"The work is varied and the whole process of design to production from start to finish is able to be seen here, and be a part of."
An Interview with Henry Faith & Philip Vaughan, Senior Aerospace Designers at Freudenberg Sealing Technologies.
In about five sentences, please give us an overview of your job at Freudenberg Sealing Technologies?
As senior designers, we are primarily responsible for the design and development of a broad range of sealing products for the aerospace industry, as well as some other types of industry. The customer provides input requirements for their desired product, and using CAD 3D software we create concept schemes that fit these requirements. We then collaborate with other internal departments in a process called Finite Element Analysis (FEA), where computer programs simulate movement, loads, contact pressures, and strains that could affect the product in a live environment. Next, we conduct internal design reviews with other departments to determine if the design is practical from a manufacturing perspective. Finally, once the design is approved and agreed upon, we develop test plans, design testing equipment as required, and execute or witness these tests.
What makes working with Freudenberg Sealing Technologies different from other companies or teams you’ve worked with?
Although Freudenberg is a large company, the facility we work at in Tillsonburg has a small independent feel and we are able to be involved in much more than just product design. We are in regular calls with customers to understand their specific requirements. Additionally, everyone is easily accessible, and if there is a production issue, we are there to witness it and solve the problem. Compared to other large aerospace companies, the turnaround time from concept to production is quick.
Why did you decide you wanted to work here?
Both of us previously worked in the aerospace industry for different companies that did business with Freudenberg in the past, so we were familiar with their business. The ability of Freudenberg to process raw materials into finished, fully-conforming and certified aircraft components was impressive to us. Additionally, the amount of supplier awards Freudenberg has received from large companies such as Pratt & Whitney and United Technologies was an important factor.
Can you tell us about the culture at Freudenberg Sealing Technologies?
We are at close-knit community here at the Tillsonburg facility. Everyone is willing to help each other out and individuals often go above and beyond what is expected of their particular role. There is a lot of experience from the shop floor and in the offices where we design our seals and processes, but there is a balance of youth to keep new and fresh ideas coming. Communication is a key to our success.
What does Freudenberg Sealing Technologies have to offer regarding career / talent development?
Freudenberg Sealing Technologies is an excellent place to learn and develop a career. The work is varied and the whole process of design to production from start to finish is able to be seen here, and be a part of. We also complete yearly self-appraisals that allows our managers to identify any required training. There is a ton of room here for career development, especially if you are open to relocating to one of the many national or worldwide Freudenberg locations.
Do you have recommendations for potential future colleagues when applying for a job with Freudenberg?
When we began working at Freudenberg, it was surprising to discover how long most people had been working here. It seems like every week someone is celebrating 25 or 30 years of service. It really creates a sense of security. The jobs we do keep us occupied and interested from a technical perspective. We would highly recommend applying for a position here. It’s a welcoming company and our roles allow us to experience the full manufacturing cycle.
How is your team organized or what does it look like?
We are two designers working on a team with a Project Launch Coordinator, Project Manager, and a Program Manager, to whom we directly report. As new projects come in, they are assigned to one of us and we then take responsibility for the design, testing, qualification, and technical communication with the customer. We also interact with other Freudenberg teams within and outside of our facility in Tillsonburg.