PLYMOUTH, Mich.—Freudenberg Sealing Technologies has gained significant ground in the mobile machinery market with its most advanced cassette seal.
A global sealing technology expert and member of the Weinheim, Germany-headquartered Freudenberg Group, the company recently landed a contract to supply its most advanced Cassette-S4 seal to a major global manufacturer of agricultural, construction and forestry machinery. The seal will be installed on rear axles of the customer's newest row crop tractor platforms.
But what began as a long, team-oriented effort on the part of Freudenberg to solve serious issues one customer faced has turned into a product the company believes will solve issues in other parts of the mobile machinery industry—so much so that the firm is not only producing the product in Europe, but it intends to manufacture the cassette seal in the U.S. in the not-too-distant future.
According to Jens Wolfram, Freudenberg Sealing Technologies' segment director for the general industry, the advanced seal offers mobile machinery customers state-of-the-art dirt protection, material durability and seal longevity under the toughest environmental conditions.
Development of the Cassette-S4 began about 10 years ago, he said, and initially involved a team of product engineers and sales managers at Freudenberg's lead cassette seals manufacturing plant in Luserna, Italy.
While in the beginning the seal was developed with only one customer in mind, like most seals there's always a start, and then development often branches out to include uses in other industries, Wolfram said. That's what happened in the case of the Cassette-S4.
"It's a pretty versatile seal," he said, and in addition to the agriculture industry, it can be used on construction, forestry and possibly other machinery.
Freudenberg has continued to manufacture the seal in Luserna, Wolfram said, where production of the product has been significantly increased to meet new demands.