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Nov 8, 2022

Phillips Continues Transformation of R&D Capabilities with Forthoffer at the Helm

Santa Fe Springs, CA (Nov. 8, 2022) – Under the leadership of Dan Forthoffer, corporate director of R&D, Phillips Industries and Phillips Connect are transforming their R&D capabilities to meet the current and future challenges facing vehicle operators in the evolving transportation industry. This expanded initiative supports Phillips Industries, Phillips Connect, and Phillips Europe, and works collaboratively across all business units to bring the best solutions to Phillips customers.
Forthoffer focused on gathering engineers from not just the trucking industry, but also from the aerospace (NASA), defense, networking technologies, ADAS, and passenger car industries. Core teams within the new R&D organization are focused on the conceptualization and feasibility phase of product development.
A foundation of the R&D organization is a quality group and a proprietary test regime known as the Phillips Trustmark Quality Requirements Validation Routine. Each product must adhere to the testing regime before launch, preserving and building on the Phillips quality reputation as new products and systems are developed. It combines industry-standard testing and additional testing methodologies found in real-world applications, providing further assurances based on actual field experience.
“Phillips Industries, and now Phillips Connect have well-deserved reputations for developing innovative and top-quality products and systems solutions that address timely issues facing the heavy-duty trucking industry,” explained Forthoffer. “And today, we are entering an entirely new paradigm with technology and vehicle development that offers so much, but also presents challenges that create valuable R&D opportunities. Our new team will marry the high-tech, aggressive product development cycles of Phillips Connect with the methodical, quality-driven development, and manufacturing processes of Phillips Industries. This union will create innovative, robust, and high-quality products to meet those challenges.”
“Dan has brought significant experience to this company, and has a knack for grasping the possible,” said Rob Phillips, CEO of Phillips Industries and Phillips Connect. “From the years when my dad was drawing out product solutions on cocktail napkins with John Jacobs, to today’s explosive growth of Phillips Connect, the mindset here has always been ‘anything’s possible when we combine creativity with deep industry expertise.’ Dan is a great addition to the Phillips organization, and we expect our customers to reap the benefits from his knowledge and inventive mentality.” 
Forthoffer joined Phillips in 2021 with more than two decades of innovative vehicle engineering experience including battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicle technologies, telematics, advanced control systems in the national defense and aerospace sectors, and advanced research and testing competencies. He earned a B.S.M.E. with advanced energy storage emphasis from Wayne State University in Detroit, and an M.S.A.E.T. (Masters, Alternative Energy Technology Engineering, Joint Mechanical/Electrical Engineering Masters). Forthoffer holds multiple patents for transportation products and methods and is currently chairman of the TMC S1 Future Truck/Trailer Electrical Interface Task Force, an SAE contributor, and a governor of H.D.A.T.C.

About Phillips Industries
Based in Santa Fe Springs, CA, USA, Phillips Industries is a leading innovator and manufacturer of advanced electrical and air brake system components for the commercial truck and trailer industry. For over 90 years, Phillips Industries has been the benchmark for quality and innovation. Phillips products are standard position on nearly 100 percent of Class 8 trucks and on more than 80 percent of all trailers manufactured in North America. The evolving needs of commercial vehicle operators continue to drive product development to address the changing dynamics of the industry. Phillips has manufacturing and distribution facilities throughout North America, China, and Europe. Its manufacturing facilities have earned top-quality accreditations, including ISO/IATF 16949 and ISO 14001, and have received multiple prestigious customer awards. Phillips maintains active membership in key industry associations, including TMC, SAE, Heavy Duty Manufacturing Association, and various state trucking associations. For more information, please visit  Follow and subscribe to Phillips Industries on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
About Phillips Connect
Phillips Connect takes telematics light-years beyond basic GPS tracking by combining the industry’s most advanced connected asset solutions for trailers, chassis, and containers with a variety of sensors including brake, tire pressure, and light sensors, among others. Its products are seamlessly integrated with the Connect1 user interface, giving fleet managers the information they need to turn their assets faster and maximize driver productivity.
Phillips Connect has developed industry IoT sensor connection technology that is widely used in the freight industry. Phillips Connect is truly transforming the industry and continues to do so by keeping drivers in the seat and their cargo safe. The products are designed to improve overall safety and security, reduce costs in fleet maintenance, and dramatically enhance fleet asset utilization. Phillips Connect is a stand-alone company within the Phillips Technologies Group portfolio of companies. Visit for more information.
Image Dan Forthoffer