Nidec Minster 125 Years

From plowshares to presses,

Nidec Minster Original SignFrom its humble beginnings as a blacksmith shop, grinding plowshares and repairing oil drilling machinery, the Nidec Minster Corporation has evolved into a world class machine tool builder with service and manufacturing facilities in Minster, Ohio; Logrono, Spain; Pinghu, China; Queretaro, Mexico; Peiting, Germany; and Ningbo, China.

The company is headquartered in the West Central Ohio village of Minster at the same location where Anton Herkenhoff and Joseph Dues began a partnership more than 125 years ago. In May of 1896, the two men opened the Dues and Herkenhoff Machine Works, but by November of that same year Dues had sold his share of the partnership and Anton renamed the business “The Minster Machine Company.”

Today, we operate seven facilities across the world serving customers in almost 90 countries as a full-service press room partner for manufacturers in the metal forming industry. Whether your need is to identify an equipment solution or rely on support to keep your shop running, Minster is ready for you.

Anton Herkenhoff and Joseph Dues began a partnership in May of 1896. The two men opened the Dues and Herkenhoff Machine Works, but by November of that same year Dues had sold his share of the partnership and Anton renamed the business “The Minster Machine Company.”

Fields Pumping Power
Fields Pumping Power.

Oil RigAn oil boom in Western Ohio at the turn of the century provided the company with much of its early business, including one of its first products — Fields Pumping Power. The mechanism allowed for the drilling of up to 30 oil wells at the same time.

Minster Machine Early EmployeesIn 1901 The Minster Machine Company was officially incorporated. Frank Herkenhoff was principal investor of the new corporation. The first officers included: Charles Herkenhoff, President; Colston Dine, Vice President; John Eiting, Secretary-Treasurer; and Anton Herkenhoff, General Manager.

Friction Clutch
Early Friction Clutch

Many of the shallow oil wells that were being drilled in the area suffered from failed clutches, and as they were brought to Minster Machine for repair, Anton Herkenhoff studied the faults and invented an improved friction clutch, which was patented in 1905.

For the next decade the company specialized in large and small clutches for gasoline engines, along with a variety of pulleys and related power transmission equipment.

Herken ClutchesBy 1912, Minster was manufacturing both the Herken and Herken Junior clutch and pulley systems. These clutches were primarily used by the gasoline engine industry, and were running the line shafts that powered many of the manufacturers of the day.

Hi-Duty Drilling MachineIn 1916, Minster entered the machine tool industry with the introduction of its “Hi Duty Drill Press.” The rugged machines were built in a variety of sizes and used for heavy drilling applications.

Minster Press BrakeIn the 1920's Minster sold its drill press line and entered the sheet metal industry with the production of a press brake. But the venture was short-lived, as management saw a much better fit with Minster's advanced clutch technology in the mechanical stamping press business.


First Minster PressThe first Minster mechanical press was manufactured in 1926. The 45-ton Open Back Inclinable (OBI) press was part of an introductory series of OBI presses of various sizes. The first press, a No. 5, featured Minster's patented clutch technology.

First Straightside PressIn 1927 The Minster Machine Company built its first straight side press. This 40-41/2, 75-ton press was delivered to Bowen Products in Detroit, Michigan a little more than two months after the order was received.

First Double Crank PressIn 1928 Minster expanded its capabilities and product offering by accepting an order for a 50-8-60 300-ton double crank straight side press. Many problems of design, size, weight, machining and assembly had to be overcome to build the press, which was shipped to the Tokheim Pump Company of Fort Wayne, Indiana.

1935 Assembly Floor
Large Press Assembly Bay, 1935

Minster weathered the Great Depression with a decade of innovations and a solid commitment to quality. In the 1930s Minster was the first press company to use a separate friction clutch and brake on the same shaft; built the world’s first transfer press; offered the first box crown and press construction; and began use of the patented Air Operated Friction Clutch and Brake Unit.

By the end of the decade Minster was building presses for arsenals, aircraft companies and shipyards as the United States’ effort to become the “arsenal for democracy” transformed the country into an industrial giant.

Minster AFC ClutchIn 1937 Minster engineer Reuben Wissman perfected the AFC Clutch, a combination air-operated friction clutch and brake unit that revolutionized the press industry. The AFC Clutch was patented in 1939, and became a standard for Minster's industry-leading automatic production presses.

First P2 Piece-MakerMinster introduced its "P Series" or "Piece-Maker" presses in 1948. The first P2 was a double crank straight side press featuring Minster's patented CFC clutch, which was developed specifically for the demands of higher production speeds. The Minster P2 press was one of the first presses in the world designed exclusively for high production automatic progressive dies.

Nidec Minster 1955Minster expanded its facilities in the 1950s with the construction of large assembly and machining bays. Large additions in 1955 completed a growth spurt that saw the company double its footprint in less than a decade.

First Minster E2 PressNidec Minster shipped its first E2 "HeviStamper" press in December of 1959. The E2 was designed to be a heavy-duty fabricated press built for some of the more demanding progressive die applications requiring a high-speed geared drive. The E2 quickly developed a reputation for quality, durability and resale value.

First Can End PressEarly Can EndsMinster designs the world's first press designed to mass produce can ends with easy-open "tear tops."

Lamination BulletinP2-200 Lamination PressBy 1964 the Minster P2 Piece-Maker press had more than a decade of industry-leading experience in the production of electrical motor laminations. In 1964, Minster launched a major campaign touting the P2 as the fastest, most accurate lamination press available. 

Nidec CorporationIn April of 2012, The Minster Machine Company was acquired by the Nidec Corporation, headquartered in Kyoto, Japan. The acquisition opened up a world of global resources for Nidec Minster and its customers.

Arisa LogoArisa Servo PressIn 2015 Nidec Minster Corporation acquired the press company Arisa S.A. of Logrono, Spain. The acquisition greatly expanded the product offering for Nidec Minster customers and increased the company's ever-growing global footprint.

Quantum FeedIn 2017 Nidec Minster Corporation announced the acquisition of leading high-speed feed innovator and manufacturer, Vamco International, Inc., headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA. Founded in 1945, Vamco International has earned an unmatched reputation for delivering excellence in the design and manufacture of high-speed feed products for the metal stamping industry. Integrated with Nidec Minster's high speed press line, Vamco products allow for a complete manufacturing system under one brand name.

Nidec Press & AutomationIn 2017 Nidec Minster announced the formation of Nidec Press & Automation, a global umbrella to bring together the existing press room brands of Minster, Arisa and Kyori through a common platform to the market, while announcing the purchase of North American based sales organization Press Masters, LLC.

Nidec SYSSysteme and Steuerungen (SYS) was acquired, and officially joined the Nidec Press & Automation group of companies. Nidec SYS offers comprehensive high-quality turnkey manufacturing solutions. Products include high-speed servo feeds, Spindle presses, related automation, integrated controls with state-of-the-art production management and monitoring software along with specialized high-speed press remanufacturing.

Nidec CHSIn 2020, CHS Automation, based in Romeo, Michigan, North American manufacturer of coil lines was acquired enabling Nidec Press & Automation to now offer complete coil-to-part pressroom systems for customers from one manufacturer — something unmatched without the use of external third parties.