The three-month conversion work has now been completed and the filter laboratory on the industrial park in Weinheim is shining in new splendor. In the newly named “Filtration Science Lab”, Freudenberg Filtration Technologies will continue testing and investigating products for the automotive, industrial and consumer markets. Filters have been put to the test here for more than five decades. In the course of a two-stage renovation, what used to be a filter laboratory characterized by “functional industrial flair” has become a modern and innovative competence center – not just visually but also with optimized processes and improvements for the people who work there. The sum invested in the conversion works is in the six-figure range.
Innovative products are tested here in a facility that extends to around 1,000 square meters. Laboratory manager Matthias Schilling and his team are able to examine the performance of filters on more than 20 test benches. Has the filter reached its dust storage capacity? Can air still pass through it easily enough without using more energy than permitted? These are the sorts of questions to which the filter measurement team at Freudenberg Filtration Technologies finds answers. In 2017, around 10,000 measurements were carried out with the aim of finding concrete answers to customers’ questions.
National and international standards play a decisive role, with the filters being tested precisely in accordance with DIN, EN or ISO specifications. The test benches and the substances used comply with all standards, down to the smallest grain of dust. In addition, the laboratory team carries out defined incoming goods inspections of the materials used, for example, the nonwoven filter medium or the activated carbon that binds odors and gases. Particularly selected filters are scanned before delivery to detect any possible damage. Last but not least, the product development team calls on the services of the laboratory when it comes to testing filter innovations or optimized products. “In general terms, the demand for measurement results is increasing. In this respect, we can draw on many years of experience and a wide range of skills. It is also important to us to respond flexibly to the concerns of our colleagues”, Schilling explained.
Communication among colleagues is increasingly taking place digitally. An online platform allows both sides to view the status of orders. The test benches are also connected to the laboratory’s IT infrastructure – everything is interconnected. Measurement results are fed directly into the company’s internal network and can be exchanged internationally. The coordination of filter measurement technology at all locations is centrally coordinated in Weinheim. Further laboratories are located in Hopkinsville USA, Suzhou, China and Pyeongtaek in South Korea.