Roller Flour Milling Revolution continues!
It was a desire for knowledge and the ambition to create a global company based on the potential of technology that drove Gustav Henry Simon to guide 'Roller Milling Revolution', a mechanization of the British flour milling system. Not only did this form the foundation of his own successful business, but it also transformed the 'slow, laborious and costly' batch pattern previously used, into one of the most 'highly mechanized industries in the world'.
As the timeline below shows, we have been committed to bringing innovative and intelligent milling solutions to the industry and grow our business to lead the industry ever since.
Gustav Heinrich Victor Amandus Simon (known as Henry Simon) came to Britain in 1860.
He had set himself up as a consulting engineer and, worked thru the industry for a better and efficient ways of milling and just over ten years later, he became the founder and the thought leader of the gradual roller milling process.
The beginnings of Henry Simon Ltd. can be dated to the 1878 installations for the McDougall Brothers in Manchester. This installation was the first ‘complete roller mill facility integrating the gradual reduction system’, as opposed to just installing rollers in place of stones (Acklin).
This was the beginning of the firm Henry Simon Ltd. which would become one of the leading suppliers of roller machinery throughout the world.
The latter installations were made possible through a partnership between Henry Simon and Gustav Daverio. Daverio’s machinery was employed ‘almost exclusively’ by Simon during his early years and was installed into the mills Simon designed, an arrangement that benefitted both men (Simon, 1882, p.203).
The decade following this installation for the McDougall Brothers saw Henry Simon rely more on his own designs and the ‘Daverio’ System was phased out as the Simon System replaced it.
Simon advertised his own two-roller mill, three-roller mill and four-roller mill, which were then installed into mills throughout Britain. Since, Simon lacking the facilities, he sought out a credible partner to realize his designs.
A partnership has been formed with Adolf Bühler in Uzwil, Switzerland, for the production of the machinery following Simon’s designs. This partnership with Bühler helped Simon establish a business overseas, particularly on mainland Europe and overseas.
Simon, Bühler & Baumann was established when a new plant was opened in Frankfurt. This firm was very successful and was ‘one of the three or four leading milling engineering firms in Germany until its confiscation during the first World War’ (Simon, 1953, p. 12). By the time, Simon had already installed over 400 mills worldwide.
James Radford who had been working as an agent for Simon machinery and was responsible for many installations established a new branch in Sydney in order to fulfil demand: Henry Simon (Australia) Ltd. has been formed.
By the end of the 19th century, Henry Simon Ltd. was flourishing, then later became a private company: Henry Simon Ltd.
Their success culminated in the building of W. Vernon & Son’s two 30 sacks per hour plants at Birkenhead in 1899.
The start of the new century came with a new challenge to the company as no founder to lead them as Henry Simon died in July 1899.
Leadership of the company then passed to Joseph Ingleby, Simon’s ‘chief help’ who became chairman, and George Huxley, the head of the drawing office who became managing director (Jones, p.182).
Its first factory was opened at the Eagle Iron Works, Stalybridge, but the arrangement with the newly formed Bühler Bros. still existed and they still manufactured Simon machinery.
Henry Simon Ltd. was ‘unprecedently busy’ with twenty complete roller plants in the course of erection, along with other alterations and improvements (Jones, p.233-4).
Four milling appliances have been launched in Royal Agricultural Show. Moreover, issued first ever catalogue on 'Modern Flour Mill Machinery' including, various types of elevators, silos and grain-handling plant.
Henry Simon acquired of the milling engineering business and factory of Briddon and Fowler in Bredbury, Cheshire.
These factories, and the office in Mount Street, Manchester, were brought together on site at Cheadle Heath, Cheshire. They have been recently built for the purpose of producing flour and rice-milling machinery, conveying and elevating appliances.
The entirety of the staff had moved to the new site. On this site the ‘whole of the specialised products of...Henry Simon Ltd., are manufactured’ (Henry Simon 1935 Review). These specialised products now included provender milling equipment as well. Given that many flour millers were also provender millers, Henry Simon Ltd. decided to supply this machinery as well and were the only firm capable of ‘designing, equipping and starting up a complete provender plant’ (Simon, 1953, p.20).
The company acquired Turbine Gears.
Henry Simon Ltd. expanded continuously for over a century, dedicating a high percentage of its production to the export of cereal milling machinery. Consequently its plant and equipment can be found in most countries.
The company enjoyed success during the late 1940s and early 1950s. The rest of the 20th century was marked by the number of mergers and acquisitions that took place involving Henry Simon Ltd.
The 2 parent companies of Simon Engineering Group, namely Henry Simon (Holdings) Ltd. and Simon-Carves Ltd., merged to form Simon Engineering Ltd.
The two great British companies in cereal milling industry, Henry Simon Ltd. and Thomas Robinson and Son Ltd. merged in October 1988 to become Robinson Milling Systems Ltd.
The business was acquired by the Satake Corporation, to form Satake Robinson UK Ltd., later known as Satake UK Ltd.
The UK Division was formed and the business was moved, together with ESM (UK), to newly acquired premises in Bredbury. The move, coincidentally, brought the British company back to where it manufactured flour milling machinery previously.
The strategic partnership between Satake Corporation (Japan) and Alapala Machine Industry & Trade Inc. (Turkey) for Henry Simon brand formed. With this partnership; the mutual global business in the grain milling industry is combined, R&D studies are strengthened, manufacturing facilities are globalized and sales and aftersales operations are expanded worldwide. Thus, Henry Simon the legend of milling technologies is back.