1874: Where it all began
National Machinery Company was started in Cleveland, Ohio, by Mr. William R. Anderson. With a workforce of ten Mr. Anderson set out to supply the industry with the very best and latest machinery for making bolts and nuts.
1882: Move to Tiffin, Ohio
Meshech Frost, future owner, along with several other investors convinced Mr. Anderson to move National Machinery Company to Tiffin, Ohio.
1883: 3 Prestigious Awards
At the National Exposition of Railway Appliances held in Chicago, National received awards for the best Bolt Header, best Bolt Cutter and best Hot Press Nut Machine. It was the Bolt Cutter that carried the National name into bolt shops around the world. It's performance in cutting true threads was unparalleled. Our No. 1 Bolt Cutter cut threads from as small as 3/16" to as large as 1". It weighed about 900 pounds and sold for only $233.
1885: Nail Machines
Nail-making machines were introduced in 1885 and continued as a steady source of business into the 1940's. Our Nail Maker was popular around the world and at times was the only nail maker available.
1889: “A mammoth concern”
In 1889, the New York Daily published this brief statement about National Machinery Company: "This is a mammoth concern, occupying a building 300 ft. by 100 ft. They are equal to an annual output of $150,000 and enjoy the unique distinction of being the only establishment in the world capable of equipping a bolt and nut factory with machinery. They have correspondence and make sales all over the world".
1900: Meshech Frost becomes Owner
Meshech exercised the option to buy out other investors and became National Machinery Company’s Owner and CEO.
1901: Innovation was key for growth
Innovative machines continued to flow from our drawing boards and by the turn of the century, National Machinery Company was shipping machines like Tripple Bolt Cutters, Box-Bed Headers, Hammer Headers, Hot Forged Nut Machines and even a few cold rivet machines. By then, we had doubled our original 300,000 sq. ft. factory and our customers numbered around 350.
Modernization continued and in 1908, the first large overhead crane was installed. As modern electric motors came on the scene, the steam engines that powered our line shafts became a thing of the past and electricity became the new source of power.
1915: Forging a wave of the future
Around 1915, the demand for forgings was reaching an all-time high for the railroad and the new automotive industry. Engineers were finding that forgings were far stronger than the castings. With the popularity of forging, we gave the industry a National Heavy-Pattern Forging Machine, our first machine designed specifically for forging parts not just bolts and nuts. This became the forerunner of what we know today as our High-Duty Forging Machine.
1925: 200 worldwide visitors
We held our "2nd Exposition and Demonstration of Forging Machinery". In this four day show, over 200 visitors from all over the world witnessed the latest equipment and methods available for forging parts. In all, there were 35 headers and forging machines on display.
1927: World’s largest forging machine
We built the world’s largest forging machine, the 7-1/2". It weighed a whopping 187 tons. In 1928, we shipped the first automatic Tong Feed Forging Machine. This radical new concept in forging caught the eye of another very important entrepreneur of the time, Henry Ford. Henry purchased a National 4" Automatic Tong Feed Forging Machine. When visitors and dignitaries arrived in Detroit, he drove them directly to his National 4" Forging Machine which he considered the marvel of its day.
1930: Launch of Maxipres
A new machine and a new name was flashed across the forging industry - Maxipres. Although the Maxipres really started as a coining press, it soon became a valuable asset to a forging line. With the development of our pneumatic clutch in the early 1940's, it was renamed the High-Speed Forging Maxipres.
1941: 9” Forging Machine
We built our first 9" Forging Machine weighing just over 525,000 pounds. This machine was known throughout the world as the largest forging machine ever built. In contrast, we also offered a new line of small machines, Tubular Rivet Headers, the smallest weighed 2,500 pounds.
1943: Army Navy E Award
Our efforts won us the renowned "Army Navy E" award. Only about 3.5% of the eligible companies in our nation won this prestigious award. A ceremony was held at the local Ritz Theater.
