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About Thurne

Thurne has an international reputation for high quality, precision engineered industrial slicing systems for bacon, cooked meats and cheese applications, and builds on 50 years of experience in the industry.

Since its formation in 1967, the company has been a leader in industrial high speed slicing equipment, developing a succession of ‘industry first’ slicers pioneering vision, scanning and computer technologies that benefit small family firms and large multi-site corporations alike.

All assembly is undertaken by a skilled team of mechanical end electrical engineers at our Norwich, UK, headquarters, with a dedicated building for in-house production of components. Machining capability ranges from multi-axis CNC machining and milling to cutting sheet metal as well as welding.

Part of The Middleby Corporation since 2015, Thurne’s commitment to innovation is stronger than ever, with a renewed focus on bringing great savings and gains in production efficiency to processors around the globe.

Partners, Memberships & Affiliations

Our History

1967

Thurne founded

Thurne is founded as a general engineering company, providing innovative solutions across industries including carrot toppers and book binding and sawing equipment.

1968

Richard Payne takes control

Entrepreneur Richard Payne takes control of Thurne. Payne started his engineering career as a student apprentice at DeHavilland working on aeroplane engines. Moving into food engineering with Thurne, he invented a line of industry-standard resealable food bag labellers, as well as many firsts in slicing technology.

1970

Expansion into High Speed Slicing

Thurne moves into high speed slicing, modifying existing horizontal Anco slicers for better performance. Yield improving modifications include infinitely adjustable slice thickness, variable fine speed control from 50-1200rpm, jump conveyor technology with digital slice count to create shingled packs

Acquisition of Edward Hines

Thurne acquires Edward Hines, a local business with more than 100 years experience in fabrication, to expand their manufacturing capabilities.

1972

New Factory

A modern 20,000 sq ft factory is built, including offices, machine shops, assembly and development.

1975

First UK Bacon Slicing Lines

Thurne develops the first bacon slicing lines dedicated to back bacon production for the UK market.

1976

Acquisition of Estuary Engineering

Thurne acquires Estuary Engineering, a King’s Lynn based sheet metal company, to expand their manufacturing capabilities.

1979

Foundation of Thurne Corp, USA

Thurne establishes U.S. operations in Bridgeview, Illinois.

First Bag Sealers

Thurne develops market leading bag sealing technology which is still the basis for the industry standard today

1984

First Automatic Lines for Cooked Meats

Thurne develops fully automatic cooked meat slicing lines that will automatically load sliced product groups into vacuum packs, delivering unprecedented speeds of up to 120 packs per minute.

1986

Foundation of Thurne GmbH, Germany

Thurne establishes operations in Kempten, Germany, to focus on developing and building cooked meat slicing systems for the European market, including the MS range of slicers.

1988

First Inclined Bed Bacon Slicer

Thurne launches the first inclined bed slicer for bacon (first generation of the Thurne IBS range), facilitating better formation of stacked and shingled product groups.

Queen’s Award for Technological Achievement

For the development of the Thurne Polyslicer – a versatile high speed industrial food slicer for fast automated process lines. The slicer can operate at speeds of 800 slices per minute – up to twice that of earlier models. It incorporates microprocessor control and programme features that give the correct number of slices and slice pack weight by variation of slice thickness in increments of 0.01mm (10 microns); many times better than earlier models. 67% of the production is exported.“ London Gazette, 21 April 1988

1989

First Predictive Bacon Slicer

Thurne introduces the first Predictive Bacon Slicer. By measuring the weight and the length of each piece entering the slicer, a cutting profile is set for that piece whereby the slice thickness for each group is determined before slicing commenced. Higher level of on-weights straight from the slicer. Reduced handling and make-weight labour.

1992

Polyslicer Plus

Thurne introduces the Polyslicer Plus, a cooked meat slicer named for its advantages in performance, hygiene, reliability and options.

