Freudenberg-NOK Manchester Plant Demonstrates Lean, Six Sigma to Presidential Hopeful Newt Gingrich

MANCHESTER, N.H., Aug. 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- When it comes to lean manufacturing, Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies' Manchester, N.H., plant is the gold standard, according to former U.S. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, who visits the plant today to observe lean principles in operation and discuss his proposal to apply lean manufacturing and Six Sigma practices to the U.S. government. Gingrich is a Republican candidate for U.S. President in 2012.

Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies (Freudenberg-NOK) is a leading producer of advanced sealing and elastomeric technologies for a variety of industries including automotive, aerospace, appliance, diesel engine, agriculture, construction, heavy industry, and alternate energy.

The company has successfully launched 38,000 lean Kaizen projects since 1992 that have resulted in total cost savings of $342 million. Its Six Sigma program, launched in 2000 as a complement to its lean practices, has resulted in training of 85 Black Belts, 573 Green Belts and approximately $43 million in combined project savings. Freudenberg-NOK's Manchester, N.H. gasket facility provides an exemplary model of how lean manufacturing/ Six Sigma principles have been adopted by the company to improve plant performance and customer service, eliminate waste and improve operational efficiencies.  

While Freudenberg-NOK does not endorse political candidates, it is willing to share its own successful journey in founding a corporate culture that embraces lean principles in every aspect of its operations. A long-time proponent of lean/ Six Sigma management techniques, Gingrich is urging business leaders who have successfully applied these quality practices to share their expertise with politicians and government officials in an effort to establish a lean/ Six Sigma culture within the federal government.

"We are proud that our Manchester facility has been associated so prominently with successful implementation of lean manufacturing and Six Sigma practices," said Al Nadeau, lead center manager for Elastomeric Gasket Operations in Manchester. "We have certainly been on a lean journey that has resulted in tremendous quality and process improvements in our operations. I am extremely proud of the employees and work teams responsible for adopting lean manufacturing and Six Sigma standards and training into their everyday functions. They are dedicated and highly disciplined in their approach, and this facility is a true benchmark within the organization for lean standards."

Freudenberg-NOK's Manchester plant produces elastomeric engine and transmission gaskets and seals and employs approximately 240 plant associates. The plant's people and products have been instrumental in supporting technology development on customer flagship vehicles such as the Chevrolet Volt and Jeep® Grand Cherokee. In fact, Chrysler LLC awarded this facility its coveted Supplier Achievement Award in 2010 for its role in developing a complex water pump gasket for its new Pentastar engine.

"Freudenberg-NOK's use of lean/ Six Sigma is a model for the nation and can teach the government a lot about how to save taxpayer money while delivering better results," Gingrich said. "Politicians, their staff and agency officials owe it to the American people to learn and apply successful waste reduction principles from the private sector to control spending."

Freudenberg-NOK launched its lean program in the Americas under the acronym GROWTTH – Get Rid Of Waste Through Team Harmony. The program is now considered an industry benchmark for lean systems. The addition of Six Sigma training and projects has allowed the company to address and improve its process capabilities as well.

About Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies

Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies is the Americas joint venture between Freudenberg and Company in Germany and NOK Corporation in Japan. Founded in 1989 under the legal name Freudenberg-NOK General Partnership, Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies is a leading producer of advanced sealing and elastomeric technologies for a variety of industries including automotive, aerospace, appliance, diesel engine, agriculture, construction, heavy industry, and alternate energy. Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies is headquartered in Plymouth, Mich., and has facilities throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Malaysia. With annual revenues approaching $US 1 billion, the company employed approximately 4,200 people in 2010. For additional information, please visit www.freudenberg-nok.com.

Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies is part of the Freudenberg & Co. Group of Germany. Freudenberg & Co. is a family of companies specializing in seals and vibration control technology, nonwovens, filtration, lubricants and release agents and other specialty business areas. The Freudenberg Group generated sales of more than $7.13 billion and had 34,000 employees in 2010. For additional information, please visit www.freudenberg.com.

SOURCE Freudenberg-NOK



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