Stories of Innovation - Appliance Systems
Reflecting a period of economic boom after the Second World War SCOTT® Technology progressed from toolmaker and producer of automotive components to "leading edge" machine manufacturers during the post Second World War period.
Graham Batts recalls busy productive days and the rapid growth of the company.
In 1940 SCOTT were toolmakers and one of two government-sponsored workshops under a national defence requirement to undertake precision engineering for munitions manufacturing. Although that period of munitions production was short-lived, it assisted the company in establishing itself as a leading-edge engineering business. The experience also equipped the SCOTT team with a highly adaptive approach. This in combination with enhanced precision production techniques and the company's ability to manufacture blanking, forming and folding tools set SCOTT apart. By the end of this period the team had built a diverse platform of technical innovation and engineering excellence which marked the company's endeavour going forward.
Post-war there was a rapidly increasing demand for domestic appliances which reflected the changing nature of the New Zealand Society. The SCOTT team recognised that it could easily adapt its skills, knowledge and resources to meet the demands of this rapidly emerging market sector. The company moved into white goods manufacturing in competition with Fisher and Paykel and established SCOTT Washing Machines as a top domestic brand.
Although SCOTT subsequently chose not to stay in the washing machine production marketplace, its hands-on experience created a thorough understanding of the needs of white goods manufacturers. The company realised this knowledge combined with superior precision engineering ability, innovative thinking and adaptive production facilities could be used to produce high quality tools and manufacturing lines for consumer goods industries. Ultimately, SCOTT discovered its core competency lay in innovatory design and build of 'machinery which made machines'.
Serendipitously the company was then helped by the Muldoon government of the 1970's which restricted import licences for overseas produced machinery, thereby forcing industries like food and white goods manufacturers to search for New Zealand solutions. At this time, Dunedin businesses Cadbury Fry Hudson and Fisher and Paykel came to SCOTT, seeking new production line machinery. The business flourished, as it continued to penetrate the production line manufacturing sector. The company became so successful that several years later it built a new factory in Dunedin complete with state-of-the-art equipment to cope with the increased demand for its products throughout New Zealand and Australia, in what was a golden era for SCOTT.
This period was characterised by Graeme Marsh's suggestion that we focus wholly on production line manufacturing. The company had become the production line builders to Australasia, and eventually the rest of the world. The SCOTT name stood for innovation in the global appliance-line manufacturing industry.