Freudenberg-NOK Pushes Development and Use of Sustainable Materials, Processes and Product Designs

PLYMOUTH, Mich., Sept. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- "Sustainability… our sustainability… is mortally dependent on our environment, and our environment is dependent on us."

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120917/DE74621)

These words are not the mantra of an extreme environmental group. But spoken by Joe Walker, they do represent a radical departure in the way that Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies (FNST) is pursuing its industrial business success these days.

With a clear focus on addressing environmental challenges like dwindling resources, government regulations, global warming, population increases and clean energy, FNST has implemented a strategic sustainability roadmap that will guide its long-term efforts to reduce energy usage, lower its carbon footprint and produce greener, cleaner products and processes.

Walker, FNST corporate director of Materials Development and Chemical Regulatory Compliance in the Americas, will present this roadmap, and the growing portfolio of green products and processes it is generating, at the LANXESS Mobility Day North America in Charlotte, N.C. Sept. 18.  Walker, who oversees FNST's four corporate materials research and development laboratories in Plymouth, Mich., will share the stage with Robert Anthony "Bob" Lutz, former Vice Chairman at General Motors Company to discuss the case for corporate sustainability.

"As scientists, we must affect positive change in our environment by creating industrial solutions that factor in megatrends like fewer natural resources, dwindling landfill space and global warming," Walker said. "Our industrial strategy must be innovative enough to successfully solve our customers' issues using new materials, fewer resources, cleaner processes and innovative technologies that improve fuel economy and lower emissions, among other effects."

FNST has long been at the forefront of material research and development efforts to address changes in the polymer and rubber industries – industries heavily dependent on petrochemicals and oil. FNST is a global producer of elastomeric seals and custom molded products for industries including the automotive, aerospace, energy and construction, is aggressively pursuing materials innovations designed to meet customers' current and future product demands.

Sustainable practices, when implemented correctly, should yield savings for companies and customers, Walker said. Additionally, trade associations and other organizations should encourage manufacturers to pursue sustainable products and processes by adopting new business scorecards that give credit to their efforts.

LANXESS Mobility Day North America is a continuation of the company's successful series of global events on the topic of "Green Mobility".  Being staged for the first time in the United States, the one-day conference will feature high profile speakers addressing the topic of "Advanced Technologies for Sustainable Mobility."

Walker will focus his presentation on how FNST applies sustainability throughout its global operations – from research and development efforts to manufacturing production and supply chain relations – and will highlight some of the products and processes that have produced environmental and economic benefits for the company and its customers.

For example:

  • The company's successful migration to single cavity molding is producing better product consistency while using less energy in its manufacturing plants.
  • The company's Low Emission Sealing Solutions (LESS) products use less than one-quarter of the energy used by conventional radial shaft seals, thus lowering vehicle emissions and fuel consumption.
  • FNST's water-based adhesive program and ultraviolet (UV) curable elastomers eliminate the use of hazardous solvents and post molding heat treatment while significantly reducing the company's annual carbon footprint.

"Sustainability should not be considered radical environmentalism," Walker concluded. "Our existence relies on our taking care of the environment. In manufacturing, sustainability must be supported by a management philosophy that starts with raw materials, extends through the supply chain and focuses on relevant customer solutions."

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 4,700 people in 2011. 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 $7.8 billion and had 37,000 employees in 2011. For additional information, please visit www.freudenberg.com.               

SOURCE Freudenberg-NOK



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