Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,955 pages of information and 233,606 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Rotork Engineering Co

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February 1959.
February 1959.
1966. Bath extensions to the works in Bath.

Manufacturer of Electric, Pneumatic & Hydraulic Valve Actuators and associated Control Systems, Valve Gearboxes and Valve Accessories and Precision Control Instruments

Post-WWII Frenchay Products acquired Rotork, a small electrical and mechanical engineering company in Frenchay. Jeremy Fry reformed Rotork as a separate company, Rotork Engineering Co Ltd. He began work on the design of motorized valve actuators for pipelines.

1957 Moved to Widcombe Manor, Bath. The first Rotork factory and production line was established in an old Bath mill building.

A major innovation was the flameproof actuator - Rotork supplied actuators for oil refineries in Britain, Europe, and the Middle East.

By 1959, annual actuator production was approaching 600 units, more than double the previous year

1960 Introduced O-ring sealing, which made the electrical actuator waterproof as well as explosion-proof.

Manufacture of the actuators was brought in-house.

1962 A purpose-designed production plant was opened at Brassmill Lane, Bath, which remains the company’s international headquarters.

1962 the French atomic energy authority placed an order for more than 1000 actuators for a new uranium enrichment plant.

1968 Rotork was introduced to the London Stock Exchange and the company name was changed to Rotork Controls Ltd.

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