LEEDS, ENGLAND — The 4B Braime Group recently marked its 130th anniversary and received the Yorkshire Society plaque in recognition of its pursuit of “engineering excellence since 1888.”

The Leeds, England-based company offers a range of bucket elevator and conveyor components for the bulk material handling industry.

“4B Braime is a customer focused engineering business, which from its foundation has always aimed to provide customers with products and solutions which are ‘better by design’,” said Nicholas Braime, chairman and group managing director.

Its roots go back to the 19th century and Thomas Braime, who made oilcans in a small workshop. After losing his thumb in an accident, Braime looked for ways to apply oil to machinery without spillage.

He set up production of his oilcan with detachable spout and handling in 1888 with his younger brother.

The Braime oilcan was soon exported worldwide to the expanding railway industry and became the method of oiling locomotive wheels.

Around 1900, the brothers pioneered the introduction of a new technology of Deep Drawn Steel Presswork, manufacturing parts for the consumer, military and automotive industries. The company also began manufacturing pressed seamless steel elevator buckets, issuing its first catalogue in 1908 offering over 350 sizes.

During World War I, the company played an important role in armament provision, training women as skilled munitions workers. Post-war, the business continued to grow, supplying to car manufacturers Austin and Morris. In 1950, it obtained a full quote on the London Stock Exchange and expanded into a range of engineering components, including brake chambers, material handling and other specialist products for the medical, petrochemical and utilities industries.

In the latter part of the 20th century, the group launched its 4B division, which specializes in components for material handling industries. It launched its electronics range in the United States in 1984.

4B has expanded steadily ever since, acquiring its French subsidiary in 1991, opening its Asia Pacific presence in Thailand in 2003, 4B Deutschland in 2005, South Africa in 2008, Australia in 2010 and Brazil in 2017. 

Last year saw the launch of its most recent subsidiary in Changzhou, China. Today, the 4B Braime Group operates in over 80 countries and the 4B brand stands for world-wide reliability and quality engineering.

With the world’s largest range of elevator and conveyor components, 4B’s material handling division has led the field in elevator bucket design and manufacture by supplying the highest quality products.

Some of its most well-known product innovations are the Starco elevator bucket (the world’s first low profile elevator bucket using centrifugal discharge on a parabolic elevator head which revolutionized the way bucket elevators work until today) and the Bolt ‘n’ Go chain system (a revolutionary assembly method for drop forged chains using bolt-on flights instead of welding).

In the 1980s, the company launched a range of specialized electronic components and sensors to reduce the risk of explosions in hazardous environments. The Watchdog Elite bucket elevator monitoring system can monitor a complete bucket elevator or conveyor system.

Designed and made in Leeds, these products have become an industry leading brand. The 4B group continues to develop new products in line with changing technology and its electronic systems such Hazardmon, are designed to be operated remotely via the cloud.