Thinking a step further

Dr. Peter Kritzer

An unconventional thinker and restless inventor, Dr. Peter Kritzer from Freudenberg concerns himself with innovative battery seals and thermal management for the electric cars of the future. This is a theme that is also very personal to the visionary.

In the car, at home in bed or under the shower – Peter Kritzer has ideas everywhere. “I have the best ideas spontaneously”, explains the Senior Application Manager from Freudenberg Sealing Technologies. He has become accustomed to keeping pen and paper constantly at the ready to note down his flashes of genius. 

At the moment, Kritzer is working on novel seals for electric car batteries and improved thermal management of the accumulators.“ If components from existing battery systems are simply transferred onto the next generation of batteries, safety-relevant aspects can arise”, explains the doctor of chemistry. “For example, heat generated during operation and above all during charging, has to be dissipated.” Furthermore, it is necessary to protect the high-voltage components of traction batteries from moisture and dirt. For both applications, Kritzer has already found effective solutions together with the team of the newly founded E-Mobility operating unit.

“Every day, I have the opportunity to help shape the future of the automobile and make mobility environmentally friendly. These are things worth working for,” comments the father of two daughters. His driving force is his almost endless curiosity. “As a child, I was already very interested in technology and the environment, and wanted to get to the bottom of things.” At Freudenberg, the 49-year-old can give free rein to his creativity. “Innovations arise where employees have the opportunity to work together on visions”, said Kritzer.

For him, the most important thing is the exchange of ideas with lateral-thinking colleagues to gain new impulses. Within the Freudenberg Group, he finds endless possibilities to network with exciting people around the world: “As soon as I come across an interesting topic that a team is engaged in, my mind goes to work. For which other business group could the solution be relevant? Or what part of a new technology could we adapt? I want to share my knowledge and encourage others to do the same.” He also gathers ideas at trade fairs outside the industry. “I am unconventional and like to think around corners. To achieve the breakthrough of an idea, you not only need to be willing to take risks, but also have the courage to do things differently.”

More than 100 of his ideas have already ended up in the ‘Ideas pool’, a Freudenberg-wide collection of ideas. Many of them have contributed to new products, including a novel nonwoven fabric that can be used as a separator in lithium-ion batteries. In his current position, he employs his knowledge more than ever in the service of customers. “I support my sales colleagues on the ground and try to go a step further together with them and our customers.” This approach led to the development of the new pressure equalization valve DIAvent, which makes electric vehicles safer, or the ‘profile-to-gasket’ concept. The latter helps to make the production of electric cars more economical, even in smaller numbers.

But constant creativity needs a balance. “When my daughters began to get involved in horseback riding, my wife and I joined in right away. We had no desire to just hang around and wait until the riding lesson was over. Now it has become our shared family hobby and a welcome distraction. It clears the head for new exciting topics.”