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Technology in Australia 1788-1988Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
Table of Contents

Chapter 12

I The First Half Century - The Initial Struggle

II The Second Fifty Years - The Start Of Expansion

III The Third Fifty Years - Federation And The First World War

IV The Fourth Period - Second World War To The Present
i General Conditions
ii Iron and Steel Production
iii Aluminium Technology
iv Innovative Copper Refining Process
v The EDIM-4WD Load-Haul-Dump Vehicle
vi Copper Rod Production
vii Copper Wire and Cables
viii The Diecasting Industry
ix Automotive Components
x Whitegoods or Consumer Durables
xi Hardware
xii Some Recent New Industries
xiii The National Measurement System
xiv Manufacturing Industry in this Decade
xv Acknowledgements



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Whitegoods or Consumer Durables

Just as there has been considerable rationalization in the motor tyre industries, so rationalization has taken place also in the whitegood or consumer durable industries so that in one generation the number of producers has been reduced from 40 to 5 as shown in Table 2.

Table 2

Table 2 Number of Australian whitegoods producers

Source: Cottrell, P.J.W. The James N. Kirby Paper 1986

Email Limited is the largest company in Australia associated with the whitegoods industry, with major appliance brands including Westinghouse, Kelvinator, Frigidaire, Simpson and Malleys. The operations include the manufacture, distribution and service of a range of domestic and commercial refrigerators, freezers, electric ranges, gas stoves, microwave ovens, dishwashers, room and air conditioners, washing machines and clothes dryers. In the main, innovation has been mainly in design to meet customer needs and in improved production technology to increase productivity. Thus in 1985, $1.5 million was invested at L. D. Mee, Australia's only porcelain enamel bath manufacturer, in quick change tooling and a highly efficient gas fuelled enamelling oven. An excellent example of unique design has been the Westinghouse Converta-Bin refrigeration that provides maximum flexibility in food storage combined with the ability to be used as a picnic bin, direct from the refrigerator, for outside use. Frigidaire produced an innovative multi-adjustable door shelving for refrigerators.

A particular innovation of the Australian whitegoods industry has been the greater use of pre-painted steel sheets for various outer panels of units, together with sophisticated production lines to handle these pre-finished sheets. One of the most advanced was that developed by Simpsons Holdings Ltd. in conjunction with BHP Coated Products Division to produce the renowned Tucker Box freezer which gained a design award.

Email Industrial Group has manufactured, electricity, gas and water meters for many years and there will be few Australian homes without one of their meters installed. A new low pressure gas regulator was recently introduced while the Commercial Equipment Division released a new combination refrigeration and air conditioning unit plus a self-contained produce merchandiser for the convenience stores industry.

Organisations in Australian Science at Work - B.H.P. Steel International. Coated Products Division; Email Ltd; L. D. Mee; Simpsons Holdings Ltd

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© 1988 Print Edition pages 907 - 908, Online Edition 2000
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher