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In 1921, the Oilgear Company emerged as an offshoot of the hydraulic power efforts at the Bucyrus Company, a Milwaukee-based manufacturer of mining and excavation equipment. Three men founded the company: Walter Ferris, W.E. Magie, and E.K. Swigart, and they made it a success from the start. Over the years, Oilgear was able to withstand some of the toughest economic times, including the Great Depression of the 1930s. Though the company got its start producing a single hydraulic press line, over time it developed an extensive line of hydraulic products for virtually every application.
In the 1950s the company expanded globally, opening offices in Mexico, France, Italy, Great Britain, and Germany. The 1970’s saw several acquisitions by Oilgear: the Petrodyne Co. in 1972 and Ball Manufacturing Inc. in 1978. However, it was in the 1980’s, that Oilgear set itself apart from the competition by pioneering the use of microprocessors with hydraulics.
As one of the first companies to use microprocessors with hydraulics, Oilgear continued to increase its research and development budgets to build complete computer-control systems, and to find more industry applications for its products.
In 1985, Oilgear expanded its global operations once again by acquiring Towler Hydraulics in Leeds, England. The Towler acquisition added to Oilgear’s capability to design, manufacture, install and commission quality high pressure hydraulic products and custom built systems.
In 2006, recognizing Oilgear’s strong fundamentals and growth potential, private investors acquired and recapitalized the Oilgear Company in order to better serve the market and aggressively expand the company. In its first year as a private company, Oilgear continued to enhance its processes, driving a substantial increase in sales and service. Ever conscious of new opportunities, the Oilgear Company began a joint venture in China with Taifeng Hydraulics in the spring of 2008. In November of 2008 Oilgear acquired Olmsted Products Company, a world leader in quality efficient high flow and high pressure valving.
Clover Industries became part of the Oilgear family in December, 2009. This addition significantly increased Oilgear's capacity to design and engineer custom cylinders, integrated cylinders, intensifiers and custom piston accumulators.
Today the Oilgear Company provides fully-integrated manufacturing, service and training facilities in Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Spain, the United Kingdom, China, and the United States of America, as well as sales engineering support in more than 50 countries.
Oilgear works with a variety of customers in mobile, civil, forging, SMC, aerospace, extrusion, wood product, and oil field applications. It profits in a niche market manufacturing hydraulic pumps, valves, manifolds, motors, controls and related equipment, always maintaining a primary mission of complete customer satisfaction.