Over a Century of Engineering Innovation

YEARS (in bold) denote Wheelabrator history
YEARS (in normal weight) denote DISA shot blast division history

1869 Benjamin Chew Tilghman invents the sand blasting process and patents it, in 1870, in the USA (US patent 104,408), detailing many of the applications for which this technique is uniquely suited, such as sharpening files, engraving bottles, cleaning boilers or bringing out the grain in wood. Later that year a patent was issued in the UK.

1879 Tilghman opened Tilghman's Patent Sand Blast Co. in Altrincham, UK, which later became Wheelabrator Tilghman, and is the Head Office of Wheelabrator Group today.

1908 Homogeneous Sand Mixing Machine Company is founded in Pittsburg, PA, USA by Verne E. Minich. The beginning of what would eventually become Wheelabrator Group

1915 Company name changes to American Foundry Equipment Company

1932 Louis D. Peik (an American Foundry Equipment Company engineer) patents his first blast machine called the “Tumblast”

1933 Louis D. Peik invents the Wheelabrator machine, using the centrifugal force blast wheel. Debuted at the Chicago 1933 World’s fair, aptly titled “Century of Progress”.  Otto Pfaff sells the first Wheelabrator machine to the Benton Harbour Malleable Company in Michigan..

1935 Tilghman’s (UK) and Berger (Germany) license the rights to build shotblast machines from the American Foundry Equipment (Wheelabrator) Company.

1937 Georg Fischer (latterly DISA) starts production of shot blast machines (license agreement “Wheelabrator”) from American Foundry Equipment Company

American Foundry becomes a leader in developing and engineering equipment for shot peening during WWII

1943 In just 10 years, over 2000 Wheelabrator machines are in use, with more on order.

1946 American Foundry Equipment Company changes its name to recognise the importance of the Wheelabrator brand, to American Wheelabrator & Equipment Company

1950 Introduction of wire and strip descaling machines at George Fischer

1951 In the 1950’s, Wheelabrator is the world’s largest manufacturer of both airless blast cleaning equipment and steel abrasive, and brings many new innovations to the market

1954 American Wheelabrator & Equipment Company changes its name to Wheelabrator Corporation

1964 Wheelabrator becomes publicly owned and traded on the American Stock Exchange, holding 75 patents

1973 Tilghman's Patent Sand Blasting Company, a licensee of Wheelabrator, becomes fully owned by them and becomes Tilghman Wheelabrator

1975 Wheelabrator reports consolidated revenues of more than $332 million, of which approximately $100 million is international revenue

1978 Introduction of continuous tumble through-feed machines for foundry applications at George Fischer

1980 George Fischer introduces manipulator machines for cleaning powertrain castings 
1986 Acquisition of BMD by DISA

1996 Joint venture between DISA and Georg Fischer Foundry Equipment Division

1994 Wheelabrator buys Sisson Lehmann

Wheelabrator Corporation is purchased by United States Filter Corporation becomes USF Surface Preparation Group

1997 Gutmann, Pangborn Europe and Spencer Halstead become members of the USF Surface Preparation Group. Wheelabrator Canada purchases BCP and amalgamated operations as USFilter/Wheelabrator Canada. Schlick opens a sales office in Prague, to attend to the Czech Republic and Slovakian markets

1998 Vacu-Blast, Abrasive Developments and Schlick are acquired by USF Surface Preparation Group

2000 New DISA Group founded (acquisition of shares held by Georg Fischer)

2003 International Surface Preparation Corporation (ISPC), a newly formed company, acquires United States Filter Corporation’s Surface Preparation Group

2005 ISPC becomes Wheelabrator Group
2005 DISA Group acquired by Procuritas

2007 Launch of TITAN wheel, TITAN wins an Innovation Award from Eurofinish. 

2008 100 years of Wheelabrator!

2009 Wheelabrator merges with DISA, a world-leader in foundry equipment. The moulding, sand and core technologies retain the brand DISA, whilst the DISA shotblasting range is rebranded Wheelabrator.

2011 The company's new website is launched! 

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