Freudenberg develops flexible printed circuit board technology for new Opel Adam and numerous other individual solutions for car makers


freudenberg (select to view enlarged photo)

PLYMOUTH, MI--Sept. 11, 2013: From starry headliners and new weight-saving engine components to air-intake and cabin filters, Freudenberg products are featured on a variety of vehicles exhibited at the International Auto Show (IAA) in Frankfurt from September 12 to 22.

The new Opel Adam exhibited at the IAA, features the starry headliner. Freudenberg's NOK Mechatronics Business Group developed the flexible printed circuit board technology for the popular car's star-filled headliner. Doing so was no simple task: The individual lights in the large, domed roof needed to be precisely connected without using any wires. It was the first time that the flexible, printed-circuit-board technology was used on such a large surface. Freudenberg engineers and developers worked with the headliner manufacturer and in only eighteen months developed an individual solution for Opel. The result - sixty-four LED lamps shining like tiny and large stars on the car's roof. "Thanks to Freudenberg technology, it is now possible for the Opel Adam city car to have a star-filled headliner which had previously only been available in luxury vehicles," says Christophe Luciani, responsible for Sales, Purchasing and Quality Management in the NOK Mechatronics Board of Management. "We worked closely with the customer to create such an innovative product." The star-filled headliner is just one of many Freudenberg products at the motor show developed by working closely with customers.

At the customer's request, the popular new Opel Adam has been available with the new starry headliner and Freudenberg technology since February: The flat version of the star-filled headliner in the roof is less than 0.2 millimeters (0.07 inches) thick. It can only be seen when turned on and has no rises or depressions. The headliner is also very light. The part weighs less than 150 grams (5.3 oz). Power consumption is also very low. The scale illumination in the car radio uses much more power and Illumination can be adjusted using an integrated control panel in the roof liner. The lights can be dimmed so that the driver is not blinded.

The customer may choose between five fabric options. They range from various single colors to fall leaves and clouds against a blue sky. "The trend is moving towards giving customers ever more individualized vehicles," says Dr. Wulf Bramesfeld, Technical Sales Manager at Freudenberg NOK Mechatronics. "Freudenberg is a flexible printed circuit board technology expert and used the technology on a large scale for the first time, combining it with new materials. The challenge was electronically connecting and precisely inserting the lamps on such a thin and domed surface. A standardized solution has now been created that impressed our customer, Opel." The headliner is popular as seen in the steadily rising production volumes.

Automobile manufacturers rely on individual solutions from Freudenberg to help reduce emissions. Starting on September 12th at the IAA, Mercedes will present the new S-Class featuring Freudenberg engine parts which help reduce the vehicle's weight. The cooling water connecting tubes and water pump cover in the new S-Class were developed so that they could be manufactured using a multi-component, injection-molding plastic elastomer. The products were altered for the process so that plastic can be used in place of metal to reduce weight and cost. In addition, the seal is integrated directly into the housing using the multi-component injection-molding process in the same step.

Clean engines for a clean environment Freudenberg Filtration Technologies also help reduce emissions. The newly developed motor air-intake filters prove that lower emissions start with cleaner air intake. Modern, high-performance motors need clean air to reach their highest level of performance. An engine intake air filter is designed to free incoming air from contaminants; however, caked on dust will increase filter resistance, using more energy to take in air, ultimately increasing CO2 emissions. Freudenberg Filtration Technologies solved this problem with the completely synthetic, energy efficient micronAir engine intake air filter that has a large dust intake capacity and low pressure loss. The engine intake air filter saves 0.6 g (0.02 oz) CO2 per kilowatt hour which is 60 g (2.1 oz) an hour for a car with a 100 kilowatt capacity. Every engine intake air filter is a unique development from Freudenberg Filtration Technologies and is created in cooperation with partners and customers. The completely synthetic micronAir engine intake air filter will come standard in the new Mercedes Benz C Class starting next year.

Innovative nonwovens for various applications Freudenberg's newly developed nonwoven materials used to clean the incoming air are primarily responsible for the engine intake air filter's properties. Freudenberg uses specially developed nonwoven materials in the interior air filters in numerous models exhibited at the IAA, such as those from BMW, Lamborghini, Mercedes, Mazda, Porsche, Seat and Skoda. Even the first electric vehicle from Volkswagen, the VW E-Up, which will be presented in Hall 3.0 at stand A01, has an interior air filter from Freudenberg. Freudenberg Nonwovens supplied the base materials for the malleable carpets used manufacturers of various luxury car models.

Less friction - lower emissions The Freudenberg Sealing Technologies Business Group developed an active breathing cap for drive shafts in e-mobility and hybrid technologies for the LESS or Low Emission Sealing Solutions campaign using Freudenberg nonwoven materials. The intelligent design makes expensive ventilation valves unnecessary and the drives more affordable. Thanks to the innovative nonwoven technology, the permeable sealing cap allows for movement of air and prevents the entry of foreign bodies while also preventing lubricants from leaking out. The sealing cover is only one of several LESS products to help reduce emissions.

LESS is more. More responsibility - thus the name of the environmental protection campaign from Freudenberg Sealing Technologies that presents extensive sealing solutions to help reduce emissions. Freudenberg Sealing Technologies developed the gas lubricated mechanical seal Levitex. The mechanical seal runs on a cushion of air thus generating 90 percent less friction loss compared to a conventional crankshaft seal. In a standard cycle, Levitex saves between 0.5 and 1 gram of CO2 per kilometer. The development of Levitex is an important step toward the creation of completely frictionless sealing technology in engines and drastically lower CO2 emissions. Emission reducing LESS products can be found in the Mercedes GLA and the BMW 5-Series at the IAA.

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