AESSEAL Mechanical Seals

  • Established 1981
  • Head Office Rotherham
  • Employees 1,700 (700 in Britain)
  • Aesseal ownership
    Ownership: Chris Rea (majority shareholder)
  • 2015 Sales £143m

Customisation experts – making products in 40,000 variants

Vital hardware that keep machines humming

Mechanical seals are crucial for many machines with rotating parts, such as pumps. The business of making them is dominated by three large companies: Flowserve of the US; John Crane, part of the UK-based Smiths Group; and EagleBurgmann, a joint venture between Germany’s Freudenberg and EKK of Japan. The UK’s AESSEAL is number four.

  • Carl Johann Freudenberg starts the Freudenberg tannery in Germany with its leather providing a base for the company’s move into sealing technology.
  • Feodor Burgmann forms Burgmann in Germany, which later becomes EagleBurgmann.
  • George Cook invents the mechanical seal in the US and starts the Cook Seal Company to make assemblies of metal and textile-based parts to ensure liquid stays trapped in machines such as pumps.
  • Crane Packing Company starts in Chicago as a seals producer and later moves into mechanical seals. The company subsequently becomes John Crane and is acquired by Smiths Group of the UK.
  • Nihon Sealol, now called Eagle Industry Company (EKK), is founded in Japan.
  • Chris Rea starts AESSEAL in the UK, after learning about mechanical seals while distributing products made by a US supplier
  • Flowserve formed in the US through the merger of two leading fluid motion and control companies – BW/IP and Durco.
  • Freudenberg and EKK acquire EagleBurgmann – now operated as a joint venture.
  • Rea’s company reaches £100m of annual sales for the first time.
  • Rotherham United’s new football stadium is named after the company in a sponsorship deal
  • AESSEAL opens its Asia HQ in Kuala Lumpur