First Vision Slicer

Thurne launches the first slicer employing vision technology. The new vision system measures the area of the product at the blade along with the areas of the fat and the lean meat. As these are different densities the target slice thickness can be calculated more accurately and higher on-weights achieved.

1993

Market Leading Bag Sealer

Launch of the Mk5 bag sealer at the Bake’93 show. Thurne achieves 98% market share in the bakery industry.

1995

Compact, Low Cost Meat Slicer

Thurne adds the Polyslicer Junior to their range of cooked meat slicers (later renamed Polyslicer 1000), featuring an orbital blade for speeds up to 600 rpm, hygienic stainless steel construction. Aimed at small processors and designed to fit through a standard door opening.

2000

Acquisition by Pelcombe Group

Following acquisition by the Pelcombe Group in 1999, Thurne Engineering is merged with AEW Engineering, a Norwich based manufacturer of bandsaws and portion control slicers. The new AEW-Thurne is based at Pinetrees Road, Norwich, UK and Lake Zurich, Illinois, USA.

2001

AMI Supplier of the Year Award

AEW-Thurne, Inc. CEO Michael Strauss is honored with AMI Supplier Of The Year Award. “Michael Strauss has a reputation for listening to his customers and taking their comments, suggestions and criticisms seriously in an effort to produce the best possible equipment,“ said AMI Chairman W. Dan Wright, president and CEO of Wright Brand Foods, Ltd. in Vernon, TX. “Michael and his company represent what suppliers and processors can achieve by working together.“

2003

Merger with Delford-Sortaweigh

AEW-Thurne and Pelcombe Group sister company Delford Sortaweigh, a Harwich-based weighing, grading and labelling equipment supplier, join forces as AEW Delford Systems.

2004

First Portion Loading Robot

Introduction of the first portion loading robot in a high speed slicing and packing line for meat, the IPL Robot.

Bag Sealing Business Sold

The bag sealing business is sold to Select Bag Sealers.

2006

Acquisition by Marel

Icelandic food processing equipment supplier Marel acquires AEW Delford Systems.

2007

New Generation Vision System

Polyslicer 3000 Vision and IBS 3000 Vision are released, incorporating a new, advanced vision system that precisely sizes and grades fat/lean. The system delivers a high percentage of on-weight packs, increased cutting accuracy and yield.

2010

New Polyslicer 1000

Release of the next generation of the Polyslicer 1000, a modular slicer offering high versatility with a choice of orbital or involute heads, as well as retrofitable interleaver, stacker and variety conveyor outfeed options.

Scanning Technology

Introduction of pre-scanning technology for Bacon and Fresh Meat Slicing, as used on the IBS 3000 Profile. Increased on-weight percentages. Reduced giveaway in fixed weight retail packs.

Precooked Bacon Slicing

The four lane, four blade IBS 4600 Vision Bacon Slicer revolutionises precooked bacon production, delivering double digit percentage increases in raw slices per pound, high pack weight accuracy, low giveaway

2015

Acquisition by Middleby Corporation

Thurne is back! Food processing equipment group Middleby Corporation acquires Marel’s Slicing Division and reintroduces the Thurne brand. Thurne-Middleby Ltd is headquartered in Norwich, UK, with a second office in Chicago, IL, USA, and global representation by the Middleby Worldwide network.

Single Source Complete Slicing & Packing Lines

Thurne develops and releases its own process weigher, card dispenser and conveyor technology and integrates other Middleby Food Processing Division equipment to deliver complete slicing and packing lines as a single source supplier.

2016

IBS 1000 Bacon Lines

Thurne releases high performance, compact bacon lines suitable for retail and food service bacon slicing operations of any size. Better slice yield, quality and pack formation vs. traditional flatbed slicersProduces all common retail and food service pack formats. Predictive technology increases on-weights for retail packs. Off-weight reject via side shift conveyor improves ergonomics, operator safety, maintenance and hygiene. Ergonomic access for make-weight operators

2020

New Bacon Slicing Range

Thurne releases the Thurne one bacon and Thurne two bacon slicers.