History

History

IMI Precision Engineering has grown out of a rich and varied history built on innovation, diversification and acquisition, with roots in both the UK and North America.

In 1862, the Scottish entrepreneur, George Kynoch, opened a percussion cap factory in Birmingham, UK which he quickly grew into a major ammunitions manufacturing operation. Following opportunities thrown up post-war, the early 20th century saw an increased focus on metallurgy, and by the 1970s – the decade in which they acquired Norgren - IMI was a major name in engineering.

IMI Norgren, now a major IMI Precision Engineering product brand, was
launched at the North American kitchen table of entrepreneur and
industrialist Carl Norgren. In 1927, Carl Norgren sketched what would
become the world’s first lubricator, and paved the way for Norgren
to become a major manufacturing company, specialising in pneumatic
fluid and motion control. The company was bought by IMI plc in 1972.

Today, IMI Precision Engineering sits alongside IMI plc’s other two divisions, IMI Critical Engineering and IMI Hydronic Engineering. Our product brands, IMI Norgren, IMI Buschjost, IMI FAS, IMI Herion and IMI Maxseal continue to be at the forefront of pneumatic motion and fluid control technology, developing world-class products designed to improve performance and productivity.


Key Dates in the History of

IMI Precison Engineering

1927

Entrepreneur, Carl Norgren sketches out a system designed to solve a customer's maintenance and lubrication problems with air tools and equipment. This rough drawing resulted in the world's first inline lubricator.

1972

In 1972, the Norgren family sold the business to IMI plc, forming the IMI fluid power division. IMI plc traces its heritage back to entrepreneur George Kynoch who opened a percussion cap factory in Witton, Birmingham in 1862.

1985

Watson Smith, a specialist in pneumatic pressure control technology based in Leeds, was acquired in 1985.

1986

The acquisition of Martonair in 1986 significantly increases the size of IMI’s fluid power division, and contributes significantly to our pneumatic actuator and valve product portfolio. The acquisition of Bristol-based Webber was completed in the same year.

1996

In 1996 US-based ISI Automation is acquired and is added to the Norgren group
of companies.

1997

In 1997 Buschjost and Herion were acquired by IMI and joined the Norgren group of companies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1998

In 1998, IMI acquired KIP, a manufacturer of solenoid valves, level controls
and flow switches.

2004

In 2004, Fluid Automation System of Switzerland was acquired, a leader in
miniature solenoid valves.

 

2005

In 2005, the acquisition of US companies Syron and GT Development further strengthened the Auto In-Plant and Commercial Vehicles product portfolio.

2007

In 2007 IMI acquired Kloehn, a leading US provider of specialist pumping and
fluid handling systems for the medical sector.

2008

In 2008 IMI acquire the Truflo Group, a leading specialist in valves and related flow control products. Thompson Valves, including their Maxseal solenoid valve portfolio, IMF and GHR join the Norgren group of companies.

 

2013

IMI acquire Adsorbent Media Tube (AMT) technology from nano-porous solutions limited (n-psl) in 2013.

2015

As part of a commitment to creating a truly world-class company, IMI brings all of its Norgren business - which include Buschjost, FAS, Thompson Valves, Kloehn and IMI Webber - into a newly branded division: IMI Precision Engineering.

 

 

2016

We transform the way customers access pneumatic components with the launch of a revolutionary app. The free smartphone app is set to provide engineers and maintenance supervisors with a faster and easier solution when sourcing replacement parts to keep their machines moving.

2017

Launches a new generation of platform pneumatic products including ISOLine™, an advanced range of ISO standard pneumatic cylinders; Excelon® Plus is a new modular air preparation range and the well-proven VM and VS range of valve islands now has PROFINET IRT and EtherNet/IP protocols.

2018

In 2018, IMI acquired Bimba, a leading US manufacturer of pneumatic, hydraulic, and electric actuators; valves; fittings; vacuum products; air preparation and a variety of safety and production solutions.

2019