Dormer Tools prepares for centenary celebrations

Posted on 20 Dec 2012 by Tim Brown

Dormer Tools, which started life as The Sheffield Twist Drill Co. in 1913, and now has subsidiaries in 25 countries, will be marking its 100 years with a programme of key activities to celebrate their on-going contribution to the global engineering industry.

The landmark celebration coincides with two significant Sheffield anniversaries – 200 years since the birth of Sir Henry Bessemer, who revolutionised the manufacture of steel in South Yorkshire, and the centenary of Harry Brearley’s discovery of stainless steel.

Simon Winstanley, marketing co-ordinator at Dormer UK, based at the Advanced Manufacturing Park, South Yorkshire, said: “The last 100 years has witnessed previously unimaginable advances in the technological and scientific world: the mass production of motor vehicles, powered flight and space travel, the birth of the nuclear age and the development of the telecommunications industry.

“Dormer’s products have helped to write the history of this industrial progress and it is here, in the millions upon millions of components that have been drilled, reamed, cut, threaded or otherwise shaped by the company’s tools, that the real history of Dormer lies.”

Dormer’s history has been interspersed with industry innovations. Back in 1950, for example, the company was the first drill manufacturer in Europe to introduce the Steam Temper treatment, with its characteristic blue finish, to its products. This treatment proved highly successful and received widespread acclaim from the engineering industry.

As long as 46 years ago, Dormer was showing its initiative for embracing emerging technologies when it acquired a new computer, leased from IBM, at a cost of £135,000. It needed its own air conditioned room and performed 30,000 calculations per second. A modern 2GHz processor can perform 2,000,000,000 processes per second.

And in 1984, the company was one of the first in the industry to make it possible for customers to electronically order products on line at a time when the internet was virtually unknown outside of the academic world.

The company, which has adopted the slogan ‘Your trusted partner since 1913’ for its centenary, has won many accolades over the years and in 2008 became the first rotary cutting tool company in the UK to receive a prestigious award in recognition of its business standards – the European Foundation for Quality Management.

As part of the centenary celebrations, Dormer will be showcasing its products at the EMO World Trade Fair for Machine Tools and Metalworking in Hanover, Germany, next September. Dormer will also have representatives at Southern Manufacturing 2013, held at Farnborough, Hants.