forward, even surpasses them, it is recommended to use all four areas in combination.

Festo’s perfectly coordinated concept takes all points of the value added chain of our customers – from the initial design considerations and energy-efficient engineering systems up to the after-sales process. Training, for example, secures the sustainability of the targeted efficiency far beyond the first day, because it conveys guidelines for the structure, the identification of weak points and also the maintenance of energy-efficient systems which go far beyond the pure product expertise for the design and purchasing. The Energy Saving Services also make a great contribution to energy efficient systems – and often provide essential data for a reorientation to energy-efficient, economic systems.

Intelligent dimensioning

Intelligent engineering! Intelligent and innovative dimensioning software assists you in designing your systems. This allows components to be designed at a smaller size and prevents the accumulation of safety factors.

Products and solutions

Energy-efficient solutions! Festo provides its customers with products and solutions that use energy efficiently. Festo components and solutions enable an astonishing savings potential to be implemented. From highly efficient compressed air preparation up to the valve and valve terminal level and front units. Impressive as stand-alone solutions, unbeatable in combination.


Festo Energy Saving Services provide compressed air users with a customised range of services to determine and optimally exploit potential compressed air savings. The service package for comprehensive and sustainable energy saving is interesting to all compressed air users.

Training and consulting

Benefit from the synergies of industrial proximity and Festo Didactic’s training expertise.