A Family Legacy

3 Generations of Innovation

Prodigy Instruments started in 2017, but its origins go back to 1930 during The Great Depression, when a young lad from Terranora NSW, designed, built and sold his first Non-Automatic Sheep Drencher. His name was Norman James Phillips, and his company grew to become NJPhillips (NJP).

1930 - 1950's

You would think a global recession and world war would be a
terrible time to start a business, but in fact, it was the perfect time. Originally, business commenced manufacturing Grease Guns and Lifting Jacks, but following the outbreak of World War II NJP was devoted entirely to munitions work.

Amongst the munitions manufactured were, spare parts for the
Lewis Gun, components for the De Havilland Tiger, and tooling design and manufacture for the Austen Sub-Machine Gun.

As fate would have it, Norman was asked to design and build
a Sheep Drencher for Dangar, Gedye and Malloch Ltd, a farm supplies company. And so began a new era for NJP, manufacturing applicators for the Animal Health industry.

1960 -1980's

We all recognise the brand Sunbeam for being leaders in
small kitchen appliances, but did you know that NJP manufactured a range of instruments for them including a sheep drencher? 

Instruments for the agricultural industry such as a Poisoning Axe, expanded the product range. 

To further reinforce NJP as the dominant Australian manufacturer in the instrument market, the business of C.Victor Roberts was acquired by NJP. 

1981 celebrated 50 years in business, growing from the original 3 employees to more than 170 people, with products being exported to over 35 different countries.

1990 - 2010's

The early 90’s proved a hard time for business, and NJP was
no different. The world-wide recession, coupled with high interest rates at 20%, resulted in the company facing its worst financial crisis since the 1940’s. Downsizing took place and staff levels dropped from 210 to 65. 

Persistence and innovation paid off with the introduction of applicators for the Food Service Industry with KFC and Pizza Hut becoming customers. 

Family matters prompted the sale of the company from the Phillips family to Forlong and Massey (ISL, NZ) in 2006. By 2015, the company changed hands again to a Fund Management Company in the USA. By November 2015, Matthew Phillips, the last family member working in the company, found his position as General Manger untenable and left to continue the Phillips Instruments legacy anew with Prodigy Instruments.

2017 - 2024

In February 2017 Matthew Phillips, Rena Phillips and Shane Koopman launched Prodigy Instruments, with AIRR (Australian Independent Rural Retailers) coming onboard as their first distributor. 

Being the ‘new kid on the block’ Prodigy was thrilled to be selected by the Australian Government as their designated supplier of equipment to handle an outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD).

During the tough COVID-19 years, Prodigy maintained its manufacturing schedule and ensured lead times remained on track, by introducing tooling and assembly aids. 

During the pandemic, Matthew’s father, Norman John Phillips (John), passed away in July of 2020 after a long battle with Lewy body dementia. This sadly marked the end of era. In the rare moments that John was lucid, he shared how proud he was of his son Matthew, for continuing the family legacy with Prodigy Instruments. 

Prodigy’s manufacturing facility gained ISO9001 Certification in 2022, supporting their dedication to maintaining a high level of manufacturing excellence, resulting in the highest quality products available worldwide.

As of 2024, Prodigy has eight distributors around the world, servicing hundreds of customers in Animal Health, Forestry/Horticulture, Automotive, Marine Conservation and Bionetwork, and Food sectors.

Prodigy continues to grow worldwide with an emphasis on Quality and Customer Service.
We invite you to browse our website to view our latest products and technologies.

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