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The sound of innovation

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Kendrion Kuhnke Automotive is part of Kendrion and belongs to the Group’s Automotive division. Kendrion specializes in custom-engineered electromagnetic and mechatronic solutions for industrial and automotive applications worldwide.

Headquartered in Zeist in the Netherlands, the Group has operations in Europe, the Americas, China and India. Kendrion is split into two divisions and five business units: Industrial, with industrial magnetic systems, industrial control systems and industrial drive systems, and Automotive which comprises solutions for passenger cars and commercial vehicles.

Kendrion Kuhnke Automotive focuses on electromagnetic, mechatronic and electronic components and systems for passenger cars. The company’s comprehensive product portfolio includes control valves, hydraulic valves, pneumatic valves, electronic control units, sound design solutions, sensors, solenoids and brakes. The business unit Passenger Cars has development, manufacturing and sales operations in Germany, Austria, Romania, China and the USA.

The roots of Kendrion Kuhnke Automotive go back to two German brands with a rich history: Binder, which was founded in 1911 and focused on electromagnetic components, and Kuhnke which was established in 1928 and specialized in relays, magnetic technology and pneumatics.

Binder joined Kendrion in 1997, and Kuhnke followed in 2013. “Both companies supplied the same customers but the product portfolios were widely different,” says Torsten Komischke, Managing Director of Kendrion Kuhnke Automotive. “The merger therefore provided a perfect fit for both companies.”

Kendrion Kuhnke Automotive has 230 employees; the whole Group employs 2,700 people. The company is evolving in line with the expanding global automotive industry. “We are benefiting from the sustained upswing in the automotive market by concentrating on niche segments and serving them with innovative solutions,” states Mr. Komischke.

Kendrion Kuhnke Automotive provides such solutions in three major areas: electronics, electromechanics and sound design. The company is particularly strong in electronic control units for fuel pumps, pneumatic valves for adjustable seats as well as interior and exterior sound design solutions.

“Sound design is a clear growth market, both in the context of sound improvement of conventional engines and of sound creation in electric and hybrid vehicles,” explains Mr. Komischke. In contrast to many competitors, Kendrion Kuhnke Automotive uses innovative flexible structure-born sound technology instead of conventional loudspeakers to create its brand-specific sound designs.

For its outstanding innovative capacity, Kendrion Kuhnke Automotive received the coveted Top 100 award in 2016. “We shall take part in the competition again this year,” states Mr. Komischke. Kendrion Kuhnke Automotive not only distinguishes itself from the competition through its innovation and technology leadership but also through the speed at which it implements its innovations.

“Swiftness is one of our main strengths, and we are always ready to integrate the latest technologies,” says Mr. Komischke explaining the success of the company. “We aim to anticipate new developments in the sector as early as possible and cooperate closely with our customers’ engineering and design teams. We have always been able to identify the most promising niche applications, such as automotive sound design, a market which, in the beginning, was frowned upon by many competitors. We also have a very broad portfolio of electromagnetic, mechatronic and electronic components and systems which enables us to serve a wide variety of customers and markets.”

In 2017, Kendrion Kuhnke Automotive wants to continue developing new, promising niche markets and applications in the automotive sector. “We are committed to staying ahead of the competition through innovative, custom-engineered solutions that help enhance driving experience, improve comfort and safety and reduce fuel consumption and emissions,” concludes Mr. Komischke.

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