For over 160 years our success has been built on providing innovative and high quality solutions for the identification of components and products.

On 23rd May 1849 William Pryor purchased a Sheffield based mark making business where Edward Pryor, his son, was serving his apprenticeship. Edward went on to become a master engraver and led his business to international renown in its field.

Edward's eldest and youngest sons, Edward Staniforth Pryor and George Albert Pryor took over the running of the company in 1883 and 1898 respectively, before handing over to his grandson Ronnie Pryor in 1938. Ronnie led the company through its period of greatest expansion including an extensive global footprint, until his death in 1984.

Today the company is still run from its headquarters in Sheffield, UK. Sheffield is recognised worldwide for its long and proud history in manufacturing and engineering expertise, being at the forefront of metal technology and advanced manufacturing.

The late 20th and early 21st Centuries have seen Pryor maintain their position as a world leading supplier of identification technologies with the development of machines, software and automation solutions.

Our Technology Timeline

Our history of innovation, technological firsts and industry milestones is summarised below, from the creation and launch of precision marking dies to the latest in robotics and machine vision.

1849 Company Foundation

Edward Pryor took ownership of a mark making and die sinking company in Sheffield, in Britain's industrial heartland and home of world leading cutlery and tool manufacturers.

1892 Detailed Engraving

Edward Pryor publicised his master engraving skills by engraving the Lord's Prayer on a minute marking die. The discs that the die embosses are still available for purchase today.

1920 First Marking Machine

Pryor sought to differentiate itself in the world of marking and introduced innovative precision marking devices to its product range.

1940 Interchangeable Type

Pryor invented interchangeable steel type for aircraft manufacturers to identify critical components. For the first time users could customise the mark they were making by fitting characters of their choice into standard holders.

1970s Computer Controlled Marking Machines

Leading the field again, Pryor introduced the first computer controlled marking machines, using a solenoid driven oscillating pin to mark dots into metal plates.

1991 Portable Marking Machines

Pryor introduced its first portable marking machines, allowing much greater flexibility and broader range of marking applications.

1994 Laser Marking

Pryor broke into a completely new method of permanent marking by introducing its own range of laser marking products, still designed and manufactured on site today.

2003 Robotic Marking Cell

The first application of a robotic solution for marking, allowing complete flexibility for multiple components with varied marking surfaces and no opportunity for operator error.

2010 Traceability Software

Pryor's groundbreaking traceability software was launched. It redefined Pryor as more than just a marking company, enabling manufacturers to uniquely track millions of parts and their manufacturing data within an assembly as complex as a jet engine.

2013 Robotic Laser VIN Marking

Pryor installed the first robotic laser VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) marking system in the world for an automotive production line. The system gives high speed, high quality VIN marks and won Pryor a national innovation award.

2017 Touchscreen HMI

Pryor launched a new range of embedded controllers for its marking machines featuring a fully touchscreen, password protected and customisable operator interface.