A MACHINE tool manufacturer tracing its roots back more than 140 years is an acknowledged world leader in its field.

Brighouse-based Asquith Butler, which has been manufacturing machines tools since 1865, today focuses on bespoke “state of the art” multi-axis machines to meet the ever-increasing demands of modern manufacturing requirements.

The company operating from modern purpose-built assembly and test facilities at Brookfoot, uses the very latest computer-aided design and analysis software to provide complete design solutions.

It also specialises in full turnkey bespoke engineered projects manufactured to exacting standards for customers in the aerospace, automotive and general engineering sectors in the UK, Europe and across the globe.

Asquith Butler also offers a refurbishment and retrofitting service on the firm’s older machines and offers customers the most cost effective options for upgrading their existing plant. This includes spares and servicing for thousands of machine installations worldwide.

Among the latest developments is the firm’s new Starturn range of machines, including a revolutionary travelling gantry milling and turning machine, which was submitted in the category for Best Machining Centre in the MWP Advanced Manufacturing Awards.

The machine – built in the UK and aimed at the power generation and pump industries – can help companies reduce their costs by cutting down on non-productive set-up and workpiece movements, improve finished component accuracy by allowing complete machining in one clamping, reduce machine tool footprint and improve overall capability and performance.

Managing director Paul Hinchliffe said: “As the only remaining UK manufacturer of large machines tools we have continued to invest in the latest technology and equipment to enable our machines to compete in the most challenging of manufacturing environments.”

The company was created with the merger of Halifax firms William Asquith Ltd, formed in 1865, and The Butler Machine Tool Company, established just three years later.

William Asquith, a locally-trained engineer, worked in the gold fields of British Columbia and California before returning to Halifax to found his company. Asquith produced machine tools of all types during the early years before specialising on drilling and boring machines. Among many interesting contracts was the provision of the entire drilling capacity for the building of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The Butler Machine Tool Company was founded in Halifax in 1868 by James Ryder Butler, an ex-Crossley Carpets apprentice. His first products were looms for the rapidly expanding textile industry, but within a few years production had switched to machine tools.