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Factory automation companies join forces

The Finnish manufacturer of flexible manufacturing systems (FMS), Fastems Oy Ab, which also builds robotic cells for automating machine tools, has purchased factory automation firm, Pneumotec GmbH Automatisierungstechnik. Located in Issum, Germany, the company was previously part of the Voortmann Group. The firm will continue to operate autonomously under managing director Christoph Wessels.

In the UK, there are many Fastems FMS linking multiple machine tools, including those of dis-similar makes, based on a multi-level, computer-controlled storage and retrieval system for all the machine pallets. Customers range from blue chip aerospace manufacturers to medium size subcontractors.

Pneumotec brings a skill set parallel to that of Fastems, but with the accent on large volume production, especially in the automotive industry. Systems offered encompass automated handling cells including gantry robots, inter-machine logistics, conveyors, parts magazines, and bespoke automation for the steel industry.

In respect of Germany and neighbouring German-speaking countries, the Pneumotec acquisition gives Fastems proximity to customers and prospects as well as better communication channels. Benefits will include greater sales reach and enhanced engineering back-up in those markets.

Jarmo Hyvönen, managing director, Fastems Oy Ab, commented, "The existing products, systems and know-how in Pneumotec are an optimal extension to Fastems’ offering.

"Our leading position in supplying factory automation solutions and our attractiveness as a partner to machine tool builders will be strengthened as a result of this acquisition."

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