Kaiserslautern, September 4, 2015. Spunlaid nonwovens produced by Freudenberg at its Kaiserslautern plant are used in a wide variety of applications and markets ranging from carpets for car interiors, fitted carpets for buildings, and cabin air filters for vehicles to bedding and mattress covers for allergy sufferers. Freudenberg is continually developing its spunlaid manufacturing processes at its Kaiserslautern plant. Today, the global competence centre inaugurated a pilot line with a total cost of about €3 million.
New processes are developed and tested on pilot lines before they are transferred to production plants. The pilot line which has now been inaugurated takes one of Freudenberg's current innovation projects to its next stage of development. "We produce spunlaid nonwovens with a patented process developed in-house that has considerable advantages over competing technologies," says Michael Ehret, Head of Operations, Regional Business Unit Europe, Freudenberg Performance Materials and plant manager at Kaiserslautern. The benefits include tailor-made products, homogeneous quality and high productivity.
"The commissioning of this pilot line will allow us to open up entirely new areas of application and to develop further innovative products to meet individual customers' requirements," says Dr. Volker Röhring, Manager Process Development, Freudenberg Performance Materials. The new line is to be operated by the current workforce.
The spunlaid process
In the spunlaid process, polymer granulates such as polypropylene, polyester, polylactide and polyethylene are melted and passed through spinnerets to form endless filaments that are extremely fine but very strong. These are positioned on a conveyor belt to form a web and then consolidated into a nonwoven fabric by applying pressure and heat. Finally, the nonwoven is rolled up and can be used in a number of different products, either directly or following further processing.
The Kaiserslautern plant
At its Kaiserslautern plant, the Freudenberg Performance Materials Business Group produces, develops and markets spunlaid nonwovens for the automotive, construction, filter and carpet industries. The Kaiserslautern plant was established in 1970. In addition to Freudenberg Performance Materials, the Freudenberg Filtration Technologies and Freudenberg Medical Business Groups are also active at the plant. As of January 1, 2015, Freudenberg employed 630 people in Kaiserslautern.
About the Freudenberg group
Freudenberg is a global technology group that strengthens its customers and society long-term through forward-looking innovations. Together with its partners, customers and the world of science, the Freudenberg Group develops leading-edge technologies, and excellent products, solutions and services for more than 30 market segments and for thousands of applications: seals, vibration control components, nonwovens, filters, specialty chemicals, medical and mechatronic products, IT services and the most modern cleaning products.
Innovation strength, strong customer orientation, diversity and team spirit are the cornerstones of our Group. Commitment to excellence, reliability and pro-active, responsible action belong to the company's core values lived for more than 165 years.
In 2014, the Freudenberg Group employed over 40,000 people in some 60 countries worldwide and generated sales of more than €7 billion (including pro-rata consolidation of 50:50 joint ventures). For more information, please visit www.freudenberg.com.