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History of Arnold Magnetic Technologies


Arnold Magnetic Technologies (Arnold), traces its roots back to the late 1800's.  Today we say, "Our World Touches Your World Everyday" and if you have flown in a commercial or military aircraft, made a photocopy, or driven a car, off-road vehicle, tractor or other construction equipment, chances are that an Arnold magnet or assembly was part of the many magnetic systems. 

Today our three main business units include:

●PMAG (Precision Magnets and Assemblies)- magnets, assemblies and reprographics

●Precision Thin Metals—ultra-thin metal foil and strip for both magnetic and non-magnetic uses

●Flexmag—bonded magnets (sheet and strip) for the printing and OEM industry


Our goal is to work closely with our customers to provide or co-develop engineered solutions to even the most complex solutions.

Today we are one of the only western companies that produces alnico, RECOMA brand samarium cobalt, ferrite bonded magnets, neodymium iron boron bonded magnets (both injection molded and compression bonded) magnets.  In addition we provide assembly capabilities from prototype to production of assemblies from grams to hundreds of pounds.  For a snapshot of our company and capabilities today please review our website and take a look at our latest video.

Today we consider ourselves one of the most modern and largest U.S. based magnetics company but we are proud of our long heritage in the industry as follows.

Arnold Magnetic Technologies, as it exists today, traces its roots back to the late 1800's when Bion J. Arnold, internationally famous electrical engineer, founded the Arnold Electric Power Station Company. Bion J. Arnold, the father of the late Robert M. Arnold, was a close friend of Charles Steinmetz and Thomas Edison. His company was composed of engineers and contractors who designed and built complete power, heat, and electric railway generating systems. Around 1898, the company patented the first magnetic clutch, "The Arnold Magnetic Clutch", which was used in electric power generating stations.

In the early part of 1905, Bion J. Arnold changed the company name to The Arnold Company. His staff of civil, mechanical, and electrical engineers continued in the electric power generating field. One of their projects at this time was to design and build the power generating stations and overhead construction for the E. & B. (Elgin & Belvidere) Electric Railroad. This interurban railroad, opened in 1907, later connected to Rockford, Illinois. Substantial payment for this project was in the form of securities in the E.B. & R.

In 1924, Bion J. Arnold renamed and chartered his company, The Arnold Engineering Company. At this time, the E.B. & R. went into financial difficulties and Bion J. Arnold acquired the railroad. However, he kept his two companies distinctly apart.

In 1934, Robert M. Arnold returned from England where he had done exploratory work on permanent magnetic materials for Philco, and started actively working for his father's company. One of his first assignments was to develop permanent magnets for the Pettibone-Mulliken Company in Chicago. After one year of developmental work, Pettibone-Mulliken decided not to enter the magnetic field. And so, with assistance and permission from his father, Robert M. Arnold started his own permanent magnet production at the former E.B. & R. Railroad generating and repair depot located in Marengo, Illinois, the present site of the company's largest plant. His production was Alnico permanent magnets and was licensed under a patent held by the General Electric Company. These first marketed products were used primarily in radio loudspeakers.

In December of 1936, Robert M. Arnold bought the equipment of the auctioned Kinite Company, a foundry in Sheboygan Falls, and moved production from the Marengo plant. Initial manufacturing started in Sheboygan Falls with only five employees.

With the expansion of the electronic industry and its demand for magnetic materials, Robert M. Arnold, in 1940, moved the operation back to Marengo to be nearer the Chicago market.

During the early part of World War II, The Arnold Engineering Company manufactured parts for the Sherman and M-3 tanks. As the war progressed, Alnico magnets were also produced for one of the largest O.S.S. government contracts of its kind in the war. Proximity fuse magnet assemblies were manufactured for motor and anti-aircraft shells, in appropriate top clearance.

