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The John Heine Story Begins In Devonshire At The Village Of Buckfastleigh

1892 portrait of John Heine with his wife his wife Elizabeth, eldest son John, and baby Alfred.

1873 John Heine is apprenticed on 14th February to Willicocks & Son, Metallurgists and Founders of Buckfastleigh, for a term of 5 years at a rate of 2/-(two shillings) per week, rising at the rate of 1/- per week per annum reaching 6/- per week in his 5th year.

1875 Reproduction of actual John Heine Apprenticeship Indenture, in the Company’s possession.

1878 Apprenticeship completed, John Heine went to work for Dial Engineering Works at Buckfastleigh where he remained until emigrating to Australia.

The photograph, above, taken in recent years, shows part of the Buckfastleigh premises of the original Dial Engineering Works.

1886 Recognising an opportunity existed in Sydney for an engineering business to serve the then commercial and rising industrial ventures, John Heine set up his shop in what was then the Sydney suburb of Redfern. Its location was Redfern Street and he named it Dial Engineering Works, after, and in tribute to, his first employer.

AT THE outset the work undertaken was widely varied, and necessarily so, to maintain that is known today as ‘cash flow’ and to expand the business.

1890 By this time there appeared to be a definite trend to specialisation in the areas of design and manufacture of Can-making Machinery and Sheet Metal Working Machinery.

1900 A few years prior marks the move from Redfern Street to George Street, Redfern. Unfortunately, no photographs of the Redfern Street factory buildings or plant have been found. It is interesting to note the name transition from Dial Engineering around, the latter name being eventually dropped to make way for the name known today- John Heine & Son. The small boy in the centre of the row in the picture is Alfred Heine, aged 9.

Some Early Scenes Taken At

Opposite page

Top left- Die Shop. Young man in foreground is Alfred Heine.

Top right- Part of Machine Shop

Bottom left- Turning Shop

Bottom right- Pattern Shop

The Foundry was established in 1908 close by the Works and the photograph just manages to show, at the extreme left, part of a row of a Redfern terrace house typical of that era. This was John Heine’s home and was located in the same street as the Works.

Almost Dickensian in character, these factory exteriors and interiors are typical of turn of the century industry with its clutter of shafting, pulleys and belts.

The George Street, Redfern, Works

JOHN HEINE as a name came to be looked upon as a synonym for presses, particularly the OBI model (or Open Back Inclinable) which, in its field, was as well known and as ubiquitous as the famous Model ‘T’ was in its day, and was to be found in engineering and manufacturing shops throughout the land.

Early John Heine Presses

1895 The first John Heine OBI press, which is now on display at the Company’s Works. The illustration here is reproduced from the original woodcut. The basic design is still very much in evidence in today’s OBI presses.

TUB PRESS of the same era. Mr Heine inspects the final product.

1891 Awarded the Silver Medal (Highest award) of the Royal Agricultural Society of N.S. W. for Sheet Metal Working Machinery.

1890 As far back as this John Heine saw a market existed for locally manufactured can-making machines for the food processing industry, an area of activity that eventually was to embrace a whole range of automatic machines and processing equipment for meat packing, jams, canned fruit, condensed milk etc. During the Great War the George Street, Redfern plant and, latterly, the Leichhardt plant, made the machines that supplied the Australian troops with the majority of their canned foods- as also in World War II.

Canmaking, Yesterday and Today

CIRCA 1920 An interested group of food canners watch a demonstration of the latest John Heine can-making machine at Leichhardt Works.

Mr. Heine in white coat. In the group, Sir Henry Jones (IXL Jams) and Mr J Gadsden (Gadsden Ply Ltd).

1892 Awarded the Silver Medal (Highest Award) of the Royal Agricultural Society of N.S.W. for Can- making Machinery.

The 1980’s Model 600G can body forming and soldering machine. Rated output: 500 cans/minute.

1916/17 Well before this it was all too obvious the Redfern factory was too cramped and outdated. Plans were made for a new factory on a large enough site that would accommodate future expansion. The site selected was a 9-acre dairy farm at Leichhardt, an area which, in later years, was to become a highly developed industrial and residential suburb of Sydney.

