History

Where Metalock has come from

Working together, improving and expanding

In 1953 the Metalock Association was formed, to develop the fledgling organisations that used the Metalock process that were developing in various industrial nations. A key foundation of the Association was to develop the technical know-how, research and Metalock materials, so that the best repairs are achieved by members of the Association. MIA continues to provide its own material, tooling and expertise exclusively to its members.

A council of Management was formed, together with the start of annual conferences for member countries. Conferences continue to be held once a year in various parts of the world, and these enable members to update techniques and extend the services they offer.
Since its formation, the MIA headquarters have been in the UK. This can be your first point of contact if you need support.

The Association has now grown into a unique organization operating in over 70 countries throughout the world. The name Metalock is now synonymous with rapid response and high quality repairs – often in challenging environments.

HOW MIA ACTUALLY STARTED

Major E. C. Peckham, is a Canadian who went home after the War uncertain where his peacetime career lay, He was an engineer, and he came across the original Metalock process in the oil Wells of Texas, A crude form of it had been developed to effect repairs where welding, with its explosion risk, was impracticable. He immediately saw its potential, and set up a one-room office in Grand Buildings, Trafalgar Square, London in 1947.

It met with scepticism, and it was shipping which gave him his first breakthrough, The Sovac was stranded in Purfleet with a damaged main engine.

For the first job on the Sovac Canadian engineers were flown to England. One of the Sovac’s engineers, Mr Norman Tinwell, was so impressed with what he saw that he asked Peckham for a job. He was immediately flown out to Canada for training and he remains the mustard seed from which all subsequent training has emanated.

As demand for Metalock grew, Metalock branches were progressively set up to give quick service anywhere in Britain, increasingly, shipowners and other British concerns with projects abroad were calling on Metalock (Britain) Ltd to rush operators to breakdowns abroad. Shipping stranded in foreign ports fast became an insistent demand, and Peckham’s energies turned to setting-up Metalock companies abroad.

Two highly successful ones were developed by Svein Gulbrandsen in Norway and David Arvidsson in Sweden, They set about finding men in neighbouring countries to finance and set-up Metalock companies in their own countries, while Peckham did the same, first on the Continent, then the Middle East and Far East, Africa, Australasia and the South Americas; latterly Japan, the Philippines, and Asia.

By 1953 there were Metalock companies, owned and staffed nationally, in 14 countrie. All operating as independent companies, often treading on each other’s territories, duplicating research and the fruits of experience, and generally lacking co-ordination.

The 14 companies formed a Metalock International Association, deriving its income from annual dues based on a set percentage turnover, Initially, the M.I.A.’s purpose was to provide a central research and development centre, organise an annual conference (held in a different member Country each year), and sustain an inter-flow of publications and materials, it grew to issue licences to operate the Metalock process, outline territorial boundaries, and to provide all member companies with the guarantee and protection of a M.I.A., legal department,

Central Control

In the mid-1960s a new director to administrate the Association’s offices in London was taken on, Mr Dennis Venning. There was still a tendency for countries to fly their own operators to repair shipping in the ports of other countries, and the M.I.A., office now took on a major new character as a Central Control organisation, Through this, a system was built up whereby a ship-owner of any nation with a vessel needing repair anywhere in the Western World, contacts the MIA – or the Metalock company.

The interflow of information, including demonstration films and regular bulletins, arrangements for Metalock directors on visits from abroad and co-ordination of the network’s activities are also done from here. But infinitely the most important operation is relaying of requests for technical information – sometimes signalled from the scene of a repair and relayed by telex to the research and development experts – and, of greatest value to shipping, the re-allocation of work with a speed previously unattainable.

Thus, the Central Control was the hub of a network which extended to 70 Metalock companies, most with their own national coverage of branch offices and bases, covering 140 countries.

A robust and strong heritage of repair service and quality

The METALOCK process originated in the oil fields of Texas in the mid 1930’s, to overcome the risks due to the explosive potential of welding repairs. C. O. Spencer and L. B. Scott developed a ground-breaking repair system which successfully eliminated the use of heat, as well as providing other additional advantages. This included the elimination of distortion, which in turn eliminated the necessity of re-machining in most cases. Subsequent development by the U.S.A. defense forces during World War II were responsible for the spread of this technology and its acceptance in the heavy industries, especially marine.

The first Metalock organisations to start commercially were in the US.
1937 Metalock Corporation, L. B. Scott, Long Island
1938 Registration of trademark ‘Metalock’ in USA, 3 May by L. B. Scott.
1939 Metalock Casting Repair Service, and Metalock repairs formalised.
1942 Metal Locking Service, Buffalo
1947 Metalock Casting Repair Service, copyright entry 10 May.
1947 Metalock Casting Repair Service, UK
1948 Metalock Canada registered

The name Metalock has been used so widely around the world, that the trademark is now defunct as a franchise, It simply refers to the process of metal stitching developed by L. B. Scott. Perhaps confusingly, there are many organisations who may use the name Metalock commercially, and they may or may not be a member of the International Association.