BERLIN—Freudenberg Sealing Technologies has opened a $27.5 million automotive sealing products plant in Berlin.
The Freudenberg & Co. division's site includes a mixing facility capable of producing 1,000 metric tons of compound annually for the factory, which will manufacture products ranging from thermoplastic elastomer axle boots for cars and machinery, to sealing bellows for use in chassis and steering mechanisms.
The company's 200 staff members are moving to the site from the firm's old operation in Berlin, according to the German-owned manufacturer.
Freudenberg Sealing's new site covers about 130,000 square feet, of which 90 percent is reserved for production. The company said the facility can be expanded if necessary, another reason the manufacturer decided to make the move from Berlin Friedrichshain to Berlin Adlershof.
“The opening of the factory is evidence of our commitment to the Berlin site,” said Mohsen Sohi, a managing partner of the Freudenberg board of management, who was president and CEO of the firm's U.S.-based joint venture, Freudenberg-NOK G.P., from 2003- 2010.
“With the help of our highly qualified work force, we will strengthen our position as market leaders,” the executive said.
A Freudenberg Sealing Technologies spokesman said the science and technology park in Adlershof, where the new plant is located, is a high-quality business setting offering good transport links, a relatively short trip for the firm's employees, and provides an innovative environment.
Another benefit of the facility is its location in regards to customers, said Wolfgang Schachermayr, head of the global lead center and responsible for the factory.
“The close proximity to our customers and the knowledge of their specific requirements are important criteria for the success of our business,” he said.
Products made in Berlin are shipped to major suppliers and manufacturers in the automotive industry in Europe, and to customers in China, Brazil and the U.S.
Schachermayr said the new factory strengthens Freudenberg Sealing's position as a supplier and development partner to the automotive industry.
“We are particularly happy that all employees have come with us to Aldershof and that our long-term cooperation with the workshop for people with disabilities will be continued at the new location,” he said.
The building was constructed with energy efficiency in mind, the company said. It has a low energy consumption rating because of thermal recovery, a green roof and a thermally active floor slab, which acts as a store for heat and cold. Solar panels also are being installed on the roof for power generation.