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The history of Colchester Machine Tool Solutions

Colchester Machine Tool Solutions stands as a beacon of engineering excellence, housing the prestigious brands of Colchester, Harrison, and Pratt Burnerd International. With a legacy spanning over a century, these brands have collectively shaped the landscape of the machine tool industry, embodying precision, reliability, and durability. Their individual histories intertwine to form a tapestry of innovation and craftsmanship, making Colchester Machine Tool Solutions a revered name in global manufacturing.

Colchester Lathes: Pioneering Precision Since 1887

Founded in 1887 by John Ernest Cohen, The Colchester Lathe Company swiftly rose to prominence as a manufacturer of exceptional lathes. Renowned for their precision engineering and enduring performance, Colchester lathes became synonymous with quality craftsmanship. Over the years, they have evolved to incorporate cutting-edge technologies while remaining true to their heritage of excellence, earning the trust of industries worldwide.

Harrison: Engineering Ingenuity Since 1898

In 1898, Thomas Strickland Harrison established T. S. Harrison & Sons Limited, ushering in an era of engineering excellence. Harrison's commitment to innovation and superior craftsmanship propelled the brand to prominence in the machine tool market. Their lathes, renowned for their reliability and accuracy, became indispensable tools for manufacturers across various industries, cementing Harrison's reputation as a leader in precision engineering.

Pratt Burnerd International: Mastering Workholding Solutions

The origins of Pratt Burnerd International date back to 1850, when Frederick Pratt founded F. Pratt Limited. In 1914, F. Burnerd established F. Burnerd and Company Limited. The two companies merged in 1954 when F. Pratt Limited acquired F. Burnerd and Company Limited, making the combined entity the world's largest supplier of lathe chucks. In 1974, a significant restructuring led to the creation of Pratt Burnerd International, establishing it as a leader in workholding solutions. Today, Pratt Burnerd International continues to set the standard for excellence, offering innovative solutions that meet the evolving needs of modern manufacturing.

Acquisitions by 600 Group plc: Strategic Expansions

The pivotal acquisitions by the 600 Group plc played a significant role in shaping the trajectory of Colchester Machine Tool Solutions. In 1954, The Colchester Lathe Company Limited was acquired by the 600 Group plc, marking a strategic expansion of its portfolio. This acquisition set the stage for future collaborations and synergies within the machine tool sector.

Throughout the years, the 600 Group plc continued to pursue strategic acquisitions to bolster its position in the market. In 1971, T. S. Harrison & Sons Limited became part of the group, further enhancing its capabilities and product offerings. The addition of Harrison's expertise in precision engineering and machine tool manufacturing strengthened the group's foothold in the industry.

In 1981, the 600 Group plc further expanded its reach by acquiring Pratt Burnerd International, thereby integrating a leading workholding solutions provider into its portfolio. These strategic acquisitions laid the foundation for future growth and innovation, consolidating the strengths of Colchester, Harrison, and Pratt Burnerd under the umbrella of the 600 Group.

Formation of 600 Lathes and 600 UK: A Strategic Evolution

The strategic evolution of Colchester Machine Tool Solutions saw the formation of 600 Lathes in 1992, a result of the amalgamation of The Colchester Lathe Company and T. S. Harrison & Sons. This consolidation aimed to streamline operations and promote the renowned machine tool brands of Colchester and Harrison under a unified banner.
Building on this foundation, 600 UK emerged in 2009 through the merger of 600 Lathes and Pratt Burnerd International. This strategic alliance brought together the strengths of Colchester, Harrison, and Pratt Burnerd International, offering customers a comprehensive range of machine tools and workholding solutions. Under the umbrella of 600 UK, the brands continued to thrive, upholding their legacies of quality and innovation.

Rebranding as Colchester Machine Tool Solutions

In 2018, 600 UK underwent a transformative rebranding, emerging as Colchester Machine Tool Solutions. This rebranding signified a renewed commitment to promoting the esteemed brands of Colchester, Harrison, and Pratt Burnerd International, while reaffirming the company's dedication to delivering cutting-edge solutions to its global clientele.

Acquisition by InCompass Group: Charting a Path Forward

In 2022, Colchester Machine Tool Solutions embarked on a new chapter with its acquisition by the InCompass Group. This strategic move positions the company for continued growth and innovation, reaffirming its status as a trusted leader in the machine tool industry. With a heritage steeped in excellence and a vision for the future, Colchester Machine Tool Solutions remains at the forefront of shaping the future of manufacturing worldwide.

A bit of history – The Colchester Lathe Company, first 100 years!