Norgren has grown out of a rich and varied history built on innovation, diversification and acquisition, with roots in both the UK and North America.

In 1862, the Scottish entrepreneur, George Kynoch, opened a percussion cap factory in Birmingham, UK which he quickly grew into a major ammunitions manufacturing operation. Following opportunities thrown up post-war, the early 20th century saw an increased focus on metallurgy, and by the 1970s – the decade in which they acquired Norgren - IMI was a major name in engineering.

Norgren was launched at the North American kitchen table of entrepreneur and industrialist Carl Norgren. In 1925, Carl Norgren sketched what would become the world’s first lubricator, and paved the way for Norgren to become a major manufacturing company, specialising in pneumatic fluid and motion control. The company was bought by IMI plc in 1972.

Norgren's world-leading product brands, Buschjost, FAS, Herion, Kloehn, Maxseal and Thompson Valves continue to be at the forefront of pneumatic motion and fluid control technology, developing high quality products designed to improve speed, productivity, reliability and efficiency of our customer's equipment.

Key Dates in the History of



Entrepreneur, Carl Norgren sketches out a system designed to solve a customer's maintenance and lubrication problems with air tools and equipment. This rough drawing resulted in the world's first inline lubricator.


In 1972, the Norgren family sold the business to IMI plc, forming the IMI fluid power division. IMI plc traces its heritage back to entrepreneur George Kynoch who opened a percussion cap factory in Witton, Birmingham in 1862.


Watson Smith, a specialist in pneumatic pressure control technology based in Leeds, was acquired in 1985.


The acquisition of Martonair in 1986 significantly increases the size of IMI’s fluid power division, and contributes significantly to our pneumatic actuator and valve product portfolio. The acquisition of Bristol-based Webber was completed in the same year.


In 1996 US-based ISI Automation is acquired and is added to the Norgren group of companies.


In 1997 Buschjost and Herion were acquired by IMI and joined the Norgren group of companies. 








In 1998, IMI acquired KIP, a manufacturer of solenoid valves, level controls and flow switches.


In 2004, Fluid Automation System of Switzerland was acquired, a leader in miniature solenoid valves.


In 2005, the acquisition of US companies Syron and GT Development further strengthened the Auto In-Plant and Commercial Vehicles product portfolio.


In 2007 IMI acquired Kloehn, a leading US provider of specialist pumping and fluid handling systems for the medical sector.


In 2008 IMI acquire the Truflo Group, a leading specialist in valves and related flow control products. Thompson Valves, including their Maxseal solenoid valve portfolio, IMF and GHR join the Norgren group of companies.


IMI acquire Adsorbent Media Tube (AMT) technology from nano-porous solutions limited (n-psl) in 2013.


We transform the way customers access pneumatic components with the launch of a revolutionary app. The free smartphone app is set to provide engineers and maintenance supervisors with a faster and easier solution when sourcing replacement parts to keep their machines moving.


Launches a new generation of platform pneumatic products including ISOLine™, an advanced range of ISO standard pneumatic cylinders; Excelon® Plus is a new modular air preparation range and the well-proven VM and VS range of valve islands now has PROFINET IRT and EtherNet/IP protocols.


In 2018, IMI acquired Bimba, a leading US manufacturer of pneumatic, hydraulic, and electric actuators; valves; fittings; vacuum products; air preparation and a variety of safety and production solutions.