By Liz White, ERJ staff
Weinheim, Germany-Freudenberg and NOK are intensifying their joint activities in China. In April, representatives of both companies officially opened a new factory for seal production in Changchunl. This plant represents an investment of some Euro 2 million, adding to Freudenberg and NOK's total investment of Euro 35 million in joint business activities in China since 1999.
The new plant is needed to meet Chinese customers' increasing demand for sealing products. The original plant in Changchun was set up with ten employees in 1993 and has grown steadily to employ 380, making PTFE radial shaft seals, valve stem seals, and frame gaskets for engines that are produced in Changchun. These parts are mainly supplied to major carmakers and large suppliers in China. The Changchun NOK Freudenberg JV hopes to post revenues of about Euro 13 million this year.
The Freudenberg-NOK plant in Wuxi, set up in 1996, has also been extended to meet growing demand. Wuxi started making radial shaft seals and damper seals: bellows and dust boots were added later. Wuxi NOK Freudenberg currently employs around 640 people.