Freudenberg-NOK Taps Into Systems Miniaturization with Line of New Micro-Seals in North America


PLYMOUTH, Mich., -- With diameters as small as five millimeters and thicknesses down to 40 microns, or the size of a match stick head, the latest group of seals that Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies (FNST) is introducing to its North America customer base will help solve micro-technology challenges of the most exacting standards.

FNST, the world's largest producer of elastomeric seals and custom molded products, is using its materials expertise, global innovation and market analysis to introduce a line of custom-developed micro-seals that will help customers build increasingly complex systems in tiny packages. The seals are expected to have broad applications in the medical, chemical and even automotive industries, among others.

"Freudenberg has identified miniaturization as an important megatrend of the future," said Steve Koch, market director for FNST Special Sealing Products division. "Micro-seals provide Freudenberg-NOK with an excellent opportunity to expand its sealing technology capabilities to new industries and markets.

"We've been making micro-seals in Europe for more than five years and plan to bring the technology to the North America so that we can produce the seals where our customers need them."

Micro-seals designed for the medical and chemical industries must meet stringent specifications and require a specialized rubber-to-metal bond. To date, most rotary micro seals available are made from Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE).

Perfluoroelastomer is formulated for stringent environments and, because it is more elastic than PTFE, is better suited for longer life. FNST's strong capabilities in molding techniques allow for manufacturing parts with microscopic tolerances. Freudenberg Sealing Technologies in Europe, for example, has successfully manufactured micro-seals that can seal rotating shafts with a diameter of only one millimeter spinning at over 10,000 rpm. These Micro-Simmerrings® are available through Simrit, FNST's general industry channel.

Freudenberg currently produces micro-seals at two manufacturing facilities in Europe. The company plans to expand this production to two as yet undisclosed Special Sealing Products Division manufacturing sites in North America in 2013. Timing of a North American manufacturing launch will depend on logistics such as building clean rooms, setting up manufacturing equipment, and assessing demand from customers.

"Small technology applications are growing in every industry," Koch said. "At FNST, we work closely with our customers to develop and deliver the best possible products," Koch said. "We push our limits, and that allows them to push the limits of what they can do to stay ahead of their competition. It takes close customer cooperation to develop these seals."

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.

CONTACT: Cheryl Eberwein, Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies, Phone: +1-734-354-5373, M: +1-248-767-1068, Fax: +1-734-451-0043, cheryl.eberwein@fnst.com

Web Site: www.freudenberg-nok.com

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