Hunter-based engineering firm, Kings Engineering, are celebrating a remarkable centenary in business.
Established in 1923, Kings Engineering has stood the test of time, marking a century of unwavering commitment to providing top-tier engineering services across mining, tunnelling, infrastructure, rail and manufacturing.
Kings Engineering has experienced enormous change along their 100-year journey; from the invention of ballpoint pens and spiral bound notebooks to computers and cordless tools; but they have remained steadfast in their purpose of providing general engineering and repairs to industry, just like they said in their first newspaper advertisement in 1923.
Kings Engineering Operations Manager Roger Ness-Wilson says Kings Engineering has a proud history of engineering excellence in the Hunter and this continues in 2023.
“This business was founded to support local industry and we have proudly grown to support industry across all Australia, and we hope soon internationally. Keeping machinery in productive use for our customers by overhauling, repairing or replacing key components is what we have been doing for 100 years,” Roger said proudly.
Kings was founded in 1923 and operated out of a small engineering workshop in Maitland. In the early days they completed all types of work on steam, gas and oil engines, coal pit machinery, farming implements and maritime specialist work.
In a world that did not have the luxuries of global supply chains and freight services, local engineering expertise and the ability to manufacture and repair parts was highly sought after. These attributes saw Kings contributing to WW2 efforts and they manufactured large gun barrels during the war.
The business had outgrown the Maitland CBD and around the turn of the century relocated its operations to much larger workshops in Rutherford.
By that time, Kings had become a critical supplier to the mining industry, but they also used their underground mining experience to develop expertise in tunnelling and infrastructure, along with rail and manufacturing. Kings has recently contributed to some of the state’s largest infrastructure projects through its expertise in repairing and overhauling roadheaders. These machines are used to create the huge tunnels that are the centrepiece of many large state infrastructure projects.
“Yes our tools and techniques have changed, but our approach has remained the same,” said Roger.
“We equip our business for a bright future by embracing change, investing in our people and quality equipment so we can maintain and build on the capabilities of our machining, overhaul and component workshops. With high demand for Australian based manufacturing, in the last 18 months alone, we have invested more than $2.5 million dollars in new equipment.
“Our workforce is now 75 people and counting at our Rutherford workshop, and we have one of the most sought after apprentice training programs in the Hunter region.
“As part of our centenary celebrations, we recently hosted a Family Day for all our staff and their families, providing a fantastic opportunity to unite and reflect on our remarkable journey over the past century.”
Brett Lewis, Bloomfield Group CEO, says over the years supporting the mining industry, including in its shift to open cut mining, a strong relationship was built between the founding families of Kings and The Bloomfield Group. This led to the purchase of Kings by The Bloomfield Group in 2006.
“As a proud and successful Australian mining and engineering group, Kings is an integral part of our business. We congratulate the Kings team on this amazing milestone and we look forward to supporting their success over the next 100 years.
“Today, Kings stands as a testament to its resilience and innovation in the engineering industry, with the centennial celebration serving as a wonderful opportunity to reflect on its rich history and be excited for the opportunities the future will bring.”