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Freudenberg Captures Sustainability Award For Unique Manufacturing Process That Reduces Engineered Waste

PLYMOUTH, Mich., Feb. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Freudenberg Sealing Technologies' breakthrough laser welding process, which eliminates up to 73 percent of the engineered waste produced during traditional stamping operations, has won a coveted Manufacturing Leadership 100 Sustainability Award from Frost & Sullivan's Manufacturing Leadership Council.

Freudenberg's Laser Welded Narrow Band Forming technology, also known as SUL (Schmalband-Umform-Laserschweiss), was recognized by the Council as technology that is shaping the future of global manufacturing. The process, developed and in use in the company's Weinheim, Germany plant, offers Freudenberg impressive sustainability advantages including faster setup, safer operations and elimination of up to 1,800 tons of scrap steel per machine per year.

"We are delighted to receive ML100 award recognition for our SUL technology," said Luis Lorenzo, vice president, Advanced Product Engineering, Freudenberg. "This truly is revolutionary technology that is helping Freudenberg achieve its stated objective of zero manufacturing waste over the next decade. Our customers derive terrific benefits from this process – namely, high-quality, precision steel components that require less time to produce and are better for the environment."

With a clear focus on addressing environmental challenges like dwindling resources, government regulations, global warming, population increases and clean energy, Freudenberg Sealing Technologies has implemented a strategic sustainability roadmap that will guide its long-term efforts to reduce energy usage, lower its carbon footprint and produce greener, cleaner products and processes. Groundbreaking technologies like SUL will play a crucial role in its sustainability efforts. The process has previously won two manufacturing awards for innovation in Europe.

The SUL process is used in the production of steel rings which improve the rigidity of radial shaft seals. Traditional manufacturing methods stamp the "L" and "C" shaped rings from large sheets of metal. As the ring size increases, more scrap is produced during stamping and in subsequent trimming and finishing operations.

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