Auto Service World
News   July 24, 2018   by Allan Janssen

Fel-Pro celebrates 100th year

Gasket maker invites 1,400 employees to bring their family members to its million-square-foot plant in Skokie, Ill. for a tour of the engineering, product management, manufacturing, and distribution operations.

Raymond King, Federal-Mogul Motorparts’ director of global products and business development for sealing, engine, and underhood, prepares to cut the 100th anniversary cake for employees and invited journalists.

Fel-Pro suspended operations on the weekend and invited employees – past and present – to a picnic in celebration of its 100th anniversary.

The gasket maker invited its 1,400 employees to bring their family members to the million-square-foot plant in Skokie, Ill. for a tour of the engineering, product management, manufacturing, and distribution operations.

Late last week, Federal-Mogul Motorparts, which owns the Fel-Pro brand, invited automotive journalists from across North America to the plant, to give them an overview of Fel-Pro’s first century.

Described as “one of the best-known and most trusted brands in the automotive parts and service industry,” Fel-Pro was founded in July 1918 in Chicago. It has been part of Federal-Mogul Motorparts’ growing family of brands since 1998. The Skokie facility produces more than 325,000 gaskets per day and ships in excess of 750,000 complete gasket sets per week.

“Most great brands – those that define their product categories – share several key characteristics, including highly skilled and dedicated employees, market-leading technologies, strict quality standards and a relentless focus on the needs of their customers,” said Craig Frohock, vice president, global sealing, Federal-Mogul Motorparts. “Each of these strengths has been central to Fel-Pro’s continued leadership.”

Jim Daigle, global sealing product manager at Fel-Pro Gaskets, describes innovative designs which have helped seal engines for 100 years.

Company highlights include:

* Its founding by Albert Mecklenburger and Hugo Herz as the Felt Products Manufacturing Company, manufacturing felt seals and washers from a facility in downtown Chicago.

* The expansion of product lines to include gaskets and complete sealing repair kits that addressed the demands of the fledgling automotive repair environment.

* The development of “all-in-one box” solutions, which instantly gained widespread popularity among automotive service professionals.

* The introduction in the 1970s of the company’s distinctive blue stripe design.

* It’s acquisition in 1998 by Federal-Mogul, which immediately invested in new engineering and manufacturing resources to position the brand for continued leadership in each gasket category, including the sophisticated multi-layered-steel (MLS) head gaskets needed for the new generation of lighter-weight, high-output automotive engines.

Technician John Gurnig runs the Fel-Pro Field Test Garage, installing Fel-Pro gaskets on employee vehicles to test fit, form, and function.

* The launch of the Fel-Pro Field Test Garage, where new Fel-Pro gaskets and sealing kits are fit-checked on employee vehicles and road-tested.

* Recent partnerships to educate consumers on the importance of vehicle maintenance through a variety of innovative marketing point-of-sale kits and an automotive leak-repair campaign.

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