Company Information History


1890’s - 1950’s

The F.P. Smith Company was founded in 1899 in Chicago as an ornamental metal works company and continued in this business for many years. Some of Chicago’s premier landmark buildings have ornamental metals from the F.P. Smith Company.

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

1960’s – 1970’s

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, Filtran increased its manufacturing and design capabilities, and established its presence in the European market.

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


The 1990’s saw the automotive market become truly global with all automotive manufacturers expanding their markets worldwide. Filtran dramatically increased its Asian presence designing and supplying transmission filters to leading Japanese, Korean, and Australian automotive and powertrain companies.

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

In 1999, Filtran acquired Advanced Performance Technology, Inc. located in Lugoff, South Carolina. This acquisition broadened our product offering to include air, oil, and fuel filters, and strengthened our position as a global filtration provider in the small engine, industrial, heavy duty and automotive markets.


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.

Also, in 2003, 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 new second manufacturing facility in China to meet the expanding Asia and export markets.

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. With 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.