The design of technical products is becoming more and more of a key factor in international competition. For the automation specialist Festo, design has for many years been an integral part of the product development process.
Above all, products must be self-explanatory and intuitive - with the focus on the human beings who have to operate these products. The jury at the iF design award recognised no less than six Festo products as having outstanding product design. The motor cable NEBM was even selected for a gold award. The prizes were presented on 28th February 2014 in the "BMW Welt" multi-functional customer experience and exhibition facility in Munich.
In the case of all the award-winning Festo products, product design has been focused on a process of reduction to essentials, but nevertheless the designers have again and again succeeded in giving the different products a striking appearance. "The precise characteristics of our products mean that users can differentiate between our product families quickly and intuitively," explains Karoline von Häfen, Festo's Head of Product Design.
Focus on human beings
Different colour codes are, for example, used to indicate to users the purpose for which a component is intended. "The colour code blue has a very special meaning for us and has a clear connotation: it indicates something which needs to be operated, adjusted or moved manually. This colour is used throughout all Festo products to provide an easy-to-learn piece of information which results in intuitive operability of the product," adds Karoline von Häfen. This is also the case with the motor cable NEMB which was selected to receive an iF gold award: the shape and blue colour of the locknut communicate that this is an adjusting component. Users can thus learn to understand the product and its function at a glance - completely intuitively.
High performance underscored by award-winning design
Besides an iF gold award for the motor cable, Festo also received awards for its quarter-turn actuator DRVS, valve terminal MPA-C, pneumatic rotary actuator DRRD, mini H gantry EXCM H and mobile robot platform Robotino®. "The numerous awards underscore our outstanding product design, the outward expression of the functionality, durability and quality of our products," says Karoline von Häfen. Products from Festo were also successfully honoured at the Good Design Award 2013 in Chicago and at the Universal Design Award 2014 in Munich.