The International Steam Pages


A guide to the crusher/mill engines in Java's sugar mills

Click here for an introduction to Java's sugar mills and their stationary steam engines

The oldest identifiable milling engines in Java are found at Gondang Baru. The early engines are characterised by having slide valves which operate in parallel to the main cylinder most usually with Stephenson valve gear. They are designed to be reversible (very necessary if the mill gets choked with cane!), this means two eccentrics or three if the steam expansion (cut-off) is to be controlled.

This early British engine is at Wonolangan mill, note the eccentrics driving the valve gear, like many engines in Java it appears to have inlet and outlet valves operated separately. It came from Thomas Piggott and Company, Engineers, Atlas Works, Birmingham.

Somewhat similar is this early engine from Halle in Germany at Rejosari:

Completely different is this Werkspoor engine (910/1908) at Krembung which has two pistons driving a single flywheel:

Such engines are much less efficient than those using 'drop' valves which appeared from around 1916 and became the standard design. They are readily identified by the presence of the two inlet valves over the main cylinder (the outlet valves are underneath). The valves are driven by eccentrics off a shaft coupled to the main drive. Here is another Halle engine at Rejosari:

Other manufacturers adopting this system included Werkspoor. This is one of three 1950 engines at Sudhono.

and Fijenoord (Rotterdam) as seen in this engine at Wringinanom:

Most importantly, Stork, who became the major supplier of engines, used this system as at Pangka:

Werkspoor also introduced a rare hydraulic system to operate valves on high speed (125 rpm) engines. Examples exist at Tulangan, there is a plate of such an engine at Tersana Baru but it appears to have been rebuilt conventionally:

The final important development was to have a single engine driving a pair of crusher/mill engines and examples are found maonly from Stork and Werkspoor. Among these is this large engine at Kanigoro by Mirlees Watson of Glasgow, UK. It has since been replaced by a more common Stork drop valve engine (similar to that shown below).. 

This is one of two Stork engines at Sumberharjo, these must (1912) be the oldest such engines in Java - it has a form of piston valves:

While this Stork engine (2736/1923) at Sindanglaut has 'drop' valves:

This is one of two 375HP Werkspoor engines at Purwodadi:

The most powerful engines I have found in the sugar mills are a pair of 450HP Werkspoor engines at Panji:


Rob and Yuehong  Dickinson

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