LHL ENGINEERING was established 50 years ago in February 1969 and has become a great brand boasting international quality ratings by working with ISO standards. The company initially fulfilled a niche market as a support for the German imported LHL axel used in the logistics industry. Since then the company has diversified into a range of steel fabrication.
LHL Engineering is in Richmond Avenue, New Germany. The factory offers more than 3000m² of production area and is ideally situated near all major road links to the various regions of South Africa. The company specialises in the fabrication of stainless steel tanks, pressure vessels, heat exchangers, reactors and piping. Major customers are in the sugar, chemical, pharmaceutical, petro-chemical, wood and paper, water and sanitation, transport, food and allied industries.
The management team changed in 2015. Since then LHL Engineering has grown due to the new ideas that were introduced, explained Marshall Pillay, works director. Nelson Govender, chairman of LHL Engineering says, “In terms of the vision of the company, we want to be market leaders and as a result, we divert our energies towards getting to that goal.”
Over the years LHL Engineering has built up a solid reputation. The management team has more than 100 years combined experience in the industry and an open door, participative management style is practiced. LHL’s strategy is to remain at a size that can be managed by a small team of highly focussed, energised individuals offering ‘personalised service’. “We are a diverse team with complementary attributes, and we drive those attributes to make the business a success. Our goal is to establish and satisfy the needs of our stakeholders to mutual benefit,” says Nelson.
“Nelson, as the head of the company is the driver,” Silken Govender. “The energy that he gives off filters down to the rest of us and that keeps us on our toes, perform better and deliver as our clients require.” “I don’t work for somebody; I work for a family. You want to make things happen, if you work as a family it’s business, everything is based on your performance,” says Silkin.
A DEDICATED TEAM
Engineering’s products are manufactured by dedicated teams who specialise in structural steel fabrication. “In choosing employees, we firstly look at their attitude. want anyone coming in to be hardworking and diligent to able to understand our ‘service excellence’ motto. and Consider it done – is what we live to achieve,” Nelson. Secondly, LHL looks at qualifications and as the company is growing, a lot of different skillsets, from engineers artisans, are coming into the business.
As a LEVEL 1 BBBEE Contributor, the company policy is to afford opportunities to employees who exhibit the commitment and skills with reference to addressing past inequalities. The company has ongoing in-house and formal training. “When you have a good team working together you can get the business to where you want it to go. Determination and commitment work hand in hand,” says Janice Govender, finance director. “And our vision is that we want to be the
go-to engineering team.”
Most of LHL Engineering’s products are manufactured for the South African market. The international market is supplied on a project basis. Customers include: Bayer, BASF, Buckman Laboratories, Coca Cola, Dow Corning, Tisand, Rohm and Haas, Sara Lee, Unilever, Degussa, Cray Valley Products, Hoechst, Illovo Sugar and Scott Bader. LHL Engineering has successfully exported pressure vessels and other equipment including complete plants to Australia, the Far East, Zambia, Angola, Tanzania, Mauritius, Seychelles, the Comores Islands, Hong Kong and United Arab Emirates.
LHL Engineering prides itself on the ease of contact customers have with marketing or technical staff. “We have to know the customer intimately in order to understand their requirements and the communication must be direct. We find that the customer wants that interaction – they want to come in and elaborate on their requirements. We are hands on, we get involved with the clients so that we can answer queries, solve problems and meet deadlines as requested,” says Silken.
The key customer management system enables individual solutions which keeps customers happy. “The trust relationship that is created helps LHL Engineering
prepare for the future because the customer is telling you what their future plans are.”
LHL Engineering is known for its safety, service and quality which is reflected in its 50 years of operation. The changes that LHL Engineering has made since 2015 have had an impact. “In our first year we got in an order that was more than double LHL’s previous annual turnover, which we completed within six months,” says Nelson. LHL’s biggest achievements to date have been building a 22m Column for a Durban based company and ton reactor for a company in Piet Retief. LHL historically focussed only on workshop-based fabrication, however site-based maintenance installations are now undertaken. “We have adapted our customers’ requiring turnkey project solutions.”
LHL Engineering has a strong desire for success prides itself on continual improvement especially as engineering environment constantly changes. In the future the company is looking at the impact of 4th Industrial Revolution. “One of the areas that we looking at is 3D printing and getting into the market early as we can,” says Nelson. “Our challenge this is to increase our level of automation as currently we quite a manual company.”