1944: A new way of making nuts
We introduced our first Cold Nut Former as a new way of making nuts. This machine incorporated a unique transfer that allowed us to rotate the blank between operations thus improving the integrity of the formed nut blank while increasing productivity and saving material. This process is still the preferred method for making nuts even today.
1947: E.J. Manville Co. Purchase
Our growth continued and not just with the new products we developed but with the purchase of E.J. Manville Company in Waterbury, Connecticut. This helped us round out our line of slotters, threaders and other fastener making machinery. We continued to build the Manville line and supply repair parts for another 20 years.
1948: No. 10 Maxipres
National hosts an open house which gave employees and their families a chance to see the world's largest forging press, our 1,600,000 pound No. 10 Maxipres. This massive press weighed more than half the population of Tiffin.
1951: Jet engine blade forgings
During the early 50's our Maxipres redesign was completed and thrown into the Korean War effort setting new standards in production for jet engine blade forgings. For the war period, the government took over practically all of our production capacity to make Maxipresses to forge the jet blades that were so critical to the war effort.
1954: 1 Million Pounds
Another record was set when we built our first 10" Forging Machine, the world's largest, topping out at 1 million pounds.
1955: Expansions, Investments & 20,000 visitors
Most of our building programs had been completed. The plant had expanded to over 400,000 sq. ft, seven times larger than at the turn of the century. An open house was held to show off the new expansion and our investment in over 150 new machine tools. Attendance was unbelievable . . . over 20,000 visitors.
1956: Largest Boltmaker in the world
Through the mid-50's we completed an all new line of Four-Die Boltmakers including the largest Boltmaker in the world. This giant could consume one ton of steel every 13 minutes.
1958: International Expansion
We expanded again by acquiring the J. G. Kayser Company in Nürnberg, Germany. This 103 year-old company was the largest manufacturer of cold forging machinery outside of the U.S. This acquisition gave us the opportunity for growth in the world market and ushered in a new era of international business.
1960: Forming complex shapes
With a new emphasis on forming complex shapes, a new line of machinery was needed, like our five and six die Cold Formers. The Universal Transfer was developed to add even more flexibility and forming capability to this new line of modern cold forming machinery.
1963: President Kennedy "E" Award
Through the early 60's we continued to expand our line of machinery. New Extrusion Maxipresses, Single-Die Tubular Rivet Headers, Two-Die Three-Blow Cold Headers and the world's largest press, the 8000 Ton Maxipres, were the pride of Tiffin.Our service to country and community continued throughout the 60's and we received in 1963 the President Kennedy "E" Award for significant contributions to the government's Export Expansion Program. At that time, only 200 companies in the U.S. had received this award.
1971: Completion of 200-ton bay
Business was good, our future was bright and we needed more capacity to build new large formers, therefore work began on a new 200-ton bay
1972: 1000th High-Speed Cold Header
We reached another milestone with the shipment of our 1000th High-Speed Cold Header.
With this increase in business we needed to expand, so again we looked to outside acquisitions and bought the Special Machine Company of Rockford, Illinois, which we converted into a sheet metal operation to supply our sound enclosures. Additional capacity was needed in Nürnberg so a small manufacturing company in nearby Kulmbach, Bavaria, was purchased to add some much needed machining capacity.
1979: Hot Formers
The 70's came to a close with four new and better ideas like our line of three and four-die Hot Formers. These machines took in bars fed through induction heaters and produced nuts and special parts at rates up to 150 pieces per minute. The largest, 10-3 Hot Former, set another world record for size. It was shipped to a customer in France for the production of gear blanks and ring gears. This large Hot Former could feed over 3" diameter hot rolled bars and 8" gear blanks at 45 gears per minute.
1981: Competitors Cease to Operate
We were experiencing record orders and shipments during the 70's and early 80's while other machinery manufacturers were finding it difficult to survive. In 1981, our largest U.S. competitor, Waterbury Farrel Div. of Textron, closed the door on its cold heading and forming machinery operations. They cited a declining market. They said they would be best served by concentrating on rolling mill machinery, not cold heading or threading.
