Fifty years of Innovative Engineering at Thurne in Norwich

  • Norwich-based Thurne has been a leading manufacturer of industrial meat slicers for 50 years.
  • Following in the footsteps of Thurne’s 50-year tradition of innovation, three Thurne apprentices have been successful at the Great Yarmouth College Apprenticeship Awards this year.

This year, Norwich-based Thurne High Speed Slicing Systems celebrate their 50th anniversary, looking back at fifty years of innovative engineering for the food industry.

Founded as a general engineering company in 1967, the early years saw the company design and manufacture a diverse and intriguing range of products that spanned across industries, from industrial carrot toppers and egg peelers to book sawing and binding equipment for the printing industry.

Thurne has come a long way since then, focusing on slicing technology and releasing a series of industry leading innovations, from the first slicers to use vision, scanning and microprocessor technologies to automatic high speed slicing and packing lines.

Company President Peter Jongen explains:

“The ‘Thurne’ name pretty much held ‘Hoover status’ in slicing technology in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. The brand was renowned for pushing the boundaries and offering state-of-the-art equipment.”

A large percentage of the slicers built are exported around the globe.

Part of The Middleby Corporation's Food Processing Group since 2015, Thurne continues to work closely with customers and suppliers to develop slicers that challenge the status quo.

“There is always room for improvement”, knows Jongen, “Our dedication to continuous innovation has enabled us to flourish over the past fifty years, and we are looking to the future. We are investing strongly in developing talent in-house, working with local colleges offering apprenticeships to nurture the innovators of the future.”


Innovators of the Future

Five apprentices and trainees have joined Thurne over the last twelve months, working towards qualifications in electrical and mechanical engineering as well as CNC programming and operation. The apprentices attend classes at Great Yarmouth College and receive hands on training at Thurne’s Pinetrees Road factory, with experienced members of staff serving as mentors. 

The programme has been a great success.

“We’re proud that three of our apprentices have been winners in this year’s Great Yarmouth College apprenticeship awards.”

Thurne employs 72 engineering, assembly, service support and administration staff at their Pinetrees Road factory.

Find out more about Thurne's History of innovation at

Gold Patrons