How did industrial chains manufacturer FB Chain get its name?

Written by Peter Church on 14 May 2019

As FB Chain's UK Managing Director, it's fair to say I spend a lot of my time meeting and talking to new companies and contacts.

And one of the most frequent questions I get asked is: "What does the 'FB' in FB Chain actually stand for?"

To paint the full picture, we need to go back nearly 150 years to the Swedish city of Eskilstuna, or as it is known by its Swedish nickname, "Smedstaden" (Smith Town).

Since the advent of the Industrial Revolution, Eskilstuna has served as one of the most important industrial cities of the Nordic region and is well known for the production of cutlery, scissors, keys, machine tools and precision instruments.

And it was here, in 1870, that manufacturer Adolf Hedengran set up his first factory producing iron and steel products.

Over the years Hedengran's business went through a  variety of changes of ownership and shifts in direction.

In 1896 it was taken over by Eskilstuna Smidesprodukter AB, and focus switched to the production of a range of bolts.

Then in 1908 it was purchased by the newly formed Eskilstuna Fabriks Arktiebolag - with 'Fabriks' translating simply as 'factories', and Aktiebolag (AB) referring to a 'stock company' or what is known in the UK as a limited company.

The company first manufactured industrial chain in 1912, but at this time it was just one of a diverse range of offerings. Side bolts, steel windows, coffin hinges...if it was made of iron or steel, and it could be pressed or stamped, then Eskilstuna Fabriks Arktiebolag made it.

In 1933 the company was acquired by Bultfabriks AB from Hallstahammer, and production began on the manufacture of steel windows under the product name Fenestra.

In the mid 1950's the decision was made to focus solely on industrial chains - and the Swedish word for chain (Kedjor) was added to the company name.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Eskilstuna Fabriks Kedjor Bolag was considered to be just a bit too much of a mouthful, and so it was abbreviated to FB Kedjor.

As branches continued to open across a variety of European sites, the local word for 'chains' was simply swapped in.

In Germany and Austria 'FB Kedjor' became 'FB Ketten', in France and Switzerland it was 'FB Chaines', in Finland it was 'FB Kejtu' - and in the UK, 'FB Chain'.

Now 149 years on from the launch of the first ever company there are currently seven autonomous businesses within the FB group, located across Europe.

Just as each sister company has its own unique name, each FB subsidiary also focuses on a particular niche product, with FB's advanced production facility in Letchworth, UK specialising in the manufacture of leaf chain, leaf chain components and leaf chain package solutions.

 FB Chain Solutions Newsletter

Topics: Peter's Blog

Peter Church

Written by Peter Church

Peter has in-depth knowledge of leaf chain and its applications. His 25 years experience in supplying UK manufacturing companies has given him a detailed understanding of customer needs, and this has shaped the way he has taken FB chain. Peter is a member of TC100, which represents the UK on industrial chain standardisation issues.