Our History

Rotork History

The 2020s

On 1st January 2020 Rotork moved to a new market structure. We had previously worked in line with four divisions; Rotork Controls, Rotork Instruments, Rotork Gears and Rotork Fluid Systems. The move to the new structure of Oil & Gas, Water & Power, and Chemical, Process & Industrial (CPI) allowed a focus on strategic relationships with customers, directly meeting their needs.

Rotork’s service structure underwent a significant change with the launch of Lifetime Management, the suite of services within Rotork Site Services which help customers manage the risk associated with ageing assets and to support a reliable operation that is always available and up to date. In 2021, Intelligent Asset Management, a cloud-based asset management system to reduce unplanned downtime, was launched. In early 2022, Rotork extended backwards compatibility of the IQ3 actuator to the 1960s with the launch of IQ3 SET. This manages obsolescence concerns by replacing legacy actuators with the latest intelligent actuator platform.

At the beginning of 2023, Rotork launched its Reliability Services programme, a new three-tiered approach to managing maintenance. In May 2023, Rotork introduced a compact and robust quarter-turn design to its Skilmatic SI range of self-contained electro-hydraulic actuators. In August, Rotork launched the new IQ3 Pro and Rotork App, which allows the actuator to be configured and commissioned using the app. In the same month, Rotork acquired Hanbay, a manufacturer of miniature electric actuators for small valves and instrument valves.

At the beginning of 2024, we added new features to our IQ3 Pro range, which included increased speeds for the IQT3F Pro, independent open/close speeds for part-turn models and closed-loop control for multi-turn and part-turn actuators.

The 2010s

Six new acquisitions were made in 2011 alone, allowing expansion into instrumentation and control solutions.

The new ideas and innovation continue. In 2012, Rotork launched the IQ3, which is the most robust actuator in the industry, capable of providing exceptional reliability. In 2015, the CK range of stockable modular electric valve actuators was launched. In 2019, the Rotork Master Station was launched; it can operate up to 240 actuators in a single loop from an intelligent control centre with a simple to use interface.

Rotork continued to evolve and expand. We are always innovating to drive progress and support our customers, providing pioneering, high quality and dependable solutions for managing the flow of liquids, gases and solids across a wide range of industries and markets.

The 2000s

The new millennium began with an office in Shanghai and the launch of the IQ Mk2 - a non-intrusive, intelligent multi-turn actuator. In 2002, the Rotork Malaysia manufacturing company was established, following the sales company that had been established in that region seven years earlier. New offices were opened in China, Germany, Japan, Brazil and the Middle East.

A large number of acquisitions during this time helped fuel the expansion of Rotork’s flow control products and services into new markets. Among these acquisitions were Skilmatic in the UK (to develop innovative electro-hydraulic fail-safe actuators), Omag in Italy (to gain entrance to the strategic valve making industry in Italy) and Remote Control in Sweden (to extend Rotork’s product offering of pneumatic actuators and control systems).

The 1990s

The 1990s saw increased international growth. In 1991, Rotork was established in The Netherlands and this was soon followed by Rotork Hong Kong and Venezuela in 1993, Rotork Beijing in 1995, the Rotork Malaysia sales company and Rotork Thailand in 1997, Rotork Moscow in 1998 and Rotork Japan in 1999. Following these expansions, Rotork had subsidiaries in 18 countries worldwide. In 1999 Rotork acquired Italian company Fluid Systems Srl, which opened the doors to the fluid power actuator industry. Further investment in the Rotork Gears Division began in 1993 with the completion of the purchase of Exeeco, a gearbox company.

In 1992, significant innovation saw the release of the IQ range. The IQ Range electric actuator enabled commissioning without removing any electrical covers, allowing for commissioning in wet or hazardous areas.

The 1980s

The expansion into new territories continued into the 1980s. New offices opened in Canada, Spain, Singapore, Korea and Australia, making Rotork one of the biggest companies in the industrial flow control arena.

In 1983, the A Range 1600 Series was launched; it was the first Syncropak actuator with electronic control circuitry. This was followed by the AQ Range in 1985, a quarter-turn actuator compatible with the A Range 1600 Series. In 1986 the first dedicated bus control system for actuators, Pakscan, was released.

The 1970s

A significant development for Rotork in the 1970s was the development of double O-ring sealing. This was an innovative and revolutionary idea which prevented the ingress of water into an actuator. The idea came from Rotork founder Jeremy Fry’s trip to the Middle East; he noticed that moisture formed inside actuators because temperatures were very hot during the day and cold during the night. This design inspired by this added an extra layer of sealing which protected the circuitry inside in a way that single layers of sealing could not. It is still used to this day.

1971 saw the establishment of Rotork Italy, further solidifying our presence in the European market. There were new opportunities born out of a joint venture with Best & Crompton of India. By the end of the decade, there were additional Rotork offices in Germany and India, while the acquisition of the US company Evans helped to further expand the Rotork brand across North America.

The 1960s

The 1960s began with the establishment of Rotork France and the launch of the A Range Syncropak; a multi-turn actuator with standard control circuitry. A contract with the French Atomic Energy Authority helped to cement Rotork as a major force with European and American contractors and valve makers.

1961 saw the construction of the Brassmill Lane manufacturing plant in Bath, UK. This remains the headquarters for Rotork today. Developments continued in the latter half of the decade, including; Rotork Inc. established in Babylon, USA in 1967; license agreements with Shimadzu; changing from a private to public limited company in 1968; the acquisition of ElectroPower Gears in 1969.

Rotork was launched on the London Stock Exchange as Rotork Controls Ltd in 1968.

The 1950s

In 1957 Rotork Engineering Company Ltd first began trading with the launch of our first actuator; the 100A. In 1959 the 100A Mk2 was released, which enhanced the design and worked electrically to open valves which would otherwise have been operated by hand. During those formative years Rotork began receiving orders from the Kuwait Oil Company, which led to contracts with some of Esso’s refineries and substantial orders from Shell.