Our history

Superbolt history

In 1974 Steinbock Machinery received an order from US Steel to design and manufacture a new type of scrap chopper for a pipemill. The previous design required regular maintenance, including several knife changes per day. The old scrap chopper would also completely break down every couple of weeks.

Rolf Steinbock, then President of Steinbock Machinery Corp., succeeded in designing a scrap chopper which minimized these problems. The daily maintenance of changing knives became just a weekly procedure. However, a persistent problem remained. Because of the constant rotation of the machine, bolts became loose and the maintenance people had to tighten them with a sledgehammer on a regular basis.

One day, by coincidence, Rolf Steinbock walked in just when the bolts had become loose again. The idea for a solution came right then: “Why not split up one big torque into a number of small torques!”

He quickly made a sketch of a 2″ bolt with a round head that had eight 5/8″ socket head screws arranged in a circle on the bolthead. He also specified a hardened washer to go under the head so that the socket screws would not damage the housing. The US Steel maintenance people fabricated a set of the bolts to Rolf’s sketch and installed them. Much to the customer’s satisfaction, the bolts never came loose again.

Rolf expanded on the principle of the jackbolts and patented it under the name Superbolt®. Conventional nuts and bolts could now be replaced by nut-style and bolt-style multi-jackbolt tensioners and eliminate many of the common bolting problems experienced in heavy industries. The company quickly grew as more and more businesses discovered this unique bolting solution. A family owned and operated business, Rolf recruited his sons Robert and Allan into the enterprise, and the company continued to diversify and expand.

 

After Rolf’s passing in 2001, Robert and Allan continued to grow the business, tripling the size over the next 10 years.

In 1988 Rolf Steinbock and Gert Ploke founded P&S Vorspannsysteme AG in Rüeterswil, Switzerland. At the beginning the office was based in the house of the Ploke family and was managed by Mrs. Ploke. The garage was used as the factory.

From this time on Superbolt products were offered and manufactured with an exclusive license for the European market. Robert Ploke, son of the co-founder and main stockholder Gert Ploke, joined the company shortly afterwards. In 1993, the successful company moved into a new office building in St. Gallenkappel. In order to meet the increasing demand for high-quality multi-jackbolt tensioners, a new building was built in 2005 and expanded with another new building in 2011.

In 2011 the Nord-Lock Group acquired Superbolt Inc. and P&S Vorspannsysteme AG (today Nord-Lock AG). At both locations Superbolt develops and manufactures high-quality multi-jackbolt tensioners. Thanks to this almost four-decade tradition, Superbolt is known for cost-effective bolting solutions in every major industry, all over the world. And now, with the Nord-Lock Group, our unique combination of innovative technology and expertise enables us to solve the toughest bolting challenges.