"Where some companies see a problem, FST sees an opportunity to innovate."
An Interview with Hervé di Meo, Project Engineering Manager at Freudenberg in Chamboret, France.
In about five sentences, please give us an overview of your job at Freudenberg Sealing Technologies?
I manage the product development department for the Competence Center Gaskets Europe. My project teams are specialized in static sealing solutions for automotive and general industry, based on high technology compounds. The customer’s voice is the main driver throughout the development process.
During development, I support my teams to comply with the project schedules and reach the functional and quality targets of the products. Lean engineering tools like FMEA, VA-VE, LPMS are key factors to fulfil our mission.
What makes working with Freudenberg Sealing Technologies different from other companies or teams you’ve worked with?
Where some companies see a problem, FST sees an opportunity to innovate. I discovered that this is our culture. At the beginning I was quite skeptical and now after some years of practice, I am fully convinced of the merits of such an approach.
The continuous improvement promoted by our Growtth (Get Rid of Waste Through Team Harmony) organization is a great resource for me as a manager to improve the efficiency of my teams.
Why did you decide you wanted to work here?
FREUDENBERG is a role model for the industry sector in my country. This is a plant that offers me a window to the world! I work daily in French, English, German; with European, Chinese, Indian, and American people. This is a great situation that perfectly suits my way of life.
Can you tell us about the culture at Freudenberg Sealing Technologies?
Our company’s slogan, ‘’INNOVATING TOGETHER” reflects the FST culture based on safety at work combined with a constant search for solutions and a commitment to sustainable results.
What does Freudenberg Sealing Technologies have to offer regarding career/talent development?
The talent management process empowers you to drive your career within Freudenberg through a large range of business groups. FST understands that talent is everywhere and the company greatly values diversity. Freudenberg, including FST, gives opportunities to progress throughout the organization. As an example I started in CC Gaskets Europe in 2008 as a Project Engineer and as of Jan. 1st , I will take over the full responsibility of the product and material development teams. Of course, I had a lot of challenging missions on my journey to this new position.
How is your team organized or what does it look like?
Three Project Managers work within a cross functional team that includes the four main functions to develop the product (project, design, tooling, quality). They are dedicated to a customer portfolio in order to become specialists of the CSR (Customer Specific Requirements). They are responsible for the product until the SOP (Start of Production). A fourth Project Manager is dedicated to the product serial lifetime to support our production business units in case of reprocessing or retooling. This project manager drives the EOP (End of Production) to fit the customer needs with the accurate production process. Our Coordinator administrates the engineering production from customer orders to deliveries.