Freudenberg Sealing Technologies expanded it plant in Kecskemét, Hungary, in 10 months, spending EUR4m (US$4.4m) to double its production space to about 6,000 square metres.

“In Kecskemét, we have established one of the most modern factories in our worldwide production network,” said Claus Möhlenkamp, CEO of Freudenberg Sealing Technologies. “Thanks to advanced production processes and innovative technology, we will produce about 9m seals per month, primarily for the auto industry, here in the future.”

The plant has its own bus terminal for employees.

Hungary is an important manufacturing centre for Freudenberg Sealing Technologies, especially for the auto industry. In this segment, the country has been registering a growth rate of more than 17% recently. The government also has tailored programmes to help foreign companies with their investments here. Opportunities for financial support are provided through the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency (HIPA) which is part of the Hungarian ministry of foreign affairs and trade. Additional assistance is available in areas such as language training and special technical education.

“Hungary offers outstanding conditions for automakers as well as the supplier industry. Leading companies in the industry, including many of our customers, appreciate this and have built major facilities in Hungary,” Möhlenkamp said. “With our plant in Kecskemét, we can quickly supply our customers in the region with high-quality sealing solutions.”

Freudenberg Sealing Technologies has been producing seals in Kecskemét since 1998. Production operations have been steadily expanded since then. Thanks to the latest expansion, the plant now employs 700 workers. Among other products, they produce radial shaft seal rings for transmission and drivetrain applications, including the Energy Saving Seal (ESS), which contributes to a significant reduction in vehicle fuel consumption and emissions.

Seventy-five new positions are being created as part of the expansion. Besides the facility in Kecskemét, the supplier has a factory in Lajosmizse and its subsidiary Dichtomatik has a sales office in Budapest.

“Thanks to this major expansion, we now have a competitive facility here in Kecskemét offering excellence in production, quality and logistics,” said Zoltan Augusztiny, plant manager at the Freudenberg Sealing Technologies site. There is nearly full employment in the region due to the high concentration of industry, and well-trained new talent is hard to find. To meet the need for skilled labour in the future, Freudenberg Sealing Technologies will not only intensify its internal employee training but will become strongly involved in local education programmes as well.

Other Freudenberg Group subsidiaries have a presence in Hungary. They include Vibracoustic, Eagle Burgmann and Vileda.