Nobel Industries Limited was founded in 1870 by the chemist and industrialist, Alfred Nobel, for the production of the new explosive dynamite. Ardeer, on the coast at Ayrshire, was chosen for the company's first factory. The business later diversified into the production of blasting gelatine, gelignite, ballistite, guncotton, and cordite. At its peak, the factory was employing nearly 13,000 workerss.
In 1926, the firm merged with Brunner, Mond & Company, the United Alkali Company, and the British Dyestuffs Corporation, creating a new group, Imperial Chemical Industries, then one of Britain's largest firms. Nobel Industries continued as the ICI Nobel division of the company.
In the late 1960s construction began on a nylon and nitric acid plant, but this would have a short life, closing down just 12 years later.
In 2002 the division, now named Nobel Enterprises, was sold to Inabata.