Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies (Freudenberg-NOK) will host two Concordia University students, along with their award-winning SAE Supermileage® vehicle, at this year’s Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars (CAR MBS) in Traverse City, Michigan.
The seminars, which take place August 4 to 7 at the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa, bring together professionals for a four-day discussion surrounding some of the auto industry’s most prominent trends and pressing challenges.
Torsten Maschke, president, Automotive Sales and Marketing for Freudenberg Sealing Technologies, will speak during the seminars about the company’s approach to globalization and automotive growth in China, as well as technology demands for lower emissions, higher fuel economy and sealing solutions for evolving powertrain systems.
In addition to keeping up with increasing fuel economy standards, retaining talent in the auto industry is a popular topic as well. SAE Supermileage – an annual collegiate competition that challenges students to create a single-passenger vehicle that can achieve the highest fuel economy possible – is particularly relevant to this discussion.
“Supermileage attracts some of the brightest young minds in the engineering field to tackle fuel economy head on, something not unlike the challenge most vehicle manufacturers face today,” said Rory Pawl, director, Future Technology for Freudenberg-NOK. “So, to help out students and test a new line of seals, we designed, tooled and produced custom Energy Saving Seals (ESS™) for the crankshaft in the vehicle’s engine.”
The seals, which were offered to all participating teams in the June competition, reduced friction by 57 percent – a significant improvement considering teams are looking to save fuel in any way possible. The top-performing team that used the seals was offered a trip for two to this year’s CAR MBS.
Concordia University, a public school located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, was one of the teams that took Freudenberg-NOK up on the offer. The team achieved an average of 383 mpg on five runs with the seals, earning it the 35th Annual SAE Endurance Award, which was reserved for the team that completed at least five runs with the highest average fuel economy.
““The work we do to increase efficiency of Supermileage vehicles can be applied on a larger scale,” said Haqeem Sapuan, Concordia’s engine lead. “It involves reducing friction, reducing redundancies such as coasting with the engine idling and optimizing the fuel efficiency of the engine.”
Sapuan along with teammate Alexandre Laroche, both mechanical engineering students, will participate in the CAR MBS student program, which includes access to all sessions, roundtables with industry executives and networking opportunities. In addition to the students attending the seminar, Concordia’s Supermileage vehicle will be on display at CAR MBS, where the students will be able to talk with industry professionals about the vehicle’s design and their Supermileage experience.
“Our Supermileage prototype is covered in corporate sponsor logos to show our appreciation of their support,” Laroche said. “Corporate sponsors like Freudenberg provide the resources we need to make our outside-of-the-box ideas a reality. And on top of that, the company has given us an incredible opportunity by inviting us to attend and participate at CAR MBS.”
“We see terrific synergies between Supermileage and the innovations we are developing for our customers in the area of friction reduction and fuel economy,” said Dr. Luis Lorenzo, vice president, Technology and Innovation for Freudenberg-NOK. “We support programs that help develop new engineering talent and product innovations so the Supermileage competition is a natural fit, and we are happy to sponsor the hard-working students at CAR MBS.”
Maschke will speak during a Wednesday afternoon session, which takes place 1:30 to 4 p.m. The vehicle will be on display at a social networking event co-sponsored by Freudenberg-NOK that evening, where attendees will have the opportunity to meet the students and learn more about Concordia’s vehicle and Freudenberg-NOK’s custom seals.