CBI Electric: Australia

Our History

CBI Electric:

Australia Founded in 1888 in the USA, the then known Heinemann Electric was one of the pioneering companies in the rapidly-growing business of installing industrial and residential wiring systems. As the Heinemann organisation matured, it gradually began in-house manufacture of fuse elements and switches, and by 1913 was solely engaged in manufacturing.

In 1935 Heinemann completed development of the industry’s first fully-magnetic circuit breaker, a practical device that has since found wide usage in precision circuit-protection applications. The initial design has been continuously refined over the years, and there are now countless models and configurations available. To this day, the hydraulic-magnetic breaker is the preferred means of circuit protection in the most critical and precise applications.

Heinemann Electric Pty Ltd trading as CBI-electric: Australia was established in Australia in 1959, CBI Electric have been an integral part of the electrical industry, and today the company is one of the largest Australian manufacturers and distributors of circuit breakers, electrical switchboards and electrical installation products.

Product ranges have been extended over the years and CBI Electric is able to supply products which meet a variety of customer requirements ranging from; load centres, distribution boards, main switchboards, motor control centres, and electrical installation & Cable Laying products under the Slegers brand. We also supply various ranges of miniature circuit breakers (MCB), residual current devices (RCD), moulded case circuit breakers (MCCB), and motor control equipment products.

CBI-electric: Australia's head office is based in Melbourne. The company has sales offices in Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Brisbane, and has distributors set up in Northern Territory and Tasmania.

In 2004 CBI-electric: Australia was acquired by South African Company CBI Electric, this acquisition has helped enhance CBI-electric: Australia’s profile and increase its optimum and sustainable benefits to its customers.

CBI Electric

The foundations of Circuit breaker Industries (CBI Electric) were established in 1949 as a joint venture with Heinemann Company in Trenton, New Jersey, USA. During 1986, a local company, Fuchs Electrical Industries, was acquired and merged into a new company called Circuit Breaker Industries Ltd (CBI Electric). CBI Electric is a wholly owned company of Reunert Limited.

CBI Electric is the only African manufacturer of circuit breakers and residual current devices and has achieved international recognition for its competence and continues to represent the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) on the technical committees of the International Electro technical Commission (IEC), thus being instrumental in the development of international electrical safety standards.

In 1957, CBI Electric invented the highly sensitive residual current device (RCD), which eventually resulted in South Africa being the first country in the world to make the use of RCD’s mandatory. The development of circuit breakers, from miniature to moulded case circuit breakers, utilizes hydraulic-magnetic technology and most of the circuit breakers CBI Electric manufactures employ the hydraulic-magnetic principle of operation. This technology boasts two distinct properties; one being the accurate tripping characteristics, the other is its independent ambient temperature variations.

A dedicated research team focuses on the effective use of the hydraulic-magnetic technology in circuit breakers. CBI Electric has a substantial design and development capacity with approximately 4% of the staff being employed in the R&D department. They include highly skilled professional engineers, technologists and technicians who have won many national design awards.

The head office and component manufacturing operations are based in Johannesburg. The Company has an assembly plant in Lesotho, and service branches in Cape Town, Durban, Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth.

CBI electric sales offices in Europe, the United States and Australia complement these operations.