As far as acquisitions are concerned, Freudenberg is constantly looking to broaden its technology and materials expertise. Whenever the company sees the need for additional technology to significantly expand an existing market or develop a new market, it looks for matching options that can usefully complement or be combined with its existing technologies. One example is the acquisition of Polymer Health Technology in 2015, a leading polyurethane foams specialist for advanced wound care. With this, Freudenberg expanded its product portfolio in the field of medical technology.
One example for Freudenberg's current R&D activities is our work in automotive applications. To meet the needs generated by the changes taking place within the automotive industry, Freudenberg provides a wide range of materials for new applications in e-mobility-starting from new lightweight products like acoustic pads and underbody shields, and moving into entirely new areas. For example, Freudenberg has recently industrialised the production of gas diffusion layers for fuel cells.
Most technical textiles manufacturers focus on specific mass markets like hygiene or apparel. As a result, they simply match technologies with market requirements. This focus often comes at the cost of limited technical capabilities. In contrast, Freudenberg sees a growing trend in many specialty and industrial markets, where customers are demanding solutions that combine different functionalities in one new product: for example, nonwovens that offer both excellent breathability and high water resistance. Because we have the broadest technology platform in the market, Freudenberg is able to create new multi-layer solutions that combine various functionalities. The company sees this as a big opportunity to support our customers in several of our key markets and in new markets, like e-mobility.
India is a market with great potential for Freudenberg. The company has been doing business in this country for decades and is aware that India offers further potential. As a result, Freudenberg is already running multiple different projects to explore further opportunities, for instance in the apparel market. (PC)
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