In 1946, Allegheny Ludlum Steel Corporation purchased all the stock of The Arnold Engineering Company. At that time in 1946, The Arnold Engineering Company became a wholly owned subsidiary operation. Robert M. Arnold continued as President of the company and in addition, became a Vice President and Director of Allegheny Ludlum.

Until 1948, the principal product was Cast Alnico permanent magnets. They ranged in size from large casting assemblies weighing over two tons to very small components weighing less than one gram, and are used in motors, magnetic ore separators, medical and home appliances, and in many electronic devices such as microphone components in N.A.S.A. communication equipment.

In 1948, a new product line was introduced. This line was called Mo-Permalloy powder cores and was originally manufactured under license agreement with the Western Electric Company. They are used primarily in electronic loading devices, electrical filters, and telephone equipment.  In the years following, Arnold Engineering produced several other magnetic lines. Tape wound cores became the third type of magnetic material. They were made from nickel alloy tapes and are used in transformers and electronic control devices. Bobbin cores followed and were available in a wide range of sizes to suit the ultimate use of the core in electronic computer assemblies.

In 1951, transformer cores (Silectron), made of grain oriented silicon steel, were produced to become Arnold Engineering's fifth magnetic line. They were supplied in sizes weighing a fraction of an ounce to over a ton.

In 1955, a line of iron powder cores was introduced. Their principal usage was in various radio, television, hearing aid, computer and aerospace applications.

In 1964, Arnold Engineering formally announced its ceramic magnet line called Hard Ferrites. These products are used primarily in such applications as magnetic separators, loudspeakers, holding devices, magnetic chucks, and D. C. motors. 

In 1965, Arnold Engineering expanded its custom slitting and rolling of various precision and highly-alloyed metals. Metals as soft as copper can be rolled 50 times thinner than a human hair. Such ultra-thin metal foil is custom rolled for use in electronic, electrical and aerospace applications.

In 1967, The Arnold Engineering Company purchased Ogallala Electronics Manufacturing, Inc., Ogallala, Nebraska. O.E.M.I. manufactures large, high power coils and electromagnets. In 1971, O.E.M.I. was made the Ogallala Electronics Division of The Arnold Engineering Company.

In June 1970, to meet the rapidly expanding demand for ferrite magnets, ground was broken for Arnold's new Ferrite Plant in Sevierville, Tennessee. The 65,000 square foot plant was completed and in operation in June, 1971.

In December 1986, SPS Technologies, Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, purchased The Arnold Engineering Company from Allegheny International. SPS Technologies is a global company engaged in the design, manufacture and marketing of high strength aerospace and industrial fasteners, precision components, and specialty materials.

In December 1992, Arnold acquired all of the assets of Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company's (3M) bonded magnet business in Norfolk, Nebraska.  The Norfolk facility consisted of an 84,000 square foot plant on a 175-acre site.  Today this plant is part of our Flexmag business unit and produces sheet and strip magnets for the printing and OEM industry. 

In January 1993, Arnold Engineering formed a 50-50 partnership with National Magnetics Corporation in Adelanto, California, to produce soft magnetic wound core products in a wide range of industrial, commercial and military electrical and electronic equipment. The joint venture company was named National-Arnold Magnetics Company, and is located in Adelanto, California, in a new 40,000 square foot plant. All of its wound core products are sold by Arnold Engineering Company's marketing and sales organization. 

In June 1996, Arnold Engineering purchased Flexmag Industries, Inc., a manufacturer of flexible bonded magnets, from Dynacast Inc. along with the assets and business of Dynacast's injection molded magnets business.

In July 1996, Arnold Engineering acquired Swift Levick Magnets Ltd. Of Derbyshire, England from Outokumpu Oy. Swift Levick is a major European manufacturer of Cast Alnico and Samarium Cobalt permanent magnets. This acquisition provided the opportunity for Arnold to consolidate its Samarium Cobalt production and to expand into European markets.

