Pryor knowledge helps firm be an Outstanding Manufacturer at Sheffield Business Awards

James Mitchinson, The Star editor, with David Ray of Pryor Marking Technology and Chamber President David Thirkettle.
James Mitchinson, The Star editor, with David Ray of Pryor Marking Technology and Chamber President David Thirkettle.
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Founded in Sheffield in 1849, Pryor Marking Technology originally manufactured dies used by cutlery makers to brand their products.

But the company reinvented itself, going from marking cutlery to providing UK manufacturing with the technology to reliably identify products.

Today the business specialises in traceability systems for complex supply chains in the aerospace and automotive sectors, a position it has achieved through continuous development of new technologies.

Following the most successful and profitable year in its history, multiple orders to supply automotive production plants in the UK and China have been won and turnover has gone from £7.3 million in 2013 to £9.3 million in 2014.

It was this success that brought it two wins – the Wake Smith Excellence in Manufacturing Award and the Outstanding Business Award, sponsored by The Star and Sheffield Chamber.

Judges were looking for a firm which demonstrates outstanding leadership and vision, successful performance against business planning, substantial growth and being an inspiration to other businesses.

Pryor is investing in its future by bringing in new talent and looking for new markets to apply and develop its technology further.

Going from making hand-cut punches depicting cutlers’ trademarks to robotic production line systems imprinting machine-readable coded data on everything from cars to the most highly specified aerospace turbine blades has taken constant embracing of change.

Pryor Marking has endured by constantly innovating, pushing its own boundaries and, throughout its history, looking for the next development to supersede its current technology.

Pryor has now developed software modules to provide complete control of a 6-axis robot and user-friendly jog interfaces to simplify the machine programming process for end users, leading to 13 orders in an 18-month period.

Combined with this new ability to integrate robotic systems, Pryor’s development of a high speed, deep laser marking system won contracts for the company outside of its now well established aerospace business

The fully robotic laser marker is being used by Jaguar Land Rover to apply the compulsory chassis identification number (VIN) to its world-leading product range.

In the last financial year Pryor has increased software and mechanical development teams by 20 per cent and employed an expert from aerospace giant Rolls-Royce to lead business improvement activities. It also has 13 employees working in research and development.

The firm is also involved in local business activities and promoting the region through the ‘Made in Sheffield’ group, South Yorkshire International Trade Forum, Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, and the city council.