Duclos: Strategic Principles and Knowledge Creation Drive Long-Term Success of
Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies
World's largest seal supplier defines corporate sustainability at automotive
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich., Aug. 5, 2013
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich., Aug. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --How do successful companies
sustain their organizations through decades of changing business demands?
If you ask Dr. Ted Duclos, vice president and general manager of the Global
Fluid Power Division for Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies
(Freudenberg-NOK), this complex question has a clear answer.
Duclos, who spoke at today's Center for Automotive Research Management
Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Mich., noted that corporate sustainability
requires businesses to equally address economic, environmental and social
issues – a complex task. However, businesses can manage this complexity by
establishing clear principles that drive innovation, continuous improvement,
financial accountability, customer and employee consensus, and community
support. In short, sustainable knowledge that will drive success.
"Anyone in business understands that in order for a business to survive and
prosper, it must have the capacity to endure, persevere through business
cycles and pursue long-range objectives," Duclos said. "The ability to endure
in business, of course, requires sound finances, relevant products and an
effective means of production.
"Sustainability is about more than checking a box. It must be founded on the
ability to develop new techniques, innovations and knowledge. It is a
distillation of the capabilities needed to survive in an evolving business
arena. At Freudenberg-NOK, our sustainability is founded upon our Guiding
Principles. They drive us to challenge the status quo and create new
solutions," Duclos added.
The global Freudenberg and NOK group companies are the largest producers of
seals and gaskets spanning multiple industries, including automotive,
aerospace, power, medical, and food and beverage.
The organization's Guiding Principles, drafted by the company's founder, Carl
Freudenberg, in 1887, are still in use today. The six guidelines – value for
customer, responsibility, innovation, leadership, people and a long-term
orientation – provide a framework for how the company does business and embody
the very definition of sustainability.
"The Guiding Principles drive innovation, waste reduction, fiscal
conservatism, collaboration and long-term thinking – all crucial to corporate
sustainability," Duclos said. "While new business developments, increased
global product demands, environmental concerns and economic fluctuations have
challenged the company, the Guiding Principles have ensured its survival."
Admittedly, achieving sustainability through Freudenberg-NOK's Guiding
Principles sounds good in theory, but from a practical standpoint,
Freudenberg-NOK has numerous examples of how it uses the guidelines to drive
knowledge creation and longevity.
oThe company's Energy Saving Seals (ESS), which reduce friction and heat to
such an extent that if every seal on a vehicle that could be replaced with
an ESS it would save the equivalent of three days of oil imports in the
oThe "Net Shape Single Cavity Mold Process," a counter-intuitive approach
to manufacturing, is improving quality, eliminating waste, improving time
to market and lowering inventory requirements; and
oThe TANNER (Travel and Navigate New Exciting Roads) program, which has
sent more than 800 students abroad to experience different countries and
"The six Freudenberg Guiding Principles address the three fundamental
requirements for sustainability and are the primary reason for the company's
ability to endure more than 160 years," Duclos concluded. "They also form the
foundation for the continued sustainability of the company into the future."
About Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies
Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies is the Americas joint venture between
Freudenberg and Co. in Germany and NOK Corp. in Japan. Freudenberg-NOK is a
leading producer – through its Automotive, Merkel, Process Seals and Simrit
sales channels – of advanced sealing technologies for a variety of markets
including: aerospace; agriculture; appliance; automotive; construction;
diesel engine; energy; food and beverage; heavy industry; and pharmaceutical.
Founded in 1989 under the legal name Freudenberg-NOK General Partnership,
Freudenberg-NOK is headquartered in Plymouth, Mich. and operates more than 20
facilities across the Americas. For additional information, please visit
SOURCE Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies
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