Press Release

Festo rolls out central product data API from freshcells

Dusseldorf – After less than six months of design and development, followed by a comprehensive testing phase, the Essling-based, family-owned company Festo SE & Co. KG pushes a highly flexible product information API into operation. The API has been developed by the Dusseldorf-based system engineers at freshcells systems engineering GmbH. It aggregates data from the underlying product information management system and presents it structured and highly performant in a Cloud environment. The API is available both enterprise-wide as well as to business partners.

"We move in a highly complex market; our customers need comprehensive information to make the right choice. The flexible and scalable solution that has been provided to us now allows us to manage this complexity better. The solution lets us efficiently provide the data to our internal specialist departments as well as to our customers. This is an important component of our success," says Thomas Jung, Product Owner for Product Information Management at Festo, explaining the significance of the newly developed, smart API. Background: The growing possibilities in automation have led to strong growth of the product portfolio and its data scope. The previous solutions had reached their limits, and usage of the product data had become increasingly complex and cost-intensive for data consumers. Another effect is also important to Daniel Figueras, Head of IT Sales Content: "Initial implementations show that the new API delivers data up to twenty times faster. Waiting times of up to several seconds have been shortened to fractions of a second. Speed plays a crucial role for us for two reasons: Firstly, it gives rise to completely new deployment scenarios. Secondly, the customer profits from the fast response times of our digital distribution channels." The experts at freshcells worked with the project team at Festo to define the parameters of the product information management system's new API and then developed a completely new Cloud-native architecture on these. The result is a powerful and flexibly adaptable API that can be addressed by all standard consumer systems, thereby making expensive and time-consuming individual solutions a thing of the past. Moreover, the API offers automated documentation that can be dynamically maintained by the PIM Datahub team at Festo via the code base. A smart authorisation system for varying content approvals and distribution strategies has also been considered. n deciding on the development of such an API, Festo underscores the importance of comprehensive digital interconnectivity. Dynamic business processes are standard in digital distribution channels. Product information must be available to a vast range of catalogue and distribution tools, such as engineering tools, online shops and chatbots, in order for internal specialist departments and customers to be able to access the required information without delay. "We are pleased that Festo chose us. We have many years of experience in connecting heterogeneous systems and data sources, as well as in consolidating and utilising complex data," explains Tom Hülser, owner and Managing Director of freshcells. Moreover: "Our goal for this project was to create a pioneering solution that can supply data to any system at Festo and its partners, as demanded, and without the need for individual implementation projects." Festo and freshcells have plans to continue and build their partnership. "We've found the expertise we need at freshcells. The team understands our system topography and is capable of suggesting and implementing sustainable improvements. Our specialist departments are extraordinarily pleased with the cooperation and the results achieved together so far," says Heiko Landsberg, Head of Global Digital Sales at Festo. Hülser adds: "We want to build a trusted, long-term business relationship with Festo. That's why it's crucial for us to prove our competency with this project. We accepted the challenge happily and we're pleased to receive such positive feedback." Related links:
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