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Company Overview
Renold PLC, with head office in Wythenshawe (Manchester), is a precision engineering group offering a range of superior quality engineered, precision products to its global customers. The company’s primary activities are the manufacture and sale of industrial roller chain. The company operates in two primary product sectors: Power Transmission, which includes chain, gears, couplings and clutches; and specialist machine tool and rotors, through the company’s Renold Precision Technologies. The company was established in 1879 by Hans Renold following the purchase of the James Slater business.
Renold PLC’s products include automotive systems, roller chains, conveyor chains, leaf chains, gears, couplings, sprag clutch freewheels, trapped roller freewheels, machine tools, and material handling.
Renold has manufacturing and sales companies in nineteen countries. The company’s sales operation sites include Australia, Austria, Belgium, Cambodia, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Holland, Hong Kong, Hungary, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, United States, and Vietnam. Its manufacturing operation sites, on the other hand, include Staffordshire, Cardiff, West Yorkshire, Lancashire, Stockport, Leicester, France, Germany, and United States. .
Business Summary
The Company is an international engineering group, producing a wide range of precision engineering products, operating in nineteen
countries worldwide. The principal activities of the Company are the manufacture and sale of industrial chains and related power transmission products.
Description and history
The Company is an international engineering group, producing a wide range of precision engineering products, operating in nineteen
countries worldwide. The principal activities of the Company are the manufacture and sale of industrial chains and related power transmission products.


The Company was incorporated on 23 July 1930 and its shares are listed on London Stock Exchange on 6 February 1946.

The Chain Making Company James Slater (later to become Hans Renold Co.) introduced the roller into chain. Prior to this time transmission chain consisted of only pins and plates.

At the age of 21 Hans Renold, son of a burgher family in Aarau, Switzerland, came to England and found work in Manchester with a firm of machinery exporters. His independent and inventive spirit soon found expression in the purchase, in 1879, of a small textile-chain making business in Salford. In 1880 he invented bush roller chain and an industry was born.

Thus began the enterprise of which The Institution of Mechanical Engineers was to say in a memoir: ‘Few realise how extensive is the influence of Renold’s inventiveness on both civil and industrial life throughout the world.

Hans Renold’s vision was not restricted to the prospects in UK industry and over the following years he began the international expansion of his company.

The Company was established following the purchase of the James Slater business. This makes Company the oldest established transmission chain company in the world which is still in existence in 2005.

Company introduced the patented feature of the solid bush. This was the origin of the bush roller chain, the design of which is still used today throughout the world.

A patent for the block chain was applied for by Hans Renold but he decided to openly give his idea to the cycle trade for all to freely manufacture. Undoubtedly he gained many friends by this charitable action.

Brampton Brothers Co., who later became part of the Coventry Chain Company (and ultimately Renold Chains Ltd.), experimented with self-lubricating bicycle chain.

Company were riveting the bearing pins in the assembled chain.

1889 – Company designed and manufactured a purpose built plate hole-punching machine.

Company designed and manufactured a machine for the Dry Tumbling (Jingling) of chain components

As early as 1893 Company were using hardened components.

1895 – Company designed and manufactured a machine for producing the Rotary Rivet on the ends of the chain bearing pins.

The need for an Inverted tooth (silent chain) was apparent to Hans Renold and this resulted in his patent of 1895. Although his design of chain was superseded in later years by the silent chain with rocker joints, he made an impact in the introduction of such a chain.

Company designed and manufactured a machine for the Wet Tumbling (Jingling) of chain components

Company designed and manufactured a machine for the proof loading of their chain.

Company introduced the 48 hour week when the general practice in engineering was 52 or more.

Company introduced their patented feature of the end recess in the bearing pin.

Brampton Brothers Ltd. patented the integral bush/inner plate chain upon which so many cycle chains have been based.

Company introduced a Works Canteen

Company introduced the round-ended necked (i.e. shouldered) bearing pin in their 1899 patent

1900 – Company designed and manufactured a Coning Machine.

In the early 1900’s Hans Renold Co. introduced an apprenticeship scheme


Hans Renold Ltd. formed

Company introduced percussion testing on chain components

Company designed and manufactured a Semi Automatic Drifting Machine for use on assembled inner links

Company began supplying mortise block chains (and associated equipment) which were a notable part of the business for about 60 years

During the construction of a new factory, rather than use belt drives from overhead lineshafts Company designed, and installed, overhead chain drives.

Company began designing and manufacturing special – purpose machines for the assembly of chains

Company began the manufacture of chain wheels

Company developed a machine for centreless grinding of bearing pins. This was long before centreless grinders became the factor in machine shop practice that they are now.

The Coventry Chain Company Ltd. (who later became part of the Renold group) patented the helical (spiral) roller formed by wire strip.

Company developed a new tooth form for roller chain wheels.

Company. introduced Torsion Testing on chain components

Company (and its forerunners) began supplying transmission chain for Aircraft

Hans Renold founded the Hans Renold Social Union

Company designed and manufactured a Tumbler (Jingler) for the blueing of chain plates. The blue plates being a feature of the Hans Renold chain for many years.

Company began the process of end softening of bearing pins and only now are many of Renold Competitors beginning to incorporate this feature.

Company supplied the chain for The Great Clock at the Palace of Westminster known more affectionately as Big Ben (which was incidentally built in 1856).

1913 – Hans Renold gave the world his improved sprocket tooth profile which, with slight modification, was adopted by the United States as their Standard profile.

