Customized solutions from Freudenberg Nonwovens
7th March 2012, Weinheim
From sound insulation to submarine cables and wound care, Freudenberg offers a wide range of nonwoven solutions customized for specific customers and applications. In addition, Freudenberg Nonwovens says, it can offer such customized solutions anywhere in the world from Dubai to Australia or even Bogota. With its claim ‘The Solution Engineers – Wherever You Are’, the company aims to differentiate itself as a reliable partner able to offer its customers tailor-made solutions on a global basis.
Freudenberg says it is able to make this claim due to the wealth of knowledge acquired by its engineers through decades of experience working closely with customers. The combination of this know-how with a diverse set of nonwoven technologies available on a global basis is the key to developing product solutions for specific segments of the energy, automotive interior, medical, hygiene, apparel, building interior and geotextile markets.
In addition to these major markets, Freudenberg is also involved in supplying product solutions for applications such as shoe components and printing-roll covers.
“In essence, we are now clarifying what we have already been focused upon for quite some time - We want to differentiate ourselves as a global provider of innovative and customized solutions for industrial technical textile applications”, emphasizes Freudenberg Nonwovens CEO Bruce Olson.
Numerous product solutions meeting very specific customer requirements show that the company’s claim is not merely a marketing slogan. “For the Dubai Airport project, we adapted our Soundtex product to meet regional climate conditions”, explains Freudenberg Nonwovens CFO Rene Wollert.
The company tailors solutions for the energy market as well. Water-blocking, swelling nonwovens are an important component of the tapes used to wrap submerged energy and data cables in order to prevent and minimize axial water penetration in the event of damage. This product has already been used in the submarine cables laid between Sardinia and the Italian mainland where salinity of the seawater creates a real challenge for the swelling properties of the nonwoven used in this application.
The medical market also makes use of one of Freudenberg’s prescriptions. In advanced wound care applications, it is critical to keep the wound moist in order to accelerate the healing process. There are also specific therapeutic approaches for each stage of wound treatment. These requirements place a high demand on the performance of the nonwoven which is used as part of a single or multilayer wound dressing.
Depending on the requirements, Freudenberg can develop a nonwoven material that meets specific customer needs in areas such as moisture vapour transmission rate and the absorption of discharges from the wound. The raw materials used to manufacture the nonwovens for such applications play an important role. Not only do they have to help in meeting the customer’s performance requirements, they must also not cause skin irritation and comply with the regulatory standards such as the Medical Devices Act.
Dr. Frank Heislitz, who was recently appointed CTO of Freudenberg Nonwovens, comments: “Our engineers all over the world network with one another to develop innovative solutions that can often be used on both a regional and global basis. In addition, our Research and Development departments are spurred on by the challenges of global trends such as mobility or demographic change.”
However, Freudenberg says it is the customer who has the final say. Summing up the recipe for success, Bruce Olson stresses: “Customized, innovative solutions can only be successfully developed in close dialog with our customers and partners.”
Freudenberg Nonwovens is the world's largest producer of nonwovens, with 22 manufacturing and processing sites in 13 countries. The company manufactures interlinings for the apparel industry and nonwovens for the following markets: Energy, Automotive Interiors, Personal Care, Medical, Building Interiors, Geotextiles and Specialties.
In 2010, the Freudenberg Nonwovens Business Group generated sales of over 633 million euros with a workforce of 3,150. Freudenberg Nonwovens is part of the Freudenberg Group.
Author: Billy Hunter