On Saturday, July 19, about 1,000 people gathered at a Western style barbecue in Gillette, Wyoming, to celebrate L&H Industrial’s 50th anniversary. Starting as a small oil field machine shop 50 years ago, L&H Welding and Machine has grown to become a global leader in the mining industry with shops and offices around the world. In addition to rebuilding some of the largest pieces of equipment on earth, L&H specializes in the design and manufacturing of aftermarket parts for both mining and mineral processing operations.
“L&H is all about family, not just our family, but the families of our employees and customers,” said Mike Wandler, president, L&H Industrial. “When my father [Leon Wandler] started L&H back in 1964, I’m sure he couldn’t imagine what the company would become 50 years later. He instilled a strong work ethic and put us on a path for success. He believed parts could be made better and they would perform better if we focused on their use and how they break, Today, L&H operates under the same principles-engineering and manufacturing the highest quality parts and providing world-class field services with a focus on safety.”
Betty Wandler, L&H Industrial’s matriarch, cuts the ribbon at the company’s 50th anniversary celebration. The company’s current owners can be seen in the background (wearing blue denim shirts, from left): Dustin Roush (third generation), Jason Percifield (third generation), Jeff Wandler (second generation), Jim Clikeman (CFO) and Mike Wandler (second generation). They say that Jeff finds the work, Mike does the work and Jim keeps score.
One of the keys to L&H’s success has been the commitment to develop a high-quality, precision, engineering, and manufacturing capability without abandoning the company’s core competency in repair and field service. In 2014, these diverse capabilities made L&H unique among its competitors. This hybrid strategy was based on the innovative concept of bringing CNC machining into a job shop, and applying the discipline and precision of CNC to individual, one-off jobs. The hybrid strategy allows L&H to provide a broad range of services to customers that neither regional job shops not OEMs could provide.
In addition to the shop and headquarters in Gillette, L&H has multiple facilities in the U.S., including Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona; Hermosa, South Dakota; and Tooele, Utah. The company has also operations in Australia, Canada, Chile, India, Mexico and South Africa.
“When our parents arrived in Gillette, it was a ranching and oil field community,” said Jeff Wandler, corporate vice president and director of sales and marketing, L&H Industrial. “There was more oil field work than you could imagine. As the oil business grew soft in the late 1970s, the great coal mines in the region sprung to life. It took a community like Gillette to build this company into what it is today. It’s the ingenuity of our employees that allows us to do all of the cool engineering and repair work that we do today.”
The company created a timeline and published a book to commemorate its anniversary, which is available at: www.lnh.net.