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Freudenberg-NOK, ARPM assemble sealing, gasket committee

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Joe Walker, Freudenberg-NOK.

PLYMOUTH, Mich.—Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies and the Association for Rubber Products Manufacturers have launched their new committee on seals and gaskets.

The committee met for the first time on Feb. 25, gathering 30 representatives from original equipment manufacturers and suppliers.

Freudenberg-NOK confirmed that 22 different companies were represented. Others in attendance included: 3M, AIAG, Apple Rubber Products, BRP Manufacturing, Bruss North America Inc., Chrysler Materials, Dupont, Federal-Mogul Powertrain, General Motors, Grace Technology, Hexpol Compounding, Lanxess, Momentive Performance Materials, Robin Industries, Solvay Specialty Polymers, Thermoseal, Trelleborg, Trostel, Wacker Chemical and Zeon.

Freudenberg-NOK said a second meeting is scheduled for June 2 at AIAG's headquarters in Southfield, Mich. At that time, the committee plans to prioritize what standards it wants to address and begin developing subcommittees to focus on these issues.

Joseph Walker—Freudenberg-NOK's global director, advanced materials development—is leading the committee. He said in a release the committee hopes to attract additional industry participants.

“The committee is not limited to a particular market or number of participants,” Walker said in a statement. “We hope to generate a broad level of support and leverage wide expertise in establishing priorities and projects that will benefit the entire rubber industry.”

Freudenberg-NOK said the committee will work across markets and interface with other organizations, such as the Automotive Industry Action Group in North America and VDA in Germany, in an effort to harmonize expectations and establish global material testing protocols for issues as universal as turbocharged engine blow-by gases, exhaust gas recirculation and crank case ventilation testing.

ARPM Executive Director Troy Nix said in a statement the committee has identified four core objectives:

• Harmonizing the expectations of fabricated rubber products relative to industry demands, effectively reducing the time it takes to get products to market;

• Strengthening the reputation of the industry through the development and maintenance of domestic and global industry standards;

• Giving a voice to this sector on important regulatory and political issues when necessary; and

• Serving as a community of colleagues who understand the challenges and importance of this sector.

“As a trade association dedicated to the advancement of rubber products manufacturing, ARPM felt that this was a perfect opportunity to create a needed impact on the seals industry,” Nix said in a statement. “Therefore, we are forming a committee that will focus exclusively on the issues affecting seal and gasket manufacturers.”

Firms interested in joining the new committee should contact ARPM Managing Director Letha Keslar at lkeslar@arpminc.org or at 317-863-4072.

Freudenberg-NOK is a joint venture between Germany-based Freudenberg & Co. K.G. and NOK Corp. of Japan. It produces advanced sealing technologies for the aerospace, agriculture, appliance, automotive, construction, diesel engine, energy, and other industries. It operates more than 20 facilities across the Americas.

APRM is a trade association whose membership consists of more than 60 rubber product manufacturers.