Soley @ FESTO: Standardization – a success story

Find out how FESTO quickly and systematically identifies unnecessary redundancy in the product portfolio and thus opens up potential savings in the millions.

“By automating complex manual analyses, we were able to systematically reduce unnecessary diversity in a very short time. This enables us to achieve significant savings in purchasing and reduce complexity costs.”

Andreas Kisch Advanced Product Development, Festo AG&Co.KG

Reduce costs: Optimal product variety

Festo AG & Co. KG uses a great many different cables in its products. In the development of new products, it cannot always be clarified through a manual investigation and from a cost perspective, whether a cable used can be replaced by one that is already used and that satisfies similar criteria. Thus, an unnecessary variety of cables arises, which should be reduced. The aim of the investigation in Soley Studio was to find out which of the different cables fulfill the same requirements. By consolidating these, purchasing synergies can be targeted, as well as warehousing and maintenance savings. Given the vast quantity of data the challenges of the analysis lay in the following points:

  • Unify and consolidate required data from different sources.
  • Consideration of the whole product portfolio (~1.4 M data sets).
  • Consideration of available related knowledge (parts lists, list of where parts are used).
  • Expert knowledge formulated into dynamic, combinable rules.

Identifying Unnecessary Variety

The consolidated data provided the basis for extracting extensive evaluations. The successive procedures were divided into the following steps. In panels of experts, Festo employees translated the following analysis steps into a set of rules and applied these to the data base. These criteria were the main focus of consolidation:

  1. Find all components which are used to make a product and which come into direct contact with a raw material cable.
  2. Then consider the technical qualities of the products and compare these with all raw material cables used, insofar as their material status is active.
  3. Seek alternative classifications, so as to use as few raw material cables as possible.

The conditions for this are the reduction of purchase costs, fulfilment of technical requirements (electrical, chemical and mechanical) and the coordination with possible concepts for fully automated manufacture of the products.


As a result, cables that will replace one another were put into groups. This grouping serves as the basis for decision-making, to reduce the unnecessary variety targeted.

Through a transparent presentation, variation in qualities such as the size, shape and color, can be quickly visualized along with the volumes used. With the help of Smart-Data-Tools Soley Studio new insights and degrees of variability were achieved in the configuration of the product portfolio. This results in a clear savings potential in purchasing. In addition, further savings can be made through production optimization, the development of new products and support.

Soley provided new insights and degrees of freedom in the design of the product portfolio. Questions that were previously too complex and extensive can now be dealt with. Potential cost savings were uncovered and the basis for future module developments was created.

Data structure

Data sheets SAP
106 datasets
71 attributes

Number of Parts SAP
2.014 datasets
40 attributes

Purchase-Price / Manufacturing Costs SAP
2.104 datasets
16 attributes

technical data SAP
4.455 datasets
51 attributes

Where-used lists SAP
9.711 datasets
11 attributes

Bills-of-materials SAP
99.967 datasets
11 attributes

1.205.338 datapoints

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