NSF Controls has been through many changes over the years; multiple acquisitions, floods, fires, and the eventual management buyout (MBO) which formed the NSF Controls of today.
As we approach the 25th anniversary of the MBO we are revisiting our 90 years of history.
In 1932, Nurnberger Shraubenfabrik opens the British NSF Ltd import house in Croydon, London manufacturing screws and small aircraft components.
The 1940’s brings destruction, floods, and relocation. On August 15th, 1940, the British NSF Ltd factory is destroyed in a targeted German air raid bombing killing 30 workers. Soon thereafter, The Ministry of Aircraft Production relocated NSF to Dalton Lane, Keighley. In 1945, the Dalton Lane factory is flooded four-foot deep and was forced to temporarily close until the staff and local businesses were able to get it up and running again. In 1946, NSF is released from government controls and a new building at Ingrow Bridgeworks is purchased for £80,000.
The 1950’s sees a rapid expansion of products NSF manufactures including: Oak Switches, Cutler-Hammer Switches, and the Ledex Solenoid range. We are acquired first by Rothermal Group, then by the Motor & Electronics Corporation (MEC), and finally in 1957 Simms Motor absorbed MEC to become Simms Motor & Electronics Corporation (SMEC).
NSF peaks at over 1400 employees during the 1960s. We begin to manufacture American thermostats, switches and controls for the automotive sector, along with electronics, and radio components. In 1968, the Lucas Group bid to take over SMEC monopolising the diesel injection industry.
The 1970s sees a wave of strike action across the nation from all industries, most notably the coal miner’s strike which meant that power had to be rationed to just 3 days a week, with many of our staff working by lamp light. Engineers, tool makers, plating and clerical workers all went on strike during this time demanding increased pay.
NSF adopts dual branding with the Lucas Group in the 1980s. Due to the many acquisitions of the Lucas Group, NSF was now manufacturing a diverse portfolio of products. NSF begins to work with Italian agents Comestero Sistemi.
During the Lucas-Varity merger in 1996, it becomes clear the Keighley site is surplus to requirements. Seeing the potential in our company four senior managers gather with employees and investors to form an MBO.
NSF Controls Ltd was re-established with 56 employees and celebrates 25 years of success on Monday 4th of July.