With a corporate history now spanning more than 130 years, ElringKlinger is an independent automotive supplier operating within the global arena. Around 90% of the Group’s revenue is generated from sales to the international vehicle industry and from business within the independent aftermarket sector. As a development partner and original equipment manufacturer, ElringKlinger supplies cylinder-head and specialty gaskets, plastic housing modules, shielding parts for engines, transmission and exhaust tract applications, exhaust gas purification technology as well as battery and fuel cell components to almost all the world’s vehicle and engine manufacturers. This portfolio is complemented by products made of the high-performance plastic PTFE supplied by ElringKlinger Kunststofftechnik (Engineered Plastics segment) and the recently released fuel cell stacks for applications outside the automotive sector.
ElringKlinger employs around 6,200 people worldwide at 41 sites in 20 countries. Among the largest sites within the group in terms of revenue and headcount are the parent company’s German-based plants in Dettingen/Erms, Runkel and Langenzenn as well as the Bietigheim-Bissingen factory operated by ElringKlinger Kunststofftechnik GmbH.
In the rest of Europe the plants in Reus (Spain) and Nantiat (France) are worth mentioning, together with the two Swiss sites in Sevelen and Elsau, which belong to ElringKlinger Abschirmtechnik (Schweiz) AG and Hug Engineering AG respectively. Outside Europe, the largest company sites are based in Leamington (Canada), Piracicaba (Brazil), Toluca (Mexico) and Buford (USA) as well as in Changchun and Suzhou (both in China).
ElringKlinger is the global market leader in the field of cylinder-head gaskets. The company is ranked among the top three suppliers worldwide in the respective fields of specialty gaskets, shielding technology and plastic housing modules/elastomer technology. ElringKlinger’s product range addresses the key issues facing today’s automotive industry: reduction of fuel consumption and emissions as well as development of alternative drive technologies. It is one of the few companies worldwide to have already positioned itself as a supplier of high-tech components for every relevant drive system of the future – from combustion engine to electric applications. ElringKlinger combines technology leadership at market level with cost leadership in production.
Within this context, emphasis is on supplying substantial volumes of a consistently high quality using fully automated manufacturing facilities.
ElringKlinger’s core competencies are the combination of high-precision metal processing and coating technologies and in plastics engineering. Drawing on its specialized knowledge of materials gained over a period of several decades, the Group has established a considerable lead within the market. Additionally, ElringKlinger’s key strengths include tooling technology for metal forming, stamping and coining processes as well as for highly complex plastic injection-molding procedures. The company’s in-house toolshop develops and produces the tools used for manufacturing purposes.
Committed to sustaining its competitive position, ElringKlinger invests in research and development (R&D) at a rate that is above the industry average. Maintaining a strong culture of innovation, the Group is well positioned not only to embrace new areas of application for existing technologies but also to develop entirely new products, for example battery and fuel cell technology as well as highly innovative exhaust-gas treatment systems.
Due to its outstanding know how in sheet metal production processes, metallic bipolar plates perfectly match ElringKlinger’s product range. Stamped and welded bipolar plate units, optionally carrying sealings, have been produced for automotive customers for a number of years with excellent results.
In addition to the component business, PEM fuel cell stacks have been developed and sold for non-automotive applications since 2010. These stacks are liquid-cooled and run on hydrogen and atmospheric air. They are available in a power range of 2 to 20 kWel and are designed for industrial applications like the material handling sector or stationary use – applications in which efficiency, reliability and lifetime are the crucial points.
As targets for power density and lifetime have basically been reached for the mentioned fields of use, cost of the stack is the major challenge that has to be met upon increasing the production numbers for the mass-markets.