100 years of JH Lavender & Co Ltd
2017 marked a key milestone in the history of JHL for two main reasons. Firstly, our centenary celebration and secondly our JLRQ award, which was presented to us on December 14th 2017…. view more about our award
The Life and Times of J.H.Lavender & Co Ltd is depicted in history boards which are on show in our main reception.
The Life & Times
JH Lavender & Co Ltd is a privately-owned manufacturing company supplying aluminium die castings to industry from its base in the West Midlands, England.
The company has local historical roots that can be traced back to 1917, originally trading as a sand cast foundry specialising in Aluminium, Gun Metal and Bronze.
John Herbert Lavender, the founder, commenced trading from premises in Stafford Street, Wednesbury under the initial name of Lavender & Whitehouse.
The Early Days
Key members of the Lavender team in the early days were Frank Cooksey and Malcolm Milner. Frank was a key member of the very early JH Lavender team and eventually became Works Director.
Alan Lavender was a nephew of JH and joined the company in the late 1940’s. He later became Production Director in 1968, a key role supporting the company following the untimely passing of Geoffrey Lavender. Alan officially retired in 1985.
As the 60’s became the 70’s, there was a distinct shift in focus from lower volume products to the higher volume markets and this is when high pressure production really started to take off at JHL.
The introduction of customers in the automotive, gas and electronics sectors proved to be the next stage of growth for JH Lavender. Investment in new technology followed which in turn opened up further new market opportunities for the company.
People, Products & Processes
The company entered a sustained growth period during the 1970’s and 1980’s in both gravity and pressure die cast products. Demand for pressure die castings soon began outstripping demand for gravity during this period and the portfolio of products started to change as can be seen below.
Investment in new machines and technology to support the pressure demand also led to a necessity to develop new skills and this was supported fully by a core team of Lavender personnel.
100 Years on
Investment in new die casting plant and robot automation has played a major role in the recent growth of JH Lavender. An investment of £6 million in plant & equipment since 2012 has enabled the company to develop a much wider range of products and provide many more technical solutions to a more diverse customer base.
A key element of the £6 million investment in recent years has been the commitment to the growth of CNC machining and assembly capabilities. In direct response to customer demand, JHL secured investment for multiple Fanuc Robodrill CNC machining cells in addition to numerous new Mazak horizontal lathes. Our flexible machining operations now offer our customers both vertical and horizontal machining capacity using a combination of 4th and 5th axis technology.