Interview with Freudenberg
Freudenberg PF is renowned for its solutions in, for example, the apparel and automotive fields. But why is the company investing in gas diffusion layers? Three questions for Bruce Olson, CEO von President & CEO von Freudenberg Performance Materials.
Question 1: What is your assessment of the situation in your sector with regard to the economy and the strength of innovation?
The current economic environment is not easy to assess. In 2015 risks seem more probable than opportunities. Notwithstanding, Freudenberg Performance Materials is a widely diversified company with global reach. We are confronted from region to region, therefore, with different challenges. Having the right product portfolio and a quality, price and performance that make us the best supplier for our customers, we are equipped to deal with all challenges.
Question 2: How would you define the position of your company in the market in economic terms and with respect to recent developments?
When we founded Freudenberg Performance Materials on January 1st 2015, we laid the foundations for the ‘future joint success’ of Freudenberg Vliesstoffe and Freudenberg Politex Vliesstoffe. The market now has two innovative companies working successfully together. Our focus is on attractive markets such as automotive interiors, clothing, construction, hygiene, medical, shoe components and other specialities. For further profitable, global growth we are expanding our business worldwide. First of all we are investing in our established core businesses. Around the world we are also opening up new, future-orientated markets around our core business. One example is the area of advanced wound care. On January 1st, working with the British company ‘Polymer Health Technologies’, we added significantly to our wound management know-how with hydrophilic foam systems and so we can now offer customers an ever broader product portfolio.
Question 3: In which segments and from which markets do you expect to find technical advances and innovations at the twin trade fair Techtextil / Texprocess and where will your focus lie?
As a company operating in a global market we also want to play a part in the future success of our active customers around the world by providing innovative solutions. We have had success with solutions for the areas of clothing or automotive interiors and hygiene. In addition, we see the medical sector as a future market for the innovations of Freudenberg Performance Materials. The gas diffusion layers (GDL) business is another technology in which we are investing. GDL are an essential component of a future, advanced fuel cell. On top of this, we continue to work in the alternative energy sector to develop and market innovative separator materials for lithium-ion batteries. Freudenberg Performance Materials will be showcasing all these topics at Techtextil 2015.