The History of Calder

Stretching over 40 years, the history of Calder is condensed here into 600 words. However, if you are more interested in the present, skip straight to our company today.

Where it all Started

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 safe and reliable high pressure pumping equipment. The equipment would operate 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. It was here that he set up Calder on Gregory’s Bank Industrial Estate (now a housing estate). Finding potential customers was relatively easy. However, 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.

Our first customers discovered that we were true to our word. We delivered on our promise of ‘safety and reliability’, with a resultant dramatic drop in running costs. Because of this, we won a few friends. Many more have followed.

New Technologies and New Opportunities

As the company grew, we focused on new opportunities, particularly in areas that involved difficult and innovative processes. For example, one new technology that emerged was Cuttings Re-injection (CRI). This is the injection of ground-up stone and rock waste material back into a deep oil well. Significantly, cuttings re-injection is 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. The disciplines our team learnt by supplying into such demanding markets 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.

Company Growth

In 2009 we established a base in Saudi Arabia with our partner HOEIT. This allowed us to supply our high pressure waterjetting equipment to the emerging markets in the GCC region. Our Middle East market share has grown steadily. We have delivered many hydrojetting 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 because 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 PG Flow Solutions (a Norvestor company) purchased Calder Ltd. Both companies had extensive experience in the energy sector and this allowed cross-company collaboration on projects. Consequently, this gave us significant advantages both in terms of the expertise we could offer and the financial benefits we could pass onto the customer. A group re-organisation in 2020, saw Calder become a sister company, along with CFlow and PG flow Solutions, under the umbrella of EnFlow AS. In 2022 Norvestor divested 100% of its shares in PG Flow Solutions back to the Per Gjerdrum family.

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.

Finally, click the link below to view our photo album celebrating 40 years in business.