Continental produces the 500 millionth floating caliper at its Rheinboellen production site

Jun 19, 2008

Hydraulic brake systems: the essence of rapid and safe braking. 

Frankfurt am Main / Rheinböllen, Germany. Continental, the international automotive supplier, today celebrated the production of the world's 500 millionth floating caliper at its Rheinböllen site. "Each year, the Hydraulic Brake Systems Business Unit produces more than 33 million floating calipers at sites in Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, the Slovak Republic, the USA, Brazil, China, Japan and Taiwan", said Heinz Zingel, Executive Vice President Hydraulic Brake Systems Business Unit of the Chassis & Safety Division. "Annual production is some 10 million at Rheinböllen alone, making it the world's leading production site for Continental brake calipers.”

The world´s 500 millionth floating caliper with special coating. 30 years of production worldwide Brake technologies that lead the world market

As the world's leading supplier of hydraulic brake systems, Continental has constantly been developing new and even better designs to improve classical brake engineering. The first floating caliper was produced in 1977 in Culpeper, USA, with parallel production in Rheinböllen, Germany, from 1978. The new floating caliper design, FN for short, was premiered in 1980 in the Ford Escort; today, it is one of Continental's most successful products. In addition to enhanced braking performance, the focus on further development work has also achieved improvements in installation space and weight.

Alternative materials and optimized design mean less weight

With the FN-AL caliper type light alloys are being introduced into wheel brake design. One means of saving weight when designing brake components is to replace the materials used so far, such as cast iron or steel, with lighter materials, such as aluminum or other light alloys. However, the use of alternative materials is currently restricted to aluminum since extremely high demands are made of these materials. Due to its high cost, aluminum is the material of choice for luxury-class vehicles, for example in a new aluminum floating caliper brake which the Chassis & Safety Division has developed for a top-category premium vehicle. More efficient design techniques and intelligent light-weight construction can produce slimmed-down brake calipers without limiting their functionality. Continental's development engineers have employed the latest simulation and topology optimization methods to improve the design of the 2FNR-Al aluminum brake caliper's housing. Despite bigger recesses and reduced wall thicknesses, meaning less material is required, the re-designed housing provides the same degree of stability as the tried and tested model, but still weighs 440 grams less than its initial weight of 4,185 grams. In this way, more efficient designs and new manufacturing processes are helping Continental to develop lighter brakes and so reduce vehicle fuel consumption.

Press Release (MS-Word, 60 KB)

Press Image to the issue 500 millionth floating caliper in the Continental Media Center.


Nicole Geissler

External Communication


Division Chassis & Safety

Guerickestraße 7

60488 Frankfurt am Main

Phone: +49 69 7603-8492

Fax: +49 69 7603-3945