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 PLYMOUTH, Mich., Oct. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Freudenberg-NOK today celebrated the grand opening of its new vibration control development laboratory -- aimed at helping North American automakers to eliminate noise and vibration in future vehicles -- at its manufacturing facility in Ligonier, Ind.
 "This facility extends the already significant capabilities and added value Freudenberg-NOK provides North American automakers as a key development partner in solving noise and vibration problems," said Joseph C. Day, Freudenberg-NOK president and CEO. "The lab also embodies our commitment to two key strategies which will enhance the North American auto industry's competitive position -- lean systems and robust engineering."
 Day said the co-location of vibration control development and production capabilities at the Ligonier site will enable the supplier to cut the concept-to-production cycle for new vibration control products by as much as 40 to 60 percent.
 According to Michael J. Crosby, senior vice president and general manager for Freudenberg-NOK's Rubber Products and Vibration Control divisions, the new facility is the most elaborate laboratory of its type within the automotive supplier community.
 Consumers are demanding reduced noise and vibration, Crosby said, along with more powerful engines contained in a smaller, cost-effective package. This poses a clear conflict. The new development lab will help to resolve this conflict more quickly while enhancing product quality and reliability.
 The new development laboratory consolidates existing component test equipment from the company's Plymouth Concept Center with new, high-tech development and analysis instrumentation.
 With this addition, the Ligonier production facility now offers complete design, development and production capabilities for a full range of vibration control products. These include crankshaft torsional vibration dampers, elastic couplings, driveline and half-shaft dampers, hydraulic and conventional engine mounts, strut and chassis mounts.
 The development laboratory will support testing of incoming materials, mixing of new elastomeric compounds and molding and painting of components. And to ensure components meet the industry's most demanding performance specifications, the lab's test capabilities include: heat aging, density, rebound, compression set, natural and dynamic frequencies, fluid immersion and viscosity, tensile, salt spray, fatigue and adhesion tests.
 At the new development lab, Freudenberg-NOK has created a cross- training program for lab personnel, enabling customer problems to be tackled by a team of systems-oriented technicians who are experienced in all aspects of product design, including compound development, component design and process engineering.
 Freudenberg-NOK also offers noise and vibration testing of complete vehicles at its Headquarters/Concept Center in Plymouth and provides automakers and first-tier suppliers with field support through a mobile laboratory unit.
 Freudenberg-NOK is a leading manufacturer of precision seals, vibration control products, molded rubber and plastic components and automotive rebuild kits.
 One of the fastest-growing independent suppliers to the North American automotive industry, Freudenberg-NOK was established in 1989 as a general partnership between Freudenberg & Company of Germany and NOK Corporation of Japan to serve the North American market. The company operates 14 major facilities and employs about 3,600 people in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
 -0- 10/4/93
 /CONTACT: Sharon Wenzl of Freudenberg-NOK, 313-451-0020, or Oct. 4 on site, 219-894-7183; or Jim Bianchi of Bianchi Public Relations, 313-268-1090, for Freudenberg-NOK/

CO: Freudenberg-NOK ST: Michigan, Indiana IN: AUT SU:

SB -- DE003 -- 8301 10/04/93 10:59 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 4, 1993

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