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Industrial Spotlight - June 2, 2014

Hengst Automotive keeps the wheels turning in Camden

Posted: May 30, 2014 2:00 p.m.
Updated: June 2, 2014 5:00 a.m.
Gary Phillips/C-I

Cleatus Johnson makes sure a custom-made filtration system will fit the machine it is designed for.

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Almost any machine with moving parts requires two things to keep it performing smoothly and trouble free for a long time: lubrication and an efficient way to filter that lubricant so it remains in peak condition to do its job. Hengst Automotive, 29 Hengst Blvd. in Steeplechase Business Park in Camden, manufactures filters and filtration systems for oil, air and fuel for auto and machine manufacturers and also used as after-market additions to large industrial machinery and vehicles.

Hengst is a German company founded in Munster in 1958 by engineer Walter Hengst and is now managed by the third generation of the family. They have another North American facility in Novi, Mich.

The 80,000 square-foot Camden facility opened in 2005 and molds and machines the filtration systems that are designed to custom fit specific makes and models of equipment from a number of makers. Camden Operations Director Steve Geppert said one of Hengst Automotive’s primary clients is Daimler, a European manufacturer of automobiles and large trucks. Hengst was named Daimler’s “Supplier of the Year” for 2013.

Geppert said valuable skills for Hengst employees are the ability to operate manufacturing machines, but the company trains most workers in their specific duties and procedures. The filters are made from start to finish using special paper that is folded and formed to fit the application it is designed for. The filter material is then inserted and sealed into a filter housing, all in the Camden factory. The facility also has a team of engineers that designs the systems when new applications come along.

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