Freudenberg to set up automotive sealing plant in Chennai
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.