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The History of Filton – the 2010’s to date.

Wednesday 17th August 2022

This year we are celebrating 80 years in manufacturing. Today's blog looks at the changes at Filton, some more special joints that we have designed and manufactured since 2010 and the variety of industries we supply.

The 2010’s brought change at Filton.  Sheilah and Eileen, William Murray’s daughters had run the company for 40 years.  It was time for them to step back and they decided to sell the company.  Mr Murray’s nephew and family stepped in and, again with the support of the knowledgeable and experienced team at Filton, have continued to supply Rotary Unions and Swivel Joints around the world.  Filton are now supplying around 50 different countries each year from Iceland to Chile, India to Botswana and many, many others.

A machine tool company had a requirement for a Rotary Union which was used to actuate a chuck on a CNC grinding machine.  This union required 2 ports, the main port was to work at 32bar with hydraulic oil and the centre tube port at 1.5bar with air.   The speed required was 300rpm, in addition cross contamination had to be prevented.  A special Rotary Union was designed with a double seal for the centre tube.  This joint could fit into the same parameters as the standard joint which had been used previously.  This enabled the customer to retrofit existing machines out in the field.

Another special application Filton became involved with was for Centrifuge equipment.  The customer approached Filton hoping to replace a competitors Rotary Union. Due to the nature of the application, there was a requirement for it to fit exactly in the same position, the lengths and angles were critical. The union needed was 1” double flow and it was to work at 6 bar, on water with a temperature range 0 to 100˚C.  The union had to work at a continuous speed, the screw at 82 RPM (right hand Union) and carriage 2.4 RPM (left hand Union).  Stainless steel was used where there was to be contact with the fluid.

Filton were approached by an inspection equipment manufacturer for a Swivel Joint to supply air to a pneumatic chuck on a rotary co-ordinate measuring machine (CMM).  The medium was air and it was to work at 6 bar.  The maximum table rotation was 25 RPM      and the Index time 1.05 sec (90˚).  A special 2 port Swivel Joint was designed with a large flange to accommodate the rotary chuck.  The Swivel Body had to fit into the limited space under the CMM table.  On the existing CMM only the probe moved, but with the addition of a rotary chuck to check a particular component, the cycle time was reduced from 14 minutes to approximately 4 minutes.


Over the past few months we have shared just some of the applications for Rotary Unions and Swivel Joints.  However, the wide range of products which use these joints at some stage in their creation is vast.  Pet food, breakfast cereals, flower pots, bottles, wine bags, food packaging, fabric dyeing – uniforms etcetera, ribbons, carpets, floor tiles, roofing felt, wall paper, gift wrap, chocolate, confectionery, laundry machines, medicines, bubble wrap, steel, parachutes, dental floss, airbags, insulation, glass, wound dressings, coated table cloths, car components, brewing, rubber shoe soles, composite decking, biomass boilers, swimming pool covers, recycling, printed plastic bags, plastic membranes, lampposts, laminated paper products, bowling balls and more.


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Old industries are lost but new industries are developing; recycling and biomass boilers to name just two. As things change Filton will continue to work with customers to develop joints for their individual needs. 


If you have any questions or if we can help you with your applications you can contact us either by phone on +44 1926 423191 or emailing us on sales@filtonltd.co.uk or technical@filtonltd.co.uk