SPEECH: Kai Knickmann, Group Vice President & General Manager Automotive OEM

MANN+HUMMEL Press conference IAA 2011, September 14, 2011, Frankfurt/Main - The spoken word is valid. -

Future comes as standard

Ladies and gentlemen, I would also like to offer you a warm welcome.

We have recently received the largest single order in the company history of MANN+HUMMEL for a product in an electric vehicle - is the filter specialist undergoing a change? Yes - change is firmly on the agenda at MANN+HUMMEL. Good is not good enough for us because the best today will not meet the requirements of tomorrow or the day after - this credo has enabled us to change from a manufacturer of components to a system supplier and ensured that we have continually developed our ability to innovate and as a result have been able to considerably influence the field of filtration. We have systematically extended our core business of filtration to application areas linked to filtration. Therefore we are the ideal contact for our customers where everything comes together with projects which are partly very complex.

We are consequently familiar with thermal management and also acoustics. Those who develop and manufacture air cleaner systems will inevitably have to deal with challenges related to acoustics. We are dedicated to functional integration and material substitution. Plastic instead of metal - that reduces weight and plastic, and the use of plastic allows designs with more complex geometries which in turn reduces the number of processing steps. This offers considerable advantages to our customers. And considerable advantages for us because we have built up extensive expertise in plastics processing and series production. We have developed and manufactured the world's first plastic intake manifold and the world's first oil module in plastic, and if all the cars in Germany were fitted with our plastic oil sump, then the CO2 burden to the environment would be roughly 65,000 tonnes less per year. High temperatures, high pressures, thin wall thicknesses, high tightness requirements, recycling - we process plastic for standard and also for premium requirements. This expertise and years of experience have now enabled us to win the largest series order to-date: battery frames for a North American car producer.

The decisive factors in winning this order were design for manufacturing and design to cost. These concepts mean that costs and manufacturing considerations are important at a very early stage in the product development process. In our case, these requirements have to be met:

·        reliable series production with a high volume

·        quick series production with a short cycle time

·        injection moulding of very flat and long components

·        high requirements for component cleanliness

·        high sealing requirements

For the customers of our customers, for example those present here today, in order to accept electric cars it will be necessary to increase their operating distance and considerably reduce costs. We can start with the costs. The battery frames will be in plastic and very flat and long. For many companies this would be a challenge, or the cycle time would be longer, i.e. the process would require more time and would therefore be more expensive. We calculate that by the series start in 2014 we will produce up to 160,000 battery frames per day. At these volumes every second of reduced cycle time will save money for our customer.

We have been producing intake manifolds and air cleaner systems for decades in high volumes in plastic. On the one hand we have acquired the necessary tooling and processing expertise, for example, with regard to the flow properties of different materials. On the other hand we have also accumulated extensive experience with cycle times and cost reduction.

Injection moulding with very short cycle times is one important factor to reduce costs. A second important factor is component cleanliness. If the battery frame is contaminated, for example by dust particles from the ambient air or from the packaging material, a possible result could be a leakage. Our customer has therefore specified production in a clean room. Depending on the clean room category, this means that the number of dirt particles and germs must be kept to the absolute minimum. In general, employees working in the clean room must change their clothes to remove the possibility, for example, that contamination can enter the clean room on shoe soles or woollen pullovers. Compliance with such high requirements is very expensive.

MANN+HUMMEL has many years of experience meeting requirements with regard to component cleanliness. For example, if a fuel system does not meet purity requirements of the customer, the fine nozzles of the injection system in the engine may block. Based on our experience in this field, we were able to offer our customer an alternative for the manufacture of the battery frames maintaining the required component cleanliness and which is also significantly less expensive than the cost of a clean room. 

We purchase a number of raw materials or products, for example, seals. We know which companies in the world are able to deliver reliable quality in high volumes and usually at realistic prices.

Something completely different and an absolute highlight is our LPI filter, which we build in Korea and deliver to Australia. It's a highlight because it's our first series order for Australia and also because it's an energy-saving high performance filter which sets the standard. I'm sure you are familiar with LPG, liquid gas. Conventional liquid gas drives vaporise the liquid gas before it reaches the engine. The recently developed LPI liquid gas drive leaves the gas in its liquid form until it reaches the injection nozzles. The great advantage is that because the expansion of the fuel only takes place after reaching the combustion chamber in the engine, the temperature is reduced as the fuel fills the chamber. The fuel consumption is reduced, which helps to protect the environment and also reduces the cost of driving.

The challenge for the filter? The liquid gas is permanently under pressure to keep it as a liquid. This means our filter has to handle an operating pressure of 25 bar. In comparison: Espresso rushes through a modern coffee machine at 15 bar. Depending on the model, petrol filters work with an operating pressure of up to 5 bar, and oil filters are subjected to an operating pressure of 5 to 7 bar. So 25 bar is quite a substantial pressure. In addition, the filter has to ensure the required separation efficiency. At a pressure of 25 bar, even the smallest of particles fly like bullets. Our filter retains an excellent 92 per cent of particles down to 5 microns (thousandth of a millimetre) and above 99 per cent of particles down to 10 microns. These are particles which are just a fraction of a human hair, which has a diameter of roughly 50 to 100 microns. This performance is made possible by a special filter medium, a fully-synthetic composite filter medium with an ultra-fine microglass layer and a metal protection layer - just as you would expect from MANN+HUMMEL!

MANN+HUMMEL is a leading international filtration specialist. In a period spanning 70 years we have built up a worldwide presence and have been very successful. This success is an incentive for us to become even better. This involves developing new products and technical expertise along with the know-how necessary for reliable large-scale production with cost optimisation. Whether for the production of products for conventional or for alternative drive systems - our customers need and will get innovative quality products from us - so future comes as standard.

Kai Knickmann

Group Vice President & General Manager Automotive OEM

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The new MANN+HUMMEL website is now online in time for the IAA motor show on September 13, 2011. Please visit us at www.mann-hummel.com.


The MANN+HUMMEL Group is a development partner and original equipment supplier to the international automotive and mechanical engineering industries. Employing approx. 13,200 people at 41 locations world-wide, the company achieved turnover of 2.18 billion Euros in 2010. The Group´s product portfolio includes air filter systems, intake manifold systems, liquid filter systems, cabin filters and cylinder head covers made of plastic with many integrated functions for the automotive industry, as well as filter elements for vehicle servicing and repair. For general engineering, process engineering and industrial manufacturing sectors the company´s product range includes industrial filters, a series of products to reduce carbon emission levels in diesel engines, membrane filters for water filtration, filter systems and complete lines as well as units for conveying, dosing and drying of free flowing plastics. Further information about MANN+HUMMEL can be found under http://www.mann-hummel.com.