1983: New thread rolling line
We purchased the thread-rolling portion of the Hartford Specialty Machinery Company and brought the product line to Tiffin. We manufactured the Hartford Threaders until we successfully developed our own line of more technically advanced FORMAX Threaders. Following the introduction of FORMAX Threaders, we sold the Hartford line to Reed Roll Thread Company.
1989: FORMAX® is Introduced
The positive efforts of people working together became obvious to customers when we introduced FORMAX in November 1989 in Atlanta, GA at the International Fastener Exposition (IFE). We introduced, to record crowds, our new concept in cold forming machinery: FORMAX. The FORMAX line of cold formers met the needs of the fastener and the cold formed parts industry and was quickly embraced by many of our customers. The early success of FORMAX exceeded our expectations. FORMAX provided customers a very simple and easy-to-operate system that drastically increased production through higher machine speeds and more rapid job changeovers. This new approach to cold forming machinery was quickly accepted worldwide.
1999: FORMAX 2000
FORMAX technology has continued to expand and grow. It now includes our FORMAX PLUS formers, FORMAX PLUS Threaders and FORMAX PLUS for Large Parts. In 1999 at the IFE Show in Chicago, we introduced the new FORMAX 2000. This technology will carry us and the formed parts industry well into the next century. When we couple the advanced technology of FORMAX with the dedication of our people providing outstanding service and high-quality machinery, it's no wonder that we've developed the reputation of setting "The World Standard for Excellence."
2002: National Machinery under new ownership
After a brief closure National Machinery Company is purchased by a family member of former owner Meshech Frost. National Machinery Company is renamed National Machinery LLC and is led by Andrew Kalnow as majority owner and CEO.
2004: 130 year Anniversary
National celebrated 130 years with an Open House in 2004 that showed off the new visitor Welcome Center and tour of the complete facilities along with machine demonstrations for customer and the Tiffin community.
2007: National Machinery China
This year marked a major expansion, with the opening of National Machinery China, in Suzhou. This wholly-owned facility serves as customer support in service and parts for China, along with the production of the newly introduced LeanFX and PumaFX FORMAX machine models.
2008: Launch of LeanFX and PumaFX models
This new line combines the high performance standards of FORMAX® with the ease of operation and competitive pricing demanded by today’s global marketplace.
2011: Production of 7-die FORMAX
FORMAX has continued to be developed over the years. Starting with the original FORMAX machine, the line expanded into FORMAX Plus and FORMAX 2000 models. Formax Plus for Large Parts was added along with the capability of Extra Long parts production. More recently the ability to develop complex parts has led to the expansion of the number of dies that are available with 7-die machines becoming more common.
2012: National Machinery Europe relocates
Our NM Europe operations moved to a brand-new facility. We built a brand-new service, rebuild and parts facility to serve the European continent, along with offices – all still located in the historical city of Nürnberg, Germany.
2014: 140 years
The week of Sept 22nd marked the celebration of National Machinery’s 140th anniversary. Over 150 customers visited during each day of the three day Open House event. Visitors were able to see the results of extensive plant expenditures over the last two years including investments in new production machining equipment, inspection equipment, process flow improvements and employee work areas.
2015: National Machinery acquires SMART Machinery Srl
National Machinery LLC announces that it has taken a controlling interest in SMART Machinery Srl. SMART Machinery is a new company formed to assume the business interests and assets of S.M.A.R.T Srl, the Tortona, Italy-based company that is a leading thread roller machine manufacturer and pioneer in using servo drive technology.
2016: Cold Forming with a Robot
National Machinery’s FORMAX PLUS Model XXV has been engineered to take this concept to another level with the option for it to come equipped with a state-of-the-art robotic tool changer. This robot accesses an external setup fixture to make tool/die cassette, IFO camshaft, cutter/quill cassette and transfer slide changes automatically without requiring a person to enter the die area of the machine. The FORMAX XXV with robotic tool changer utilizes cutting-edge technology to make tool changes faster, safer and more repeatable.