In the mid-seventies, two miles underground, the idea for Calder was born. Our founder, Ian Calder-Potts, was working in the Western Deep Levels mine of South Africa, one of the deepest mines in the world. His experiences there confirmed the need for high pressure pumping equipment that will work safely and reliably in some of the most inhospitable, technically challenging and potentially dangerous environments on Earth.
Ian brought his family to Worcester in the heart of the United Kingdom and set up Calder on Gregory’s Bank Industrial Estate – now a housing estate. Finding potential customers was relatively easy, but finding companies actually prepared to place orders with an unknown supplier proved far more challenging. In a crowded marketplace of 17 competitors (the majority of which were not making a profit), Ian had to find a way to differentiate the company. The traditional market for high pressure pumps was oversubscribed, but this market was the fastest route to generating turnover.
When our first customers discovered that we were true to our word, delivering on our promise of ‘safety and reliability’, with a resultant dramatic drop in their running costs and assured trouble-free continuous operation, we won a few friends. Many more have followed.
As the company grew, we focused on new opportunities, particularly in areas that involved difficult and innovative processes. One new technology that emerged was Cuttings Re-injection (CRI) – the injection of ground-up stone and rock waste material back into a deep oil well – an environmentally sound method for disposing of oil & gas drilling waste.
Building on our success in the energy sector, we sought out applications that had highly demanding industrial and consumer standards. This drove product diversification and the disciplines our team learnt by supplying into such demanding markets that serve us well in all other sectors, ranging from aquaculture to automotive and refining to road maintenance. This diversification was largely responsible for the growth of the company at the start of the new millennium.
In 2009 we established a base in Saudi Arabia with our partner HOEIT to supply our high pressure waterjetting equipment to the emerging markets in the GCC region. Our Middle East market share has grown steadily and we have delivered many hydro jetting machines along with the latest hydro jetting accessories and PPE. All the machines supplied are supported by our Life Cycle Services team who provide training, spares and service support from their base in Al-Khobar, KSA.
Our move to new premises in 2011 was overdue. Gregory’s Bank had served us well, but we outgrew it, and the cluster of buildings didn’t support our increased build schedule. We invested heavily in the new premises as they had been empty for some time and were in a run-down state. The investment included two state-of-the-art test bays with in-house 500 and 1,800 kW VFDs, generators, and a test fluid cooling system.
In 2015 Calder Ltd was purchased by PG Flow Solutions. Both companies had extensive experience in the energy sector, and the cross-company collaboration on projects gave us significant advantages both in terms of the expertise we could offer and the financial benefits that we could pass onto the customer. Following a group re-organisation in 2020, Calder and PG became sister companies along with CFlow under the umbrella of EnFlow.
Since Ian’s retirement, the company has carried on doing what we do best – designing and manufacturing the best machines for the toughest jobs. The ethos on which our company was built remains as important today as it was 40 years ago.