In March 1997, Arnold announced the acquisition of RJF International's bonded magnet business located in Cincinnati, Ohio. The business was subsequently merged into Flexmag Industries facility in Marietta, positioning Flexmag as the largest manufacturer of flexible bonded magnets in North America.

During 1997, Arnold announced and implemented two major facility expansions. Flexmag's facility in Marietta, Ohio was expanded by 45,000 ft. to accommodate the addition of the RJF business and assure Flexmag's ability to serve future increases in customer requirements. A 30,000 ft. addition was completed at Arnold's facility in Norfolk, Nebraska to increase capacity to manufacture injection molded magnets, primarily sold for automotive applications.

In December 1997, Arnold announced the acquisition of Magnetic Technologies Corporation, headquartered in Rochester, New York. Magnetic Technologies was a custom manufacturer of precision magnetic rolls and magnetic sub assemblies for the reprographics industry.

In January 1998, Arnold acquired the wound solenoid business of Premier Microwave. The business was consolidated into the Ogallala, NE facility establishing us as the leading manufacturer of foil wound solenoids in North America.

In September 1998, Arnold announced the formation of Jade Magnetics, Ltd., a joint venture company with manufacturing operations in Shenzhen, PRC. Jade Magnetics is owned 60% by Arnold and 40% by Green Cartridge Company, Ltd. Jade's business scope includes the production of specialized magnetic assemblies and bonded magnets for automotive and reprographic applications. Jade represents Arnold's initial manufacturing operations in the Asia-Pacific region.

On August 16, 2000, Arnold acquired full ownership of National-Arnold Magnetics, Adelanto, California. The wound core business was sold to Magnetic Metals in February 2003.

In October 2001, the Sevierville, Tennessee Ferrite manufacturing plant was closed as a result of a shift to this type of production to China.

In August 2002, Arnold Magnetics Ltd. started operation in a purpose-built facility for the manufacture of soft magnetic Powder Cores. The factory complex is located in Fuyong, a suburb of Shenzhen, China, within an hour's travel of Hong Kong. Over 100,000 square feet of modern factory, laboratory and office space and a highly trained workforce of over 175 produces the world's highest quality MPP, Super-MSS and Hi-Flux powder cores for delivery throughout the world.

On August 18, 2003, it was announced that Precision Cast Parts Corporation (NYSE:PCP) had acquired SPS Technologies.

In January 2005, the Magnetics Group of Precision Cast Parts was offered for sale and Arnold was purchased by a private equity firm (Audax Group) and management as a result of the acquisition of SPS Technologies by Precision Castparts Corporation back in 2003, .  

In mid 2005, Arnold acquired total ownership of Jade Magnetics Ltd and integrated it into the Arnold Magnetics Ltd organization. The assembly operations were relocated to a modern factory and the business was renamed the Precision Assembly Group.  This same factory complex became home to the Bonded Magnet Group when Arnold's injection molding operations were relocated there starting in 2005 and completed in 2006.

On February 20, 2007, Arnold Magnetic Technologies completed the acquisition of the Precision Magnetics with operations in Sheffield, England; Lupfig, Switzerland; and Wayne, New Jersey.  The Wayne, New Jersey facility was relocated to Rochester, NY in October 2007.  Arnold also closed its Swift Levick facility and merged the alnico business into the Alnico facility in Marengo, IL, the SmCo business and equipment into Lupfig, Switzerland and the remaining business to Walesbar near Sheffield, UK.  In addition, Arnold Magnetic Technologies AG of Lupfig, Switzerland is a Joint Venture partner with GQD of Ganzhou, China which produces Samarium Cobalt raw materials and blocks for the Asian market. 
  In May 2010, Arnold purchased the samarium cobalt production equipment from Semicon Associates, LLC and relocated them to Rochester, NY.  This equipment in addition to other equipment will be used to produce RECOMA Samarium Cobalt for the Travelling Wave Tube (TWT) market as well as to support existing U.S. customers and the alternative energy market.