Freudenberg-NOK Explores the Future of Manufacturing At THE BIG M Conference in Detroit Dr. Theodore Duclos: We all know that the current path we are on is ultimately unsustainable in the very long term.

DETROIT, June 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- There's little doubt that American manufacturing must continue to evolve to regain its economic footing, address global trends and meet customer demands with high-tech solutions. The question is, what will that evolution look like?

Dr. Theodore G. Duclos, CEO, Global Fluid Power Division, Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies (Freudenberg-NOK), will share his vision of the country's industrial future at the inaugural BIG M™ Manufacturing Convergence Tuesday, June 10 at Cobo Center in Detroit. The four-day conference, hosted by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and Automation Alley, will bring together industry representatives, government officials and academicians to discuss the most pressing challenges facing American manufacturing.

The key to addressing those challenges, Duclos will point out, is achieving a truly sustainable balance between economic, environmental and societal demands. And while companies understand the importance of a strong balance sheet, many have yet to fully implement programs that sustainably address environmental and societal challenges. Duclos' presentation will dive into historical trends, introduce the newest lean manufacturing processes and then explore an industrial future that could draw upon lessons learned from biological processes such as biomimicry and bio-production to flourish.

"Sustainability requires us to address economic, environmental and social concerns, and we do this through the creation of new knowledge," Duclos said. "Over time, this concept has improved manufacturing through the elimination of waste and introduction of lean systems.

"Lean systems lead us to control manufacturing processes on a smaller scale. And this trend inevitably could lead us to systems that may be either biological in form or mimic biological processes," he continued. "This is the transformative path that American manufacturing could follow to a sustainable future."

Freudenberg-NOK is a leading producer of advanced sealing technologies for a variety of markets including aerospace; agriculture; appliance; automotive; construction; diesel engine; energy; food and beverage; heavy industry; and pharmaceutical.

The company's corporate culture – founded on six Guiding Principles that ultimately focus on innovation, knowledge and the elimination of waste – have provided a solid foundation for implementing truly lean manufacturing processes like net shape single cavity molding and one-piece flow. These processes have brought multiple benefits to the company and its customers, including higher part quality, less capital, faster cycle times, faster changeovers, high productivity, shorter lead times, less inventory and more flexibility.

Ultimately the six Principles – value for customer, responsibility, innovation, leadership, people and a long-term orientation – will provide the framework needed for Freudenberg-NOK to embrace the industrial evolution taking place in manufacturing, and the company will continue to meet and exceed customer demands and prosper, Duclos said.

"Whether we realize it or not, our journey to lean processes has been leading us to sustainability all along," Duclos concluded. "The principles of lean systems will inevitably lead us to create manufacturing processes that can close the carbon cycle that has been unsustainably open for many years."

About Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies
Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies is the Americas joint venture between Freudenberg and Co. in Germany and NOK Corp. in Japan. Freudenberg-NOK is a leading producer of advanced sealing technologies for a variety of markets including: aerospace; agriculture; appliance; automotive; construction; diesel engine; energy; food and beverage; heavy industry; and pharmaceutical. Founded in 1989 under the legal name Freudenberg-NOK General Partnership, Freudenberg-NOK is headquartered in Plymouth, Mich. and operates more than 20 facilities across the Americas. For additional information, please visit www.fnst.com.

SOURCE Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies



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