Perhaps the longest rubber seal in the world. 1.4 kilometers long, wound on a coil. And this is what keeps Mercedes-Benz vehicles sealed?
Rubber off the roll. Or more precisely: Body seals off the roll. Yes, it's possible. In fact, it works so well that the supplier SaarGummi Group was awarded the Daimler Supplier Award 2020 in the "Quality" category. Gunnar Güthenke, Vice President of Procurement & Supplier Quality at Mercedes-Benz Cars, said at the award ceremony: "Your industrialization management is excellent. Even with last-minute changes and adjustments to the body shell and doors, you react flexibly and always deliver top quality."
SaarGummi's continuous door seals have been installed in Mercedes-Benz vehicles worldwide since 2007. It is not until immediately before assembly that the seals are automatically cut to the required finished dimension and assembled with multifunctional robotic systems. In a project phase lasting several years, SaarGummi has developed a sealing diameter which, in combination with a special rubber blend and a new winding technology, shows no deformation even after months of storage. In comparison to the packaging units that had been common on the market until then, the packaging is more than twice as dense. But not all seals are endless off the roll. SaarGummi also develops and supplies sealing systems for sealing the entire vehicle such as window guides for the side window or sealing systems for sliding roofs.
"Production of rubber products of all kinds, including for repair, tire recapping, and automobile tire sales" – this is the business objective recorded in the Commercial Register when the company was founded in 1947. Name of the company then: Saar-Gummiwerk, Hellmuth Lemm GmbH. Company headquarters: Wadern-Büschfeld in Saarland. In 1954, Saar-Gummiwerk started producing shoe soles and soling sheets, five years later, it was the largest sole plate manufacturer in Germany. At that time, V-belts, brake pads, and clutch linings were produced for the automotive industry. Since 1975, the focus has been on body seals.
In the 1990s, the cooperation with Daimler—as well as the internationalization—began. SaarGummi developed from a medium-sized enterprise into a global player. With locations in Asia and Europe, as well as North and South America. Since 2016, the activities of the SaarGummi Group have been divided into three business units: In addition to the "Automotive" business unit, the "Construction" business unit is also active in the construction industry, while the third business unit, "Neo", functions as the enterprise's think tank. The SaarGummi Group currently has almost 7,000 employees across 22 locations. Larry Johnson, CEO of the SaarGummi Group, is thrilled with the Daimler Supplier Award 2020: "The excellent cooperation between SaarGummi and the Mercedes-Benz Procurement, Development, and Quality departments is a decisive factor in enabling us to implement changes quickly."