PLYMOUTH, Mich., Jan. 13, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit offers visitors an eye-pleasing preview of new cars and trucks. But in addition to amazing design, many of this year's hottest vehicles also offer better fuel economy, lower emissions and increased reliability thanks, in part, to custom-engineered components from Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies (Freudenberg-NOK).
Freudenberg-NOK is a leader in the research and development of materials that help meet today's significant powertrain challenges – from aggressive wear and friction issues to the use of alternate fuels. Despite their diminutive size, the company's seals and gaskets play a critical role in helping OEM customers achieve optimal engine and transmission performance and are found in virtually every vehicle on the road today. By prioritizing research and systems collaboration, Freudenberg-NOK continues to offer its customers product and process innovations that are driving the industry forward.
"Our material expertise and product technologies are making lasting contributions in global mobility," said Torsten Maschke, president, Automotive Sales and Marketing, Freudenberg Sealing Technologies. "We have developed innovations which reduce friction losses in conventional drive systems and components; aid in the optimization of the combustion process; support modern downsizing concepts and start-stop technology; and enable vehicle weight reduction. In addition, we offer advanced solutions for alternate fuels and propulsion concepts."
Freudenberg-NOK's innovative research, product applications and customer collaboration are being exemplified through a number of industry firsts.
Freudenberg-NOK is at the forefront of helping its customers navigate an evolving environmental landscape built around lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Recently, the company completed a series of studies on how ethanol, methanol, lubricants and biodiesel fuel-oil blends impact the molecular structure and performance of various elastomeric sealing materials. It has also collaborated with a major customer on analyzing how exhaust fuel-oil condensate affects vehicle seals.
Information generated by this research is crucial to understanding how components will perform in the unique, alternate fuel environment of the future. It also enables Freudenberg-NOK to make expert recommendations about which polymers will perform best, longest and have fewest replacement issues.
"As our OEM customers migrate to fewer global vehicle platforms, it is increasingly important for them to understand and address development variables like the impact alternate fuels and lubricants can have on engine and transmission performance," Maschke pointed out. "Our research allows us to offer them materials and components that optimally perform across a wide variety of scenarios and locations."
Freudenberg-NOK's industrial portfolio spans 32 market segments from automotive and aerospace to heavy industry, food and beverage and fluid technology. This broad diversity of customers and applications has allowed the company to cross-fertilize innovations from one industry to the next with impressive results.
For example, the company now provides high temperature alloy (HTA) metal materials, originally developed and used by the aerospace industry, for use in its automotive Stamped Gaskets product division. HTA, a family of alloys made from a high nickel content metal, possess extreme temperature and fatigue cracking resistance which is well suited for the current trend of smaller powertrains.
"Our diversity provides us with the powerful ability to track global technology needs and solutions across industries," Maschke said. "Applications developed in one industry can lead us to innovations in others. HTA is one example of our success in offering automotive customers new product solutions. Our LESS family of products is another."
Freudenberg-NOK's Low Emission Sealing Solutions (LESS) products were developed for automotive applications. They reduce friction, improve service life, cut emissions and are smaller and lighter than the conventional components they replace.
But innovations like the Levitex® seal, which reduces friction up to 90 percent over conventional crankshaft seals, may also have applications in construction, agricultural and recreational vehicles, among others. Material innovations associated with the LESS program, including the development of unique elastomeric formulas, nanotechnology treatments and use of nonwovens and fiber in rubber formulas, may also offer benefits to automotive and general industry customers alike.
The global automotive industry remains a primary market for Freudenberg-NOK, and technologies and products that help its automotive customers navigate a changing landscape are core to its mission.
The company has developed a comprehensive Innovation Management System (IMS) to align its product strategies with those of its customers. It offers custom validation testing services that include the development of performance rigs and product protocols.
Freudenberg-NOK also relies on collaboration in everything it does and this focus continues to reap rewards for both the company and its customers. Recently, a trio of global industry awards – the 2014 TOP Innovation Award from the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (F.A.Z.) Institute in Berlin, finalist honors in the 2014 Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE®) Automotive Division Innovation Awards and finalist honors in the 2014 IndustryWeek Best Plants competition – affirmed the company's commitment to innovative partnerships.
"Our commitment to the future of transportation and mobility is grounded in our materials expertise, innovative applications and collaborative approach to our business," Maschke concluded. "It's no longer enough to be a parts supplier. We strive to bring expertise, innovation and unparalleled value to every program we undertake on behalf of our customers."
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