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History of the Elgamill

The Butler Machine Tool Company Ltd first commenced building the Elgamill Range of machines in 1968.

The company at that time was owned by the B Elliot Group. The group consisted of several engineering companies and also distribution companies predominantly supplying machine tools and related products in the UK. One company was Elgar Machine Tools, based in Willesden London.

A brief history of B Elliot is as below:

B. Elliott and Co of Willesden London

1904 Company founded.

1921 Became private company.

1946 Became public company.

1961 Manufacturers of "Victoria" milling and grinding machines and equipment, "Alba" and "Invicta" shaping machines, "Cardiff" lathes, "Velox" hacksaws. "Milford" grinders, "Progress" drills, "Samson" and "Speedax" metal working machines and "Selecta" portable grinders and home workshop equipment. Also important machine tools and engineering equipment. 1,000 employees.

1966 Subsidiaries included:
B. Elliott (Machinery)
Elgar Machine Tool Co
Press and Shear Machinery Co
Snow and Co
Modern Machine Tool Co Ltd which was transferred from Coventry to Birmingham
P. M. T. (Machine Tools)
Aiming to grow to become comparable in size with other machine tool groups, acquired several other companies - G. W. S. Burdett and Co, Willson Machine Tools (Halifax), Butler Machine Tool Co and 51 percent of a South African Company, as well as a Canadian company

1967 D. Mitchell and Co, lathe makers, was a subsidiary. Acquired an interest in Goldfields Industrial Corporation

1977 In order to expand in areas of high technology, acquired Newall Machine Tools

The Elgamill was a derivative of an Italian Designed and manufactured machine and was originally made under licence. The name was adopted from the Elgar Machine Company and Milling machine.

Traditionally Butler Machine Tool Company Ltd had produced a range of reciprocating tool machines (planers, slotters and shapers) but as this technology became dated and was replaced by more modern milling technology the move to produce large capacity, versatile milling machines was hugely successful and the introduction of the Elgamill was the start of a very profitable period for the company.

Various ranges of Elgamill’s were produced including:

  • CS10
  • CSN10
  • CS10VA
  • DR12VA
  • Hi Power Elgamill
  • HD Elgamill
  • HE4000 Elgamill
  • LE4000 Elgamill

These machines were further developed in the late 1980’s and machines were designated as: 

  • EC9000
  • HEC
  • LEC

These were all derivatives of the Elgamill before the company dropped the name in 1996 in favour of the current Powercentre designation.

Over the years the machines developed from manual gear and clutch driven machines, through hydraulic variable speed drives to the latest generation machines incorporating the latest digital drive technology and modern linear bearing systems.

Over the years the Elgamill’s have been fitted with a large number of accessories such as Manual Universal Milling Heads. These heads allowed the user to work in multiple planes and infinite compound angles. The manual heads developed into automatic indexing heads, originally with only 5 automatically selected positions to automatic indexing heads with 1 degree positioning and then full servo 2 axis heads allowing full live 5 axis movements and infinite positioning. Coupled with the latest automatic toolchangers, spindle and workpiece probing the machine became the state of the art large capacity machine tool.

Elgamills were traditionally used in any medium to large capacity machine shops throughout the world and the name Elgamill became synonymous with bedmills.

Over 2500 CNC Elgamills have been installed in all corners of the world and the company still regularly supports and services some of the original manual machines.

Since the merging of the Asquith and Butler companies in 1994 the Elgamill still provides a large part of the core business. The company still holds all the original drawings and documentation for the machines and is the only company able to provide OEM parts along with unrivalled expertise and knowledge.