NMB Minebea’s history goes all the way back until 1880, but how far have we come since then?
The History of NMB Minebea is undoubtedly very impressive, and one we are very proud of. Here we have a brief history of the company:
William Rose, a small town tobacconist in Lincolnshire, turned his attention to creating a machine to automatically wrap half-ounce packets of tobacco (at the time only Sardines and blacking compounds were ready packed).
A provisional patent is taken out for a tobacco wrapping machine. This development was looked on as something of a miracle – tobacco became the first product to be mechanically wrapped for sale.
A joint patent was taken out with Wills Tobacco of Bristol. Soon after, demand for machines to produce packets of various sizes for the American market rapidly increased, and a new factory was set up on the banks of the River Trent.
Motoring was very much in it’s infancy when Mr Rose designed and built a motorcar for himself. Due to it’s popularity, he started to commercially produce some of the world’s first motor cars under the ‘Rose National’ brand.
William Rose and his brothers became ‘Rose Brothers (Gainsborough) Ltd’ and their machines were used for wrapping confectionery and bakery products.
During the First World War, the company manufactured gun sights, breech blocks, shells and synchronization equipment requiring high precision design and manufacture, allowing an aircraft gunner to fire through moving propellers.
Cadbury’s Roses chocolates are named after the company, as Rose Brothers developed the first machine capable of wrapping multi-shaped sweets.
With the outbreak of the Second World War, the business diversified into war production, including creating the Rose Turret used in Lancaster bombers. They also developed connections for rods for Lancaster bombers, which led the company into the bearings market.
Rose Bearings began to concentrate exclusively on the development and production of bearings at Saxilby.
‘Rose’ had became a generic term for rod ends and spherical bearings in much the same way as we still clean our carpets with a ‘Hoover’. By the 21st anniversary of the factory the company employed over 200 people.
The Rose Bearings Division and Rose Brothers Ltd were merged with Forgrove Machinery Company Ltd to form Rose Forgrove Ltd, which was one of the first companies to offer self-lubricating materials with uniflon. This technology remains at the forefront of the market.
After producing bearings used in racing cars for many years, Rose Bearings sponsored its own racing driver for the first time. The driver was James Hunt, who later went on to be become the Formula 1 World Champion in 1976.
Rose Bearings were used in Richard Noble’s land speed record car, Thrust 2.
Emphasis was focused on the sales of special and aerospace bearings specifically for Airbus and BA146.
Rose Bearings was sold by APV to Minebea Co, Ltd. Japan.
Mark Stansfield was promoted to Managing Director. At this time annual sales were £10M per year.
Deliveries commenced of the first titanium bearing solutions for landing gear for the Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger airliner. This became the de facto standard for future programmes such as A350 and Boeing 787 and established NMB Minebea UK as the global leader in the provider of aircraft landing gear bearings.
Railway & Tram bearings commenced design, development and production. The standards for product design & manufacturing integrity and passenger safety are equally applicable to the rail and tram market as they are to aerospace.
Rose Bearings name changes to NMB Minebea UK Ltd.
500 bearings supplied to a state of the art architectural masterpiece for the Louis Vuitton Foundation – all an integral part of the structure of the building.
The company is pushing the frontiers of bearing technology in aerospace applications to include performance testing and the development of coatings and weight saving solutions.