PLYMOUTH, Mich., June 20 /PRNewswire/ -- In honor of the "Technology Specialist's" quality efforts, Freudenberg-NOK recently received a Recognition of Achievement Award from Ford Motor Co. for its consumer-driven Six Sigma accomplishments. The award is part of the automaker's World Excellence Awards program, which recognizes suppliers who not only achieve the highest levels of cost, quality and delivery, but who also embrace the vision to build Ford's legacy and drive innovation to new heights. The Recognition of Achievement Award, earned by only nine suppliers in 2005, honors suppliers who impact customer satisfaction by providing significant contributions in key designated areas including: environmental leadership, consumer-focused technology and consumer-driven Six Sigma. "We are delighted to be recognized for our Six Sigma achievements and our commitment to quality," said Theodore G. Duclos, vice president, operations and technology for Freudenberg-NOK General Partnership. "We will continue our dedication to customer satisfaction and exceeding our client's needs, while striving to be an outstanding global partner with Ford." Freudenberg-NOK's Advanced Vibration and Acoustics (AVA) group was charged with optimizing the sealing isolation system and the noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) characteristics for a cam cover design. AVA has developed techniques to synergize sealing and NVH, which are typically opposing phenomena. Utilizing Design for Six Sigma techniques, the Freudenberg-NOK engineering team improved the product pre-production, also optimizing cost savings and increasing customer value. Six Sigma, which focuses on measuring quality and allowing for no more than 3.4 defects per million parts, is one of the pillars of Freudenberg-NOK's Growtth program focused on superior quality, service and productivity. Freudenberg-NOK has 61 Six Sigma black belts on staff and has completed 155 Six Sigma projects to drive superior quality, enhance reliability and help automakers and tier one customers to reduce costs. Growtth(R) -- Get Rid of Waste Through Team Harmony -- is Freudenberg- NOK's company-wide continuous improvement program and the cornerstone of the supplier's corporate culture. Launched in 1992, the program emphasizes teamwork and communications and combines lean practices, Six Sigma and other techniques to increase efficiencies in the use of time, labor, materials and space. It has helped Freudenberg-NOK become the benchmark company for lean systems in the North American automotive industry. Ford presented more than 60 awards to its global suppliers for their outstanding performance in 2005 during an awards ceremony in early May. More than 150 of Ford's largest production and non-production suppliers from 17 countries attended the eighth annual event. Founded in 1989, Freudenberg-NOK General Partnership is a joint venture between Freudenberg & Co. of Germany and NOK Corp. of Japan. Freudenberg-NOK is a leader in automotive sealing and noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) products and is a supplier to all automakers producing in North America, as well as all major tier one chassis and drivetrain suppliers. The company's headquarters and technical center in Plymouth, Mich. houses the most extensive supplier-operated sealing and noise and vibration testing facility in North America. Freudenberg-NOK offers its automotive customers globally integrated products, including sealing packages for transmissions, engines, brakes, axles and steering, NVH components and packages, and all rubber, plastic and PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) components for suspension, electrical and fuel systems. The company also offers an extensive portfolio of special precision seals for the aerospace, appliance, business machine, fluid power, marine, medical, off-highway equipment and recreational vehicle markets. For more information, visit the Freudenberg-NOK website at http://www.freudenberg-nok.com .