Plymouth Township's Freudenberg-NOK Tests New Suspension Technology for Tractors


Freudenberg-NOK, a manufacturer of sealing technologies with headquarters in Plymouth Township, is testing a new system that allows tractor drivers to configure the suspension on an individual basis for more comfort and flexibility.

“This new suspension technology addresses an issue for farmers and other mobile machinery workers,” says Joel Johnson, global vice president of the mobile machinery sector for Freudenberg-NOK. “This is a big step forward in terms of systems technology, and we have worked closely with our customers to collaborate on a suspension mechanism that will work and function flawlessly.”

The company’s engineers are testing a new system in which the driver can set the desired rigidity using an adjustment in the cockpit for different conditions such as roads and fields. The forces that act on the front axle are low when the tractor pulls attached equipment over a field but increase significantly when traveling on a road with a trailer. 

Company engineers say the drivers will be able to freely adjust the suspension, resulting in less vibration and noise. There will also be an increase in productivity with the interaction of the tractor and its attached equipment.

Specialists from Freudenberg worked with tractor manufacturers on the application of suspension systems to various vehicle concepts, including the design and simulation of the system, prototype construction, technical testing, and the application of prototypes to customer systems.

In a further stage of development, the system will be able to set the spring rate automatically and a sensor will continually measures the pressure on the cylinder.

Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies is the Americas joint venture between Freudenberg in Germany and NOK Corp. in Japan. Freudenberg-NOK is a producer of advanced sealing technologies for the aerospace, construction, automotive, and pharmaceutical industries, among others.