Witton Kramer Brakes and Thrustors are manufactured by Brook Crompton Special Products at their site in Cradley Heath, near Birmingham in the UK, they supply large OEM's and distributors worldwide.
Prior to becoming part of Brook Crompton, Witton Kramer has a proud history which stretches back over 90 years.
John B Kramer founded Kramos Ltd at the end of 1908 in Bath, Somerset. He was a pioneer of small electric drilling and grinding machines, electric lifting magnets and monorail hoists.
In 1909 he went to Birmingham to join his business with the General Electric Company at Witton. Here under the name Witton Kramer Electric Tool and Hoist Works he manufactured on a much larger scale than hitherto; products now also included separator magnets, brakes, clutches and solenoids.
During World War 1, Mr. Kramer, who was born and grew up in pre-war Germany, worked closely with several branches of the British Government. He was engaged to develop the Sir Percy Scott Electro-magnet mine and the Kramer Kapp Detector was tried in connection with trench signalling experiments.
After the war he resumed his private research work, resulting in the discovery of the use of weaker radioactive substances for medical use, meanwhile production continued to grow at Witton, primarily of large lifting magnets, solenoids, brakes and clutches, cranes & hoists, electric hand drills, grinders and a wide range of photo-electric equipment.
Although Mr. Kramer retired from the now well known Witton Kramer in 1939, their efforts in World War 2 were massive. The full scope of their experiments and product developments are too vast for an article of this type, but major products included mine detectors, magnets to immobilise the clocks in time-delay bombs and slip ring columns for guns and radar towers. However, the importance of this work is clearly underlined by the personal visit of General Montgomery who came to the Witton Kramer works on 9th march 1944 to inspect the production layout and address the workforce on the importance of their work.
After the war during the 50's, 60's and 70's, Witton Kramer continued to manufacture the core products brakes, solenoids, clutches, magnets photo-electric equipment, and expanded the range with new product development, including PMA, PMD and MTWK brakes following the amalgamation of AEI English Electric, Witton Kramer took on the production of Perigrip Brakes and Thrustors from other parts of the new group.
During the company rationalisation programme, the Witton site became redundant and it was necessary to move Witton Kramer. In 1984, the commercial and engineering departments together with the brake and thrustor production moved to the GEC small machines factory at Blackheath. Production of the large lifting magnets was transferred to Magnet Electrical repairs Ltd (now Cegelec Electrical Services Ltd) at Swansea.
In the 1980's and 90's, although the company offered a wide range of brakes and thrustors, growth was only slight compared to the that of the boom industries of the period, such as electronics and computers.
The GEC Small Machines company was sold to Hawker Siddeley in 1989, which in turn was bought by BTR in 1991, who merged with Seibe to form the Invensys Group. Witton Kramer is now part of Brook Crompton, a member of the ATB Group of Companies.