HISTORY OF THERMO RADIANT PTY - AUSTRALIA
In 1969, Baker Perkins Pty. Ltd purchased the business of its main competitor in Australia, Thermo Radiant Ovens Pty. for £470,000. Thermo Radiant employed 120 in Springvale, Victoria and manufactured bread-making equipment that was to be made available alongside Baker Perkins’ products.
Thermo Radiant had been started by Les Wilson, a bricklayer who built brick ovens, then small electrically heated ovens, followed by electrically heated tray ovens. His first oil-fired travelling tray oven was installed in 1951. This wide range of ovens at prices which customers could afford allowed him to obtain a large portion of the Australian oven business. He built final provers, some coupled to ovens to from automatic plants. A tray type bread cooler, together with a depanner, completed the automatic plants. Wilson also developed an automatic lidding device for tray ovens which proved very successful.
This acquisition brought a dramatic change in the fortunes of Baker Perkins Pty. resulting from the transfusion of people who, while lacking the experience of operating in a worldwide organisation, possessed the manufacturing and design skills which were derived from the experience of an independent existence. The partners in the new Baker Perkins Pty came together with little or no friction from old rivalries.
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