Our History

The Nord-Lock Group has been providing customers with high-quality, safe and innovative bolting solutions since 1982. Supporting our global customer base is our priority and you can find subsidiaries of our expanding sales organization in Europe, Americas and Asia. We also have a worldwide distribution network through sales partners and authorized distributors that will support you even if we do not currently have an office in your region.

The Nord-Lock Group is wholly owned by Investment AB Latour, a company listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange. Investment AB Latour is dedicated to the expansion of the Group and has supported our goals to continuously provide our customers with the best bolting solutions in the industry. This has included the acquisition of Superbolt Inc and P&S Vorspannsysteme AG (today Nord-Lock AG), in 2011; Boltight Limited, a leading hydraulic bolt tensioning company, in 2015 and the Expander System, an established company with the advanced solution to pivot wear, in 2016. 

These expansions bring together the most innovative and trusted bolt securing technologies in the world. The combined competence in our Group allows us to serve you, our global customers, with an impressive line-up of safe and cost-effective solutions for your critical applications.

Superbolt

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 team had to tighten them with a sledgehammer on a regular basis.

One day, 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. US Steel manifactured a set of the bolts based on 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 jackbolt 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 expand the business, which tripled in 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, with the garage acting 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 again 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 well-known for its cost-effective bolting solutions in every major industry, all over the world. And now as part of the Nord-Lock Group, Superbolt's unique combination of innovative technology and expertise enables us to solve the toughest bolting challenges.

Boltight

Boltight was founded in 2001 to produce Hydraulic Bolt Tensioning tools, but the history of the company dates back to the 1970’s. It was during this period that the founder Fred Heaton conceived the idea of Hydraulic Bolt Tensioning as a method of offering uniformity and accuracy when tightening bolts.

 

Following his idea, Fred spent 18 months developing a ‘best-in-class’ standard tensioning range to accommodate ¾” – 4” (M20-M100) bolts with associated ancillaries; and an easy-to-follow operating manual. A test rig was purchased, followed by 6 months of proof-testing all the designs. As a professional engineer with a keen eye for detail, Fred was never afraid to undertake any required modifications to his tools in order to ensure that they were both as safe and user-friendly as possible.

The modern company received its first order, a ½” bolt tensioner, in 2003 - a non standard item. This order was nonetheless undertaken and fulfilled, and a second order for another non-standard tool was placed shortly after. It  became apparent that there was a strong global demand for tailored solutions, and that many customers’ requirements were very specialised or ‘application specific’ in nature.

Fred also identified a gap in the market - that many of the other parties capable of offering similar solutions often could not do so in a quick enough timeframe. Therefore, a fast turn-around of specially engineered tools became the company's main focus. Boltight currently offers an unparalleled ability to turn-around completely unique turnkey solutions – from the drawing board to a delivered and commissioned product – in a matter of weeks.

Thanks to this ideology (and by now a rapidly growing customer base), the business continued to grow and in 2004, Boltight moved to its current home in Walsall, UK. Additional product lines were added as other industries became aware of Boltight’s engineering pedigree and speed of service. In 2007, the TyphoonTM range of tooling was introduced, aimed specifically at the Wind market and Subsea tensioner range was also added shortly after.

By now Boltight’s growth was becoming exponential and additional premises were purchased to allow for the expansion of office space, production, stores and distribution.

In 2015, Boltight Limited was acquired by the Nord-Lock Group, who recognised its word-leading expertese and were keen to add hydraulic bolt tensioning to their portfolio. The Nord-Lock Group brings a combination of innovation, technology and expertise to Boltight, securing the future of the business and investing in Boltight’s continued proliferation and success worldwide.

Expander System

A loose pivot pin, a rusty nail and a bright idea is how it all started. Soon the idea became the driving force behind the creation of the perfect pivot - a system totally resistant to lug wear. The concept of this perfect pivot pin is at the core of the Expander System.

 

Founded in 1986, Expander Sweden AB has established a long standing reputation as an innovative and imaginative company with the patented solution to pivot wear. Since then, the company has amassed a wealth of  experience relating to pivot technology. They have successfully carried out over one million installations involving many different types of pivot assemblies for thousands of machine makes and models.

In 1987, the Expander System was honoured with the Alfred Nobel Development Award. In the commendation for the award, the significance of the Expander System was compared to the world famous invention of the ball bearing.

Expander Americas, Inc. was established in 1997. Starting with a sales office in California, it rapidly expanded to a production facility in Arizona in 2006. In an effort to improve access to resources, this facility was relocated to DeWitt Iowa in late 2014. Now in the Heartland of the US, Expander Americas, Inc. has continued to improve its processes and grow with new applications in new markets.

Expander aims to continuously broaden its portfolio as the foremost pivot authority thanks to its world leading design competence, education, field support and high speed production resources for both conventional pivot pins and the Expander System.

Expander Global was acquired by the Nord-Lock Group in July 2016, in order to strengthen our portfolio of secure bolting solutions.

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