After a highly successful career in sales at the Cataract Refining Company, William O. Jeffery, Sr. founded International Lubricants Ltd. in 1914 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1919, the company moved to its present location in Evanston, Illinois and took on the name International Refining and Manufacturing Company. In the early years International's primary products were based on animal and vegetable fats. The product line consisted of paste products such as Accrus, Excellus, IC #2, International X, International XX, International 50T, Road Compounds, and Supremus, and single non-paste product Coolus.
In 1958, William O. Jeffery III started as a salesman at International. His strong grasp of the lubricant market led to the development of Accru-Lube Liquid, a liquefied paste superior to existing products of the time in machining, grinding, and various drawing operations. From 1959 to 1961, this one product represented 70% of the company's annual sales. WOJ III eventually became the company's president and oversaw the company's two-and-a half times growth in the 1960s.
Arthur E. Dampts became the company's first director of research and development, forging new ground in product development and problem solving. He created an entirely new line of straight oils and soluble oils--such as the IRMCO 200 series, straight oils for high speed stamping, the IRMCO 300 series, soluble oils for machining aluminium, and IRMCO 303, the industry's first hard water stable emulsion. Fuelled by the creative minds of William Jeffery and Arthur Dampts, International Refining and Manufacturing Company quadrupled in size in the 1970s. In 1979, IRMCO Non-Oil Fluids™ were introduced as the first water-based, metal stamping lubricants to significantly and consistently outperform oils in heavy duty stamping and drawing applications. The Non-Oil Fluids found huge success in deep drawing lawn mower deck and oil pans.
1970s & 80s
Brothers William C. Jeffery and Bradley J. Jeffery joined the company as sales representatives in 1979 and 1983, respectively. Soon after, the company became known officially as IRMCO, an acronym of its formal name. Sales representatives undertook additional training to meet the diverse needs of metal stamping industry and thereafter became known as manufacturing methods consultants. Between 1982 and 1984, the company doubled in size. Whereas International Refining once provided a full line of
Artinhood-Copyoils, such as hydraulic oils and cutting oils, IRMCO sought to service the highly specialised, niche market of metal stamping. IRMCO Non-Oil Fluids provided this market with novel, value added solutions to long-standing industry problems.
Unlike the inexpensive yet costly-to-use straight oils and soluble oils of yesterday, the Non-Oil Fluids were lubricant investments that could pay dividends in more efficient downstream cleaning and/or painting processes and in reduced environmental liability. Meanwhile, IRMCO's Metal stamping Program provided an intensely hands-on level of service that focused on problem solving and manufacturing process improvements.
IRMCO experienced record growth. In 1996, the research and development laboratory was named the Arthur E. Dampts Research and Development Centre in honour of its previous director's thirty years of innovative product development and creative problem solving. A renewed commitment to product development research in that same year led to a rebirth of IRMCO and a realignment of corporate strategy. In 1997, the company unveiled a new corporate tagline: Advanced Lubricant Technologies, to emphasise its dedication to new product research and development.
The R&D Centre has expanded to include GREENLEAF TECHNOLOGIES, a friction and formability research service, and has carried forward the tradition of scientific discovery and market value with an ever-evolving line of new products. IRMCO GEL®, the first water-based gel product for tube bending. IRMCO FLUIDS® are a wave of new products spawned from the original Non-Oil lubricant, including IRMCO FLUIDS® HIGH STRENGTH FORMULA, a high performance chemistry engineered to control the high heat and friction generated from the new demands of advanced and ultra-high strength steel forming. And, as we celebrate our 100 year anniversary IRMCO® announces the 1st ever Non-Oil lubricant for use on Automotive Electro Galvanised and Galvanealed metals.