2019 is the year of WIX Filters’ 80th anniversary celebrations. PMF discovers more about the company’s origin and finds out what it now has to offer.
WIX Filters operates on five continents, in 80 countries, selling filters for passenger cars, heavy machinery and equipment. The company says it prides itself on quality, which is a result of many years of accumulating knowledge, competent specialists, modern production lines, well equipped laboratories, as well as the constant quality control and the use of raw materials from reputable suppliers. It has chosen to control the entire production process, from the selection of materials, through semifinished products, to the manufacture of the finished product and its delivery to the warehouse.
WIX Filters was founded in an old cotton mill in Gastonia by Jack Wicks and his business partner, Paul Crenshaw, who needed an inexhaustible supply of pure white cotton thread waste for the filtering media of their new company. At the time, Gastonia (USA) and Gaston County produced more combed cotton yarn than anywhere else in the world.
Wicks and Crenshaw soon saw a need for filter replacements that would simplify the filter changing process and, within 15 years, they turned the filter market upside down with the invention and patent of a spin-on oil filter design – known at the time as ‘twist of the wrist’ – that quickly became the industry standard.
This type of filter was invented at the WIX Filters Laboratory in 1954, and has become a world standard. This filter consists of an element located in a steelthreaded housing, with which the filter is screwed directly onto the engine bodies.
In 2016, WIX Filters was acquired by the Mann+Hummel Group. Today, the complete range includes over 16,000 separate automotive products. The company’s products are designed for passenger vehicles, trucks and buses. The WIX Filters portfolio includes Oil, Fuel, Air and Cabin Filters, as well as Air Dryers, Coolant and Hydraulic filters.
Supplier to the OE
Many years of experience, acquired knowledge, constant development and ultimately the high quality of WIX filters products have led to establishing cooperation with car manufacturers. To become a supplier to the OE, several requirements and formalities must be met. All manufactured filters and filter elements for the automotive industry are of comparable quality, as are the components which are, or have been, used for the assembly of particular cars in accordance with the COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) No. 461/2010 of 27 May 2010 on the application of Article 101 sec. 3 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to categories of vertical agreements and concerted practices in the motor vehicle sector.
The company’s chosen materials are subjected to regular laboratory control to maintain a high standard of quality. It says that the filter media, valves, springs, housings and other filter elements meet the requirements of the vehicle manufacturers and work well in the most difficult operating conditions. The quality management systems used meet the requirements of IIATF 16949, as well as the ISO 14001:2015 environmental standard.
New solutions are constantly introduced to ensure increasingly accurate filtration. New raw materials and filtration solutions are being designed and tested every day to give a higher and more fluid solution to the highest filtration requirements of the modern engine.
These projects, and others, are being implemented in two major research and development centres in the United States and Poland. Both centres include construction, technology and manufacturing divisions, as well as highend laboratories. This is where the complete process of developing new solutions and products takes place.
Thanks to the Microban system, WIX cabin filters are said to have become effective in terms of protecting the health of passengers. They remove not only solid particles (dust, soot and pollen) from the air, but also bacteria and allergens which are invisible to the human eye.
A motorsport heritage
WIX supports athletes and racing teams all over the world. However, it says the most important goal is to develop, produce, and deliver filtration solutions. Regular track tests are also an important part of the product development process and many years of experience allow the manufacturer to provide filters which work on the road and track.