Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Makers of heat treatment and electro-plating plant, of Weybridge, Surrey

1910 Company founded.

1928 Public company as Electric Furnace Co; makers of EFCO equipment[1].

WWII Installed 1500 electric furnaces, especially important for treating aluminium and magnesium alloys for aircraft. Also important uses with alloy steels for aero engines and gas turbines. Also supplied equipment to manufacture metals for radar uses. More than 8 million tank track links were cast from electric arc furnaces. The TOCCO high frequency process was used for surface hardening. Electric steel, with excellent armour piercing properties, had become standard for tank turrets. Also used in brass melting for shell cartridges. Developed knowledge in use of molten salts. Electro-chemical process for cleaning shell cases[2].

1955 Name changed to Efco.

1956 Joint venture company, Efco-Edwards Vacuum Metallurgy formed with Edwards High Vacuum to offer complete metallurgical installations[3]

1956 Acquired Royce Electric Furnaces group[4]

1957 Special equipment supplied for the construction of Calder Hall Power Station; received similar orders afterwards[5].

1958 Agreement with AEI's subsidiary Birlec to form a joint venture Birlec-Efco (Melting) at Aldridge, Staffs, to design and manufacture electric melting furnaces for the ferrous and non-ferrous industries, and smelting furnaces and induction heating equipment[6]. Subsidiaries included Electro-Chemical Engineering Co, Electric Resistance Furnace Co and Royce Electric Furnaces[7].

1960 Joint venture company, Foundry and Metallurgical Equipment Co Ltd, established with Stein and Atkinson to design, manufacture and supply foundry equipment [8]

1960 Had transferred the melting and induction heating divisions to Aldridge. Electro-Chemical Engineering Co had formed a joint venture company, Acme-Efco, with Acme Manufacturing Co of Detroit, USA, to design and manufacture automatic polishing machines based on technical information from Acme[9]

1961 Manufacturers of electro metallurgical and electro-plating equipment.

1962 GEC and Efco agreed to merge their industrial heat-treatment furnace interests; Efco would supply furnaces of GEC design and would absorb the GEC personnel; GEC would supply their electrical and mechanical equipment for furnaces[10] In the event Efco purchased GEC's interests. Efco had formed 2 new divisions - vacuum and fuel-fired[11]

1963 Efco sold its share in Birlec-Efco (presumably to AEI)[12]

1964 Acquired the remainder of the shareholding in Heat Treatment and Brazing Co, which provided contract heat treatment - part of Furnaces Division; Chemical Engineering Division saw increase in orders for proprietary plating processes[13]

1964 Efco-Stuart Electrolyser Ltd was established to make hydrogen generators[14]

1965 Efco-Stuart Electrolyser Ltd received an order from Fine Tubes (a US owned company) for a hydrogen plant to be installed at Plymouth[15]. The company had entered into agreement with a Dutch company making wire mesh belts and conveyers. Acquired an interest in Rosehall Engineering Works Ltd, the main sub-contractor in Scotland. The manufacturing capacity of Metal Welding and Fabricating Co of Hendon, previously dormant, had been restored to do light fabrication for the company[16]

1966 Udylite of USA took 15 percent interest in the company[17]

1967 Efco-Stuart Electrolyser Ltd, which was half owned by the company, acquired United CO2 Ltd, manufacturer of generators for furnace atmospheres. [18]

1968 Hooker Chemical of USA (which owned Udylite Corp) acquired Efco[19]

1969 Was a part of Hooker Metal Finishing International[20]

1970 Queen's Award for Export gained for electro-plating and heat treatment machines[21]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, Nov 15, 1945
  2. The Times, Nov 15, 1945
  3. The Times, Jun 07, 1956
  4. The Times, Aug 02, 1957
  5. The Times, Sep 16, 1957
  6. The Times, Sep 24, 1958
  7. The Times, Sep 26, 1958
  8. The Times, Feb 24, 1960
  9. The Times, Sep 21, 1960
  10. The Times, Feb 16, 1962
  11. The Times, Sep 26, 1962
  12. The Times, Sep 24, 1964
  13. The Times, Sep 24, 1964
  14. The Times, Sep 29, 1965
  15. The Times, Feb 25, 1965
  16. The Times, Sep 29, 1965
  17. The Times, Sep 23, 1966
  18. The Times, Sep 29, 1967
  19. The Times, Sep 19, 1968
  20. The Times, Aug 19, 1969
  21. The Times, Apr 21, 1970