Weinheim/Kaiserslautern. May 7, 2013. Raw materials are becoming increasingly scarce throughout the world, which is why companies already started their search for alternatives some time ago. However, the easiest approach is to make the most efficient and intelligent use possible of the existing raw materials available. The Freudenberg Group is continuously working on the optimization of its production processes as well as new solutions. One example: at the Freudenberg Nonwovens plant in Kaiserslautern, a regranulation unit was inaugurated today. This unit allows materials rejected from the production process to be reused down to the last fiber. The cost of the new unit was in excess of €700,000.
“At Kaiserslautern, we have been recycling rejected materials such as start-up material and edge strips for many years. Nevertheless, the new unit inaugurated today represents a quantum leap in our everyday work. This unit will allow us to further improve the quality of our products and to offer our customers even better solutions,” Steffen Reuther explained. He is the production manager responsible for the operation of the new plant: “The overall investment process was very fast. We only needed four weeks to install the unit, which is the size of a 3 to 4-room flat.”
In the new unit, rejected material from production is melted, cooled and then chopped up into small pieces to form a granulate. The chips produced are returned to the manufacturing process and used to produce nonwovens. “This production loop allows us to use raw materials more effectively. It also makes a contribution to environmental protection,” Reuther said. Especially in view of the increasing scarcity of natural resources such as oil, on which our raw materials are based, the recycling of rejected materials is extremely important.
At the Kaiserslautern plant, the Freudenberg Nonwovens Business Group produces spunlaid nonwovens for the construction, hygiene products and carpet industries as well as applications in horticulture. The Kaiserslautern plant was established in 1970. Apart from Freudenberg Nonwovens, the two business groups Freudenberg Filtration Technologies and Helix Medical are also active at this location. As of December 31, 2012, Freudenberg employed 561 associates in Kaiserslautern.