Leader Chuck Systems Ltd (LCS) was founded jointly by John Leader and Mark Jones on the 1st April 1992 as the ‘sales arm’ of company Richard R. Leader, to market Leader-designed power chucks and complimentary work holding products.
Richard R. Leader Ltd (RRL), founded by Richard Leader in 1951, began as a sub-contractor of military aircraft parts and his son, John Leader, joined as an apprentice in 1952. As military orders reduced, Richard R. Leader Ltd moved to work on textile machinery which, although a new industry to them, John saw as an opportunity to create a much-needed, more efficient device to check the shuttle on classic weaving looms. Therefore, he designed a hydraulic shock absorber in 1960, using the new Polyurethane as a diaphragm, and the Leader Shuttle Control (LSC) was born.
Being virtually unknown in the textile industry, at first it was difficult to be accepted, but by 1967, major Swiss loom makers acknowledged the technical merit of the Leader unit and fitted it as standard to their looms.
With sales of 2000+ units per month, it was imperative for the Richard R. Leader Ltd factory to increase productivity. As a result, Richard Leader designed the spring/air-operated power chuck, which was easy to fit to capstan lathes, converting them for second work operations.
John was busy supporting the export sales (90%) of the Shuttle Control, but saw the potential in this chuck as a new product line and together, Richard and John expanded the size range to include 80, 100, 125, 200, 250 and 300 mm diameters in both dynamic and static forms.
With the introduction of shuttle-less looms, sales of the Shuttle Control reduced and Richard R. Leader Ltd concentrated on the chuck industry, taking sole agency for many well-known foreign chuck makers.
Richard Leader retired in 1980 and John continued to run both product lines before appointing Mark Jones as the sole agent for Birmingham and the Midlands. This was successful and they ultimately decided a closer collaboration would produce even greater results, which lead to the birth of Leader Chuck Systems, with all Richard R. Leader chuck designs/patents transferred to the new premises in Birmingham (the Leader family’s home city).
Richard R. Leader Ltd exhibited at MACH shows from the initial exhibition at Birmingham’s NEC in 1976 and since 1992, Leader Chuck Systems has participated in its stead, giving Leader an unbroken record of exhibiting at MACH.