BIRMINGHAM, Mich. (Sept. 25)—Freudenberg-NOK G.P. today launched a new company, The Lean Center L.L.C., to be based at its Plymouth, Mich., headquarters. Staffed with 65 Freudenberg-NOK employees—including President Thomas A. Faust, who had led lean initiatives at the seal and antivibration parts maker since 1994—the center will teach the principles of lean manufacturing with the ultimate goal of purging costs from production systems, rather than just pulling them from lower-tier suppliers, said Joseph C. Day, chairman and CEO of Freudenberg-NOK. The training will be affordable for sub-tier automotive suppliers as well as interested Tier 1s and auto makers. The center will train any interested parties, with the exception of Freudenberg-NOK's direct seal and vibration control competitors, Day said.