My job is all about being innovative, getting ideas and collaborating with my colleagues. I am working at the newly inaugurated North Carolina Innovation Center in Raleigh. Our goal is to find out what we can do to deliver our filter value and be a leader in in field in near future. Right now we are working on the future products of MANN+HUMMEL in the world of filtration. Our office in Raleigh is a “Collaboration Center”, because it is not like a traditional office. The set up is very open so we can do a lot of brainstorming. You can see everybody at their desk and if you have an idea you could talk to them or ask them and shape the idea together. That is really great and makes a perfect environment for strategic innovation and collaboration
Nanofibers – high tech filter elements
Currently I am working on a special project to develop new types of nanofibers. This is actually a technology from the medical area and I tried to connect it with the world of filtration. We want to use all of the technology out there to make our filters better. We are also collaborating with the business unit Automotive Aftermarket to develop a glass-free filter media. Right now machines have glass media filters for diesel or gas machines. But the problem is that glass media isn’t good for the environment or the people and it also can damage the engine. So in the filter elements we are working right now, any glass fiber is prohibited. We want to make glass-free filter elements for the next generation of diesel or gas machines – so we use polymeric fibers at the nano- or micro-scale. This could happen in the next two years or five years – but it will definitely happen.
The particles in the fuel are very small. To capture them you can’t use the regular fiber size. You have to use nano fibers to establish a barrier to capture those nano particles in the air or fuel. In general: small particles need small fibers to be captured.
With the NCIC we want to make changes with innovative solutions to participate in the future of our business. We are also building a strong partnership with North Carolina State University. This was always a personal aim of mine. Back in 2002, when I was a young student, there was very little connection between university and industry, but nowa days this is much better. So I am very positive, that the NCIC will help to ensure our position of leadership in the filtration world in the future.