Nine Decades of Engineering Innovation

Motion FluidControl Solutions

Our featured supplier this month is IMI Norgren, a name you might recognize for their leadership in fluid power technology. But there’s probably a lot about IMI Norgren you didn’t know: here’s a brief history of the industrial giant, from kitchen table to global, multi-billion dollar industry.

Norgren was started in Denver, Colorado by engineer and entrepreneur Carl Norgren. After designing a new hose coupling for his kitchen in 1925, he realized the potential of his invention and started Norgren USA with just $800 of startup capital.

Sitting at the family table two years later, Norgren sketched out a system designed to solve a customer’s maintenance and lubrication problems with air tools and equipment. Norgren’s idea turned out to be a landmark achievement: the rough drawing led to the world’s first inline lubricator, essentially inventing an entirely new multi-billion dollar market for pneumatic fluid and motion control products.

Carl Norgren was famous for more than just technical innovation and engineering excellence: he was praised for empowering his employees. A man ahead of his time, he put an emphasis on factory safety, created one of the first employee profit-sharing programs, and scheduled 3-4 day workweeks for his people—little wonder he was so popular among the workers. Norgren USA eventually expanded to the point that a new plant was constructed in Littleton, Colorado, which still operates today.

IMI, Norgren’s current parent company, was founded as IMI plc in 1862. Scottish entrepreneur George Kynoch started the company as a percussion cap company, but it quickly grew to manufacture a wide variety of goods, from hand soap to metals. In 1972, the Norgren family sold the company to IMI, forming the IMI fluid power division, better known as IMI Norgren.

Today, IMI Norgren continues to be at the forefront of air preparation technology. IMI Norgren’s world-class products improve performance and productivity in the fluid power industry, and the company remains true to its founder’s aims of innovation and excellence. PennAir is proud to partner with IMI Norgren to offer our customers increased output, reduced energy usage, lower cost of ownership, faster time to market, and more.

Do you have questions about how IMI Norgren’s components can upgrade your facility? Do you want to learn more about what makes their pneumatic actuators, fittings, valves, and sensors second-to-none? Our technicians are here to help: reach them directly at 888.631.7638 or