Volume 5 | Issue 7 | Year 2002

ITT Industries, Fluid Handling Systems (FHS) is a global supplier of plastic and steel tubing, injection-molded components, quick connectors, and aluminum HVAC products.

Headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich., FHS has more than 50 years’ experience in the automotive industry. With more 100 patents issued or pending, Fluid Handling System’s 3,500 employees are located in 22 facilities in nine countries.

FHS provides advanced engineering products and services to the automotive and transportation market, producing about 1.5 billion feet of tubing and over 125 million quick connectors annually. The company is a prevalent worldwide automotive supplier that sells products to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) as well as tier-two and tier-three suppliers. FHS develops and manufactures systems and components for a wide variety of vehicle manufacturers and nameplates.

Fluid Handling System facilities are registered with a variety of quality standards such as QS 9000, ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and ISO/TS16949 and perform semi-annual surveillance audits. The European headquarters manufacturing facility in Hockenheim, Germany, also is VDA6.1 certified. These quality tools help FHS North America to measure its excellent year-to-date customer delivery rating of 99.3 percent at a PPM of 4. This makes Fluid Handling Systems a world class supplier.

A Six Sigma team
Value Based Six Sigma (VBSS) is the overarching methodology used by FHS to reduce variation, increase quality, lower costs, and ensure customer satisfaction. The tools of Six Sigma problem solving are used as statistical means for the measure and analysis of key processes. Lean manufacturing methods are used for the identification and elimination of all forms of waste. Project management skills are used for rapid implementation of effective solutions and improvements.

Quality products
Key products manufactured by Fluid Handling Systems include:
• Mono wall plastic tubing used for both fluid and air handling applications.
• Loperm™ multi-layer plastic tubing designed to meet EPA’s hydrocarbon permeation regulations used in fuel applications where flexible lines are required such as engine compartments and fuel tanks.
• Convoluted plastic tubing with flexible or bendable sections that allows for greater design versatility and simpler assembly.
• Fusionbrazed™ double-walled tubing formed by rolling steel to create an overlap that is then brazed. This product is suitable for most high-pressure (SAE J527) applications such as brake tubes.
• Fusionweld™ single-walled tubing formed by rolling and welding low carbon steel and suitable for low-pressure (SAE J526) and structural applications.
• Stainless steel single-walled tubing formed by rolling and TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welding stainless steel and suitable for low-pressure (ASTM A269 and ASTM A554 non-annealed) standards and structural applications.
• Injection molded components that are available in a wide range of designs for various applications.
• Specialized quick connects that are replacements for threaded or clamped fittings. Quick connects are available in many different sizes and configurations. FHS patented the Posi-Lock™ quick connects which provides a means for identifying a fully latched and sealed connection. The Posi-Lock is designed for use in automotive fluid systems. These connectors are available for use in fuel supply and return connections, filler neck connections, heater core and engine radiator connections.
• In addition, FHS specializes in corrosion resistant coatings such as Procoat, Nyclad, PVDF, PVF and Hyplacoat.

R&D promotes new products
Research and Development promotes new product technologies for future growth by operating out of locations in Auburn Hills, Mich., and Hockenheim, Germany. R&D focuses on key product development areas such as low permeation plastic tubing, improved metal coating technologies, quick connectors, product interface technology, and injection molded component technology. R&D utilizes Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP), three-phase development process, and maintains comprehensive testing facilities for fluid handling technologies.

World-class supply base
Fluid Handling Systems has developed a global world-class supply base which provides exceptional value in quality, cost, technology, delivery, and service. For instance, FHS has maintained a working relationship with Brain North America, Inc. since 1989 by using Brain’s TRANS4M system which is designed for the repetitive automobile supplier market and provides integrated data communication with suppliers.

Fluid Handling Systems & Sanoh Industrial Ltd. of Japan formed a partnership in 1986 to support the Japanese automotive OEMs in the U.S. and abroad. This 50/50 joint venture resulted in the formation of HiSan with two plants in Ohio, and one each in Alabama and Canada. HiSan (www.hisan.com) has won supplier performance awards from Honda, Toyota, Suzuki and NUMMI.

FHS is part of the Motion and Flow Control unit, which is one of four segments within parent company ITT Industries, Inc (http://www.itt.com). ITT Industries, Inc. supplies advanced technology products and services in key markets including: electronic interconnects and switches; defense communication, opto-electronics, information technology and services; fluid and water management and other specialty products. Headquartered in White Plains, N.Y., the company generated $4.7 billion in 2001 sales. In addition to the New York Stock Exchange, ITT Industries’ stock is traded on the Midwest, Pacific, London, Paris and Frankfurt exchanges.

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