Company designed and manufactured a Fatigue Test Machine for the evaluation of chain fatigue strength

Company designed and patented their flexible chain coupling. A product that is still used today worldwide

1915 – around 1915 Company were manufacturing high waisted chain plates.

Around 1915 Company were also manufacturing chains with straight sided plates

Company designed and manufactured Running-in machine for their chain

Company introduced Stock Drives, something of which is taken for granted today.

Company were supplying chain with Case Hardened pins.

Company patented the segmental bush design of inverted tooth (silent) chain.

Around 1916 The Coventry Chain Company Ltd. developed and manufactured track chains for use on tank vehicles.

1917 – Company were still leading the world by having coned (i.e. tapered) bush bores in 1917. The first coning machine being designed and manufactured in May 1900 (see above).

Company manufactured extra strong chains for use on motor cycles

In the early 1920’s Company supplied bush roller chains for the first marine Diesel engines.

In the early 1920’s Company also designed and manufactured a series of chain test machines:

In 1921: Noise Testing

In 1922: Chain Pairing

In 1923: Chain Out Of Alignment Testing

Chain Wobble Testing

High Speed Testing

Impact Testing

Company designed and manufactured a Bush Curling Machine

The first acquisition of a major competitor came in 1925, when Brampton Brothers Limited, with its French manufacturing subsidiary at Calais, was purchased and the operation merged with the manufacturing facility previously established in Coventry.

To improve bush inner/plate security Company patented the ‘keyed’ bush in 1927. This feature is still used today.

Hans Renold Ltd. were approved under the A.I.D. regulations to issue Inspection Certificates and were likewise an approved A.R.B inspection authority.

Merger created Renold and Coventry Chain Co. Ltd.

Chain supplied by Company had chamfered plates some being doubled chamfered (i.e. both sides)

Company patented the early design of bi-planar chain, (The patent being applied for in 1928).

Company supplied chain with a notched bush

The Whitney Chain & Mfg. Co. (who later became part of the Renold group) obtained the patent for the tin-printer chain which is still used today throughout the world.

Perry Chain Co. Ltd. formed

In 1947 Renold established its first green-field manufacturing operation overseas in Melbourne, Australia and this was followed by the establishment of other owned sales and sometimes manufacturing operations in Austria, Denmark, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden and Switzerland.

Renold and Coventry Chain Co. Ltd chain plates had reamed holes.

Company becomes Renold Chains Ltd.

Company introduced their improved design of bi-planar chain with their patent of 1954

Renold acquired Anchor Chain, Oldham 1956 – with the introduction of nuclear power at Calder Hall UK. Company entered the Nuclear Age with the supply of control rod lifting chains.

1959 – Company were innovators in the chain industry of progressive die tooling (i.e. follow-on tooling) in the manufacture of chain plates. In 1959 chain plates for pitches between 1.0′ and 1.5′ were being produced by this method. Smaller pitch chain plates had begun being produced by this process many years earlier.

In 1963 Renold acquired Arnold and Stolzenberg GmbH of Einbeck, one of the largest and oldest-established chain manufacturers in Germany.

A significant strategic development of the Renold Group was the acquisition of John Holroyd and Co Ltd in 1964, and this marked the start of the transition from purely chain manufacture to manufacture and supply of a complete range of power transmission products and precision machine tools. Further acquisitions brought more gearing, couplings, clutches, brakes, variable speed drives and various hydraulic products into the Group.

Company aquires the Holset couplings business in Halifax and renames the company Renold Hi-Tec Couplings.

Company now called Renold Ltd.

Company develops a range of Non Lub chains with sintered bushes

1960’s – In the late 1960’s Company commences press extrusion of bushes and rollers for transmission chain

Company begins the cold extrusion of rollers for transmission chain using multi-station extruders

Company introduces GP Motor Cycle Chains

Company designs and manufactures a machine for hard ball drifting of plates

Company supplies the chain for the famous Gastown Steam Clock in Vancouver, Canada 1980’s – Company begins the cold extrusion of bushes for transmission chain using multi-station extruders 1981 – Company chain fitted to the Thames Barrier lifting application

Company becomes the first chain Company to obtain BS:5750 (later becoming ISO:9002)

Company introduces the staked bush.

1989 – Company introduces the coning feature in their bush cold extrusion process

1996 – Company introduces the Smartlink data logging concept for chain

In December 1998 Renold acquired Jones & Shipman plc in the UK and with it a range of precision production and tool room grinding machine tools, ‘superabrasive’ machine tools from Edgetek in the USA and electronic control systems from Goodwin in the UK.
Company manufactures the replacement replica chain for Big Ben
Company begins the cold extrusion of large pitch bushes and rollers
Company launches Syno low maintenance chain

In March 2000 Renold acquired Jeffrey Chain a leading manufacturer of industrial chain in the USA. Jeffrey Chain has strong US brands and established relationships with major US distributors, of power transmission equipment, and original equipment manufacturers.

Chain factories obtained ISO:14001

Company patents the chain wear monitoring device

Company Synergy range relaunched with new and improved features

Range of polymer bush transmission chains launched as part of Renold Syno maintenance free chain

Smartlink fitted to the Thames Barrier lifting application

Today, Company employs around 2000 people in more than 23 countries around the world.

Established following the purchase of the James Slater business

Business Line
Manufacture and sale of industrial chains and related power transmission products, automotive systems and specialist machine tools and rotors
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Phone: +44 161 498 4500
Fax: +44 161 437 7782
Country address: UNITED KINGDOM
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