Our History

Founded in the 1930s, we bring almost a century of expertise into the design and construction of can making machinery. We are proudly based in West Yorkshire, UK, the heart of the Industrial Revolution.

CMB Engineering is world renowned for our innovative can making machinery.  Founded in the 1930s, in the cradle of the European Industrial Revolution; the company has been developing and designing leading technologies, in Shipley, for almost a century.  During this time, a merger formed between Carnaud, a French manufacturer; and a further acquisition by Crown Holdings Incorporated, one of the world’s leading producers of metal packaging; have defined the innovative and customer driven company that you see before you today.

When designing and creating CMB Engineering’s first can making machine, the company simultaneously focused on harnessing  a century’s worth of engineering excellence, in order to develop a solution that would meet the needs of can makers.

This resulted in the invention of the Bodymaker; hence providing a unique solution that combined both can making and trimming, in order to bring manufacturers a convenient and efficient machine with a reduced footprint.  Launched over forty years ago; you can still find our original Bodymaker machines running like clockwork across can production plants around the world.

Through Time

Today, we draw inspiration from our proud history of engineering excellence.  We are responsible for developing advanced can making; in addition to necking and decorating systems and technologies, which can help can makers meet the challenges that the future holds.  Harnessed on behalf of our customers, is decades of industrial knowledge and technical prowess which is channelled through our designs.


Established by James Denby Lee and James Crabtree, at Crag Mills, Windhill manufacturing textile machinery.


The number of employees rose from 97 to 435.  Productive floor space more than doubled as sales rose from 22,000 to over 314,000.


Image of the main machining Dept. (Old Wrose Brow Site).


Awarded the Queen’s Award; our first for Technological Achievement, for its development of technology to spin a shaped neck onto a two-piece can.  A process since used throughout the world.


CarnaudMetalBox Engineering received the Metpack Innovation Award for the Bodymaker Hydraulic Hold Down Arrangement, shown in a test rig, for the first time.


Winner of a second Queen’s Award, our first for International Trade.


A team of apprentices from CMB Engineering, as well as representing the UK, celebrated being among the best young engineers in the world.  They returned with a Medallion of Excellence in the Manufacturing Team Challenge, at the International Finals of the WorldSkills competition, in Germany.


Celebrated 50 years at the Shipley site in Dockfield Road, purpose built for the business. Winner of a third Queen’s Award, also for International Trade.


July marked another impressive milestone in the business; we celebrated the manufacture of the 1000th 5000 Series Bodymaker, in addition to the 100th 3400 Die Necker.