History

For over 170 years our success has been built on providing innovative and high quality solutions for the identification of components and products.

On 23rd May 1849 William Pryor purchased a Sheffield based mark making business where Edward Pryor, his son, was serving his apprenticeship. Edward went on to become a master engraver and led the business to international renown in its field.

Edward’s eldest and youngest sons, Edward Staniforth Pryor and George Albert Pryor took over the running of the company in 1883 and 1898 respectively, before handing over to his grandson Ronnie Pryor in 1938. Ronnie led the company through its period of greatest expansion including an extensive global footprint, until his death in 1984.

In 1978, ownership of the company was transferred to a charitable trust, set up by Ronnie Pryor, to ensure the long term success of the company.

Today, the company is still owned by the same charitable trust and operates from the same headquarters in Sheffield city centre (UK).

We still manufacture the manual marking products that the company was found on, and it remains a key part of our business, but we have continued evolve and innovate in line with our customers. We remain a world leading supplier of identification technologies, and continue to push the boundaries with our new products, automated solutions, and traceability software.

Our Technology Timeline

Our history of innovation, technological firsts and industry milestones is summarised below, from the creation and launch of precision marking dies to the latest in robotics and machine vision.

1849

1849

1849 Company Foundation Edward Pryor took ownership of a mark making and die sinking company in Sheffield, in Britain’s industrial heartland and home of world leading cutlery and tool manufacturers.

1892

1892

1892 Detailed Engraving Edward Pryor publicised his master engraving skills by engraving the Lord’s Prayer on a minute marking die (please note, these are no longer available to purchase from Pryor).

1920

1920

1920 First Marking Machine Pryor sought to differentiate itself in the world of marking and introduced innovative precision marking devices to its product range.

1940

1940

1940 Interchangeable Type Pryor invented interchangeable steel type for aircraft manufacturers to identify critical components. For the first time users could customise the mark they were making by fitting characters of their choice into standard holders.

1970

1970

1970s Computer Controlled Marking Machines Leading the field again, Pryor introduced the first computer controlled marking machines, using a solenoid driven oscillating pin to mark dots into metal plates.

1991

1991

1991 Portable Marking Machines Pryor introduced its first portable marking machines, allowing much greater flexibility and broader range of marking applications.

1994

1994

1994 Laser Marking Pryor broke into a completely new method of permanent marking by introducing its own range of laser marking products, still designed and manufactured on site today.

2003

2003

2003 Robotic Marking Cell The first application of a robotic solution for marking, allowing complete flexibility for multiple components with varied marking surfaces and no opportunity for operator error.

2010

2010

2010 Traceability Software Pryor’s groundbreaking traceability software was launched. It redefined Pryor as more than just a marking company, enabling manufacturers to uniquely track millions of parts and their manufacturing data within an assembly as complex as a jet engine.

2013

2013

2013 Robotic Laser VIN Marking Pryor installed the first robotic laser VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) marking system in the world for an automotive production line. The system gives high speed, high quality VIN marks and won Pryor a national innovation award.

2017

2017

2017 Touchscreen HMI Pryor launched a new range of embedded controllers for its marking machines featuring a fully touchscreen, password protected and customisable operator interface.

2021

2021

2021 The first product in our ‘Touch’ range The first All-In-One battery powered dot marking machine with our impressive 4000 controller interface integrated into the unit.