The Filtration Story

Founded in 1889, as F.P. Smith Company, Filtran was originally an ornamental metal works company. Today, original metal fixtures may still be found around some of Chicago’s premier landmark buildings.

In 1950, the Wire Cloth Weaving Division entered the automotive industry and established a relationship with General Motors’ Hydra-Matic Division. They supplied filters for Powerglides and Turboglides, the early automatic transmissions.

As the automobile industry continued to boom during the 1960’s, F.P. Smith became the automatic transmission filter supplier for General Motors. In 1973, it was acquired by the Sealed Power Corporation of Muskegon, Michigan, and became known as Filtran.

The 1980’s saw much technological advancement, and transmission filters advanced from screen filter technology to more advanced filter media, integrated into the transmission system. Filtran led the industry using advanced non-woven polyester, known as felt media, and introduced Sealed-Seamed Zero Leak™ technology.

In 1986, Filtran expanded its presence beyond North America when it formed a joint venture with IBS Brocke GmbH in Morsbach, Germany. With the formation of IBS Filtran, the company increased its manufacturing and design capabilities and established its presence in the European market.

In 1988, the Sealed Power Corporation changed its name to SPX Corporation, and Filtran became known as SPX Filtran.

In the 1990’s, the automotive market became truly global when all automotive manufacturers expanded their markets worldwide. Filtran significantly increased its Asian presence by designing and supplying transmission filters to leading Japanese, Korean, and Australian automotive and powertrain companies. Korean manufacturing was established with our technical licensee in Korea, Dong Woo.

In 1996, Filtran became the first automatic transmission supplier to earn QS9000 Registration. Attaining this certification reinforced our commitment to providing quality products with superior performance to our worldwide customer base.

In early 2000, Filtran acquired Fluid Technologies, Inc. (FTI), and established the Filtran Technical Center in Stillwater, Oklahoma. FTI, which specialized in test services and test equipment for the filtration industry, had extensive filtration expertise and a unique understanding of the fluid contamination issues in automotive and heavy duty equipment.

In 2000, IBS Filtran launched a new all plastic integrated transmission filter and pan.

In 2003, Filtran established a sales and engineering office in Shizuoka, Japan to support its growing Asian market share. That same year, Filtran purchased Beijing Kar Fei Er in China and began manufacturing automatic transmission filters domestically for China and for export worldwide. In 2006, Filtran launched a second manufacturing facility in China to meet the expanding Asia and export markets.

In 2009, Filtran was acquired by Madison Industries and approximately one year later became a founding business in the newly formed Filtration Group. Filtration Group Corporation is the fastest growing filtration solutions company in the world and currently includes 24 uniquely situated filtration companies across several markets.

In 2015, Filtran expanded its North American operation with a manufacturing facility in San Luis Potosi, Mexico to meet the growing footprint of the automotive OE’s.

In Spring of 2019, Filtran opened an additional OE production facility in Jiaxing, China.

Filtran continues to lead the global market in the design of advanced filtration solutions to meet the demands of the automotive and heavy duty equipment markets. Just as F.P. Smith evolved from a producer of wire mesh to a transmission screen company, Filtran will continue to evolve as it leverages its advanced engineering and design capabilities. Filtran is working with the leading OEMs to design multi-filter solutions with advanced filtration media for the transmissions and engines of the future.

With more than 60 years of providing innovative solutions, we can help meet your challenges.

We have facilities in North America, Germany, Japan and China. We have a global footprint and can serve you locally.

We are a global premiere supplier of OEM aftermarket automatic transmission products.