Freuden­berg to set up au­to­mo­tive seal­ing plant in Chen­nai

Auto components India - - CONTENTS - Story by: Anusha B

The Ger­many-based Freuden­berg Group, a global tech­nol­ogy provider, will set up a plant at Val­lam-Vada­gal in­dus­trial park, near Chen­nai, to man­u­fac­ture seal­ing prod­ucts for the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try in­vest­ing Euro 15 mil­lion (Rs 110 crore). The plant will go on stream by 2019. The com­pany has ac­quired 56,000 sqm of land aim­ing fu­ture ex­pan­sion of prod­uct port­fo­lio.

“With our plan to in­vest in a new pro­duc­tion fa­cil­ity in Chen­nai, we un­der­line our long-term com­mit­ment to the lo­cal mar­ket and sup­port to the ‘Make in In­dia’ ini­tia­tive. The project im­ple­men­ta­tion is on sched­ule and the plant will be­gin pro­duc­tion of seal­ing so­lu­tions by 2019 with max­i­mum pos­si­ble lo­cal­i­sa­tion. We have ded­i­cated busi­ness groups which work on the tech­nol­ogy and ed­u­cate us on the fu­tur­is­tic tech­nolo­gies. We cap­ture syn­er­gies and utilise all our strengths,” Mohsen Sohi, Global Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer, Freuden­berg & Co. KG, told Auto Com­po­nentsIn­dia.

The com­pany will im­port crit­i­cal ma­chin­ery from Ger­many to meet the Ger­man qual­ity stan­dards and to match the process, sys­tems and ap­pli­ca­tions. It is work­ing on lo­cal­i­sa­tion to a ma­jor ex­tent. The per­for­mance ma­te­rial re­sources are avail­able here “but the bar has to be raised in the process con­trol. Our DNA lies in match­ing the lo­cal per­for­mance ma­te­ri­als with our fi­nal prod­uct stan­dards. Our seal­ing prod­ucts get fit­ted in the engine and trans­mis­sion com­po­nents. We are pro­vid­ing not only the seal­ing prod­ucts but also the NVH so­lu­tions through which the car­bon and Nox emis­sions are con­trolled to match with the emis­sion norms,” he said.

The com­pany has seal­ing tech­nolo­gies for pas­sen­ger cars of all seg­ments. But the man­u­fac­turer stated that the fuel ef­fi­ciency and per­for­mance can­not be quan­ti­fied and these val­ues de­pend on the engine per­for­mance.

Sohi said that “the coun­try is tread­ing to ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy zone and with over 100 years of ex­pe­ri­ence, we are stomp­ing in the right path.”

Freuden­berg has a col­lab­o­ra­tion in In­dia to man­u­fac­ture bat­tery sep­a­ra­tors for the elec­tric cars. The com­pany uses a non wo­ven ma­te­rial coated with ce­ramic which can act as a cover for the cell. It gives pro­tec­tion to the charge be­tween one cell and the other cell. If there is any un­wanted dis­charge nor­mal sep­a­ra­tors with­out the ce­ramic coat­ing will have a ten­dency to break and cause fire. The ce­ramic coat­ing is much be­yond the re­quire­ment which has a ro­bust struc­ture, per­me­abil­ity and poros­ity that con­trols the move­ment and holds charge for a longer pe­riod.

“These fea­tures we bring to the bat­tery will in­crease its mileage.

We are the fore­run­ner in this tech­nol­ogy and pi­o­neer­ing the in­dus­try,” Si­va­sailam. G, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Freuden­berg Per­for­mance Ma­te­ri­als In­dia Ltd, said.

The com­pany has an­other col­lab­o­ra­tion with one of the OEMs for its ‘un­der­body shield’ for which patent is ex­pected in a year. It claims that the un­der­body shield de­vel­oped by the com­pany re­places the metal shield giv­ing good ten­sile strength and bet­ter per­for­mance. Its en­durance is high and it helps light weight­ing and fuel ef­fi­ciency.

“The emis­sion reg­u­la­tion in the coun­try is a big boon for us as we are ready with the tech­nol­ogy and we have the ca­pa­bil­ity and stand niche among other play­ers in the mar­ket. The seal­ing prod­ucts are lever­aged for the global mar­ket with the Euro­pean norms in mind. The norms in the In­dian mar­ket is ‘never a worry’ move for us,” Sohi said.

The Freuden­berg Group con­tin­ued its prof­itable growth in 2016 de­spite chal­leng­ing con­di­tions in mul­ti­ple mar­ket seg­ments and world re­gions. The global tech­nol­ogy group achieved sales of €8.6 bil­lion or Rs 63,835 crore based on the pro-rata con­sol­i­da­tion of joint ven­tures. That rep­re­sents an in­crease of 13.5% com­pared to 2015. In In­dia,, the com­pany’spy 7 busi­ness groups gen­er­ated sales of Rs 1,483 crore, an im­prove­ment of 20% com­pared to the pre­vi­ous year. Em­ployee num­bers rose 17% to 2,475 em­ploy­ees at around 50 lo­ca­tions in In­dia – with 6 R&D cen­ters and 14 pro­duc­tion sites with state-of-the-art shop floors. This in­crease in sales and em­ploy­ees can be at­trib­uted to a large ex­tent to the ac­qui­si­tion of Vi­bra­cous­tic. The busi­ness group op­er­ates pro­duc­tion, sales and ser­vice sites in In­dia.

The com­pany has also come up with a unique e² in­ter­na­tional pro­gramme to give peo­ple ac­cess to ed­u­ca­tion and work and to en­cour­age en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion. On the ba­sis of its cur­rent as­sess­ment,, de­spitep all the chal­lenges faced, the group ex­pects global or­ganic growth in sales of be­tween 1-3% and profit from op­er­a­tions slightly above the pre­vi­ous year’s fig­ure. Al­most all busi­ness groups are likely to con­trib­ute to this per­for­mance. On the ba­sis of this fore­cast, the tech­nol­ogy provider ex­pects sta­ble de­vel­op­ment in its re­turn on sales. The group fore­casts prof­itable dou­ble- dou­ble-digit digit growth in In­dia for 2017.

Mohsen Sohi, Global Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer, Freuden­berg & Co. KG.

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