“I joined Freudenberg 9 years ago as an Electrical Engineer. I work on the electrical aspect of projects that involve new equipment installations as well as upgrades of obsolete equipment. On a daily basis, I work on creating drawings in AutoCAD Electrical, procurement of parts for projects, project work specifications for contractors, writing/modifying PLC programs, responding to troubleshooting calls within the plant, and assisting the Maintenance Department.”
“The most reward aspect has been being able to work on the project from the uncrating to the operations of the converting lines. It’s been very rewarding to see the lines come up to speed slowly and to be involved with tuning and improving the performance of the machines.”
“When I first came to the face mask facility, it was an older building that needed lots of work to prepare for the arrival of the equipment. I designed the power feed structure and contracted the Electricians that installed it. It now supplies power to all the mask production lines, lighting, HVAC systems, overhead doors, and more throughout the facility.
After the machines arrived, I worked with the team to uncrate, inspect for damage, set in place, align, assemble, and connect the electrical wires. Then we worked together on each machine to commission and tune each function and prepare for turnover to the operations teams. After turnover, I continue to support operations with troubleshooting and problem resolving.”
“It’s very rewarding knowing that we are producing face masks that are in high demand right now due to the pandemic. It’s a great feeling to be able to contribute to the need of others.”
Michael Mathews, Electrical Engineer USA
I joined Freudenberg in May 2020 as an Engineering Intern.
“As part of the engineering team, I spend most of my day out on the floor working to help debug machines when various issues arise. I also work to continuously improve the machine stability, which includes re-engineering parts, logging changes and creating our ideal machine SPI. I’m also responsible for documenting activities around machine installation such as troubleshooting manuals and work instructions.”
“The best thing about my role here in Durham is just that – I have been trusted with a lot of responsibility as a full member of the technical team. It makes me feel valued when operators come to me if an issue arises because they know I can help resolve it. I’m extremely blessed to have the opportunity to work on such an impactful project as this is a rare opportunity for someone my age. I want to do everything I possibly can to validate the trust that has been placed in me and make the most of my time here.”
“During my time here, I’ve learned a lot about the mechanical side of engineering. I continue to learn more every day from the engineers around me - whether something mechanical, electrical or just a better way to do something in general. Another area I’ve experienced growth has been learning how the operations side of a production system runs: how quality systems are implemented, workplace ergonomics as well as how production and engineering work together to achieve a common goal. It has helped me understand the full scope of operational management and how all the individual pieces work in tandem for a successful project.”
Matthew Izzo, Engineering Intern, USA
“I am an application engineer, so I work closely with the sales team, R&D and production as well as external partners like finishers and institutes. My task is to make the link with customers to make sure they have the right product that matches their final application.”
“We accomplished these challenges thanks to the teamwork between the colleagues who were working in the site and the those who were working in home office. In such a situation, everyone gave the best of themselves to make it possible.”
“I work together with R&D to find the right basis for face masks. I coordinate external testing of our material and translate the test results in data which is useful to the final user and the sales team. Together with marketing, I help with creation of technical data sheets. I am also part of the active technical support team for all companies which convert their standard activities into face mask production activities.”
“Participating in the qualification of Evolon® as a suitable base material for community masks at a time when there was a lack of protective masks available has been the most rewarding part.”
“A thing that is so common under normal circumstances, such as sending out a sample with an express courier, was at that time a real challenge as express courier did not pick-up the parcel anymore in ‘cluster areas’”.
During the crisis with the lack of face masks and the increasing market needs, we had to postpone our ongoing research and development projects and focus on developing new solutions based on Evolon to meet the urgent and high demand from different governments all over the world. The target was to test and develop a several face mask concepts which could meet the different required filtration and breathability specifications of different countries.
We know all advantages of Evolon. But the most rewarding aspect was seeing the product brought into the market in short time for this new application - within days and few weeks -. It was a good feeling that we were able to support in this crisis when people were struggling to find face masks or nonwoven suppliers. It was great to experience that we can beat this crisis by working together and supporting each other. From this angle, our innovating together slogan had a deeper meaning during the crisis.
It is important that Freudenberg, one of nonwovens supplier leaders in the world, has a big variety of markets. This allowed us to use our know-how already our learned in the field of PPE and bring the focus to this specific segment in short time during the crisis.
Considering that Colmar area was the first and most hit region in France by the coronavirus, we had to face a bigger charge of work with less resources. We had to overcome our fear and not get disturbed by what was going around and shown in the media. The challenge was to find resources to bring this project into the market, but most importantly also find ways to bring the material to customers by putting new and urgent supply chains in place. This allowed us to support our customers worldwide.