Up to this time the George Street works had been carrying a work load for which it was never designed, supplying presses, engineering material and can-making machinery to meet the requirements of the Australian Armed Forces in the Great War of 1914-18. The Leichhardt factory opened in 1917.

1918 This was a time of great change; the range of models and variety of machines were being greatly increased resulting from the installation of new shop floor equipment and the introduction of mass production manufacturing procedures.

Throughout the 1920’s the factory was operating on a mass production basis. All drawings were indexed. Toolroom, gauging and inspection procedures were set up providing for the serial numbering of machines and a standardised production output of interchangeable components and spares.

We Move to Leichhardt

1930-1939 By undertaking a policy of making “Everything and Anything” during the Depression years, the plant was in good shape from the standpoint of design ability and manufacturing expression to handle wartime assignments of the Common-wealth Government.

1939 Even before the actual commencement of hostilities, the Company was engaged in the production of a number of special purpose machines for the manufacture of 303 small arms ammunition. By the end of the was some 800 of these were delivered.

Opposite page-

below TIN HATS, both military and civilian A.R.P. versions were produced on John Heine designed 100ton Double Action Drawing presses, numbers of which were supplied to the Commonwealth and to other contractors.

Inside Leichhardt-

OTHER Special Purpose machines included a 24’’ stroke straight-sided press for the production of 25-pounder cartridge cases. Some fifty of these were made, some by other firms working to the Company’s drawings.

World War II

IN WORLD WAR II the enormous demand for canned foods for Australian and U.S. military personnel operating in the South Pacific, called for the urgent design and manufacture of special high-speed can making lines. Despite other scheduled commitments, the Company supplied food processors with twelve such can lines having a total capability of up to 4,500 cans per minute, 24 hours a day.

ADDITIONALLY, the Factory was called upon to supply a range of basic metal working machines to equip the Naval, Army and Air Force workshops of Australian, U.S., Dutch and British forces operating in the region, as well as to the government of New Zealand.

The 50’s & 60’s was a period bourgeoning activity industry and manufacturing was on the move with new products and new designs and was replacing worn out wartime plant with new equipment for higher productivity, lower cost output.

These few pictures of the shop floor taken then reflect this situation.

This was a time of up-dating design in both departments- Presses and sheet Metal Machinery and Can making machinery.

The Australian automobile industry, which was them in full flight, required a significantly large number of presses for production of such items as locks, window winding mechanisms and like small componnets. Telecommunications and electronics comprised another field, this time for extremely rigid, high quality presses capable of sustained percision production.

In can making, the greatly increased demand for canned foods necessitated the design of a further range of complete high speed automatic lines many of which were exported to South East Asian countries.

All of these machines were John Heign designed, but later an arrangement was made with the U.S. firm of Baldwin- Lima Hamilton for the manufacture of three of their standard can making machines, this being the only exception to John Heine design policy.

– In the 50’s and 60’s

1967 BANKSTOWN FOUNDRY- One of the most modern in the Southern Hemisphere-established for the production of high quality,close controlled, ferrous castings principally NiHard, NiResist and other alloy irons along with S.G. irons grey iron and carbon steel castings. Casting capacity up to 12 tonnes.

Metallurgical quality is achieved through controlled melting by induction electric furnance, computerised spectrographic analysis of the charge and a well equipped metallurgical labroratory with all procedures under the supervision of a professional metallurgist.

Service and Maintenance | Spare Parts | Used Machinery Sales | Contract Machining

Machine Service

This Dept operates broadly in the areas- programmed machine maintenance under contract; urgent machine breakdown repairs; reconditioning and rebuilding.

Spare Parts

A large range of spares is carried at the NSW Works and at the Victoria Branch.

Used Machinery Sales

Reconditioning work is performed on second hand equipment to maintain John Heins standards before releasing for sale. Good stocks of used equipment are always on hand.

Contract Machining

The Company’s Machine Shop, equipped with heavy duty vertical and horizontal borers, planers and NC machines is available for medium to large contract machining. Consult Works for details.

Why John Heine?

Customer Service

On time delivery performance of greater than 95% and dedicated customer service team ensuring communication on your order and customer satisfaction

Superior Quality Castings

John Heine & Son is a ISO 90001 quality endorsed foundry & machine shop providing world class white iron castings & components

Exceptional Safety

Everyone at John Heine is committed to making the workplace a zero harm environment