This year sees HV Wooding Limited turn 50 years as we began trading in 1967 in a unit in Lyminge, Kent.
The business itself and the industries that we have worked in over 50 years has evolved enormously with Technology certainly leading the way into these sectors.
The business was founded on Tool design and Tool making as well as the Metal pressings. This is still the foundation of the business today with over 45 presses running here, now with a tonnage range from 5 tonnes to 200.
In 1970 the business developed into adding value to their customers and as such we started offering our customers plated pressings. This is something we also maintained through the years and recently made the investment to upgrade our Silver, Tin and Zinc lines to Fully automated ones.
The business soon outgrew our shop in Lyminge and we bought our first site on Range road, Hythe which is still our home today although we have expanded into other locations on the road over the years.
In 1981, we recruited our first full time Sales professional to broadcast our existence to a much wider audience. This resulted in long term contracts with MK Electric (now Honeywell), Merlin Gerin (Now Schneider Electric) and many others that still make up a large portion of the business today.
In 1983, we bought our first wire erosion machine the first auto wire feed machine in the UK. This was to bring all elements of Tool making in house but later became a stand-alone core service that we offer our customers today with 5 wire erosion machines in-house.
The business continued to progress forward winning more major contracts and gaining recognition for the quality systems that had been implemented as well as a state of the art manufacturing computer software that revolutionised the way work travelled through the business.
In January 2001, the business increased its diversity by buying an EHRT machine purely for the manufacturing of busbars. Primarily for the electrical switchgear industry and panel builders. The market now for busbars is so diverse and we are producing busbars for everything from Data centres for social media outlets to busbars for Electric vehicles.
As the busbar business continued to develop we needed to make further investment as the work diversified. This saw us in April 2006 invest in a Mazak vertical machining centre. We now have 3, 3 axis machining centres that again we offer to our customers as a standalone service.
By June 2011 it was evident that a huge industry sector for us was the Research industry and as the technologies were ground breaking the manufacturing methods had to be also. After winning a huge contract with CERN related to the Hadron collider experiment we needed bigger bed wire erosion machines and bought 2 Agie Charmilles machines boasting the biggest bed sizes available.
In 2012, it was clear to see that our growth in sectors and manufacturing services was going to continue to support the ever-changing markets and our customers and after a long application process we secured the largest regional loan that was awarded by the Regional Growth Fund programme of 1.1 million pounds. This loan gave us the opportunity to invest further in our plant, our facilities and people. We extended our facilities by almost double, bought new state of the art Seyi Presses, automated our plating lines and invested in Laser cutting.
Adding Laser cutting to the business become an essential purchase but one we had to bide our time on to make sure we bought the right one. As the main core of our business is Copper fabrication it was important that our new Laser could process Copper. In April 2016, we purchased the Trumpf Trulaser 3030 Fibre laser giving us the ability to cut up to 8mm thick Copper and 25mm thick steel. The laser cutting complimented our business perfectly as it sat between wire erosion and presswork in regards to offering low to medium volume production and suddenly meant that no shape was out of bounds. This increased our market offering to the electric vehicle industry but also expanded the lower to mid volume motor lamination opportunities.
As our business has developed over 50 years it has become our USP that we can support our customers from proto-type to manufacture and onwards with vast range of manufacturing services we have in-house. A further investment was made early this year as we invested in a 3D printing machine. This is used primarily for proto-types, jigs and fixtures as well as printing pressed parts to prove out the manufacturability of the part before a press tool is commissioned.
We celebrated our 50th year in business by launching a brand-new website that show cases our skill set as well as offering our customers reassurances in new projects by having case studies that are industry sector specific. We also held a celebration party for everyone who works at HVW as well as inviting their partners and children to join in the celebration of turning 50. The day was a huge success with bouncy castles, Face painting, Balloon modelling, Live Music and a BBQ and was a lovely way to say Thank you to everyone who works with HV Wooding for making it the success it is today.
We as a business will continue to grow with our customers and invest alongside them. To see our full history please visit our Timeline.