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Penn Elcom celebrates 50 year anniversary

The British production and entertainment industry engineering specialist has expanded over the decades and owns manufacturing facilities in the US and China

Penn Elcom has celebrated 50 years as a production and entertainment industry engineering specialist. From humble beginnings, it now has over 600 employees, and produces and supples an array of infrastructural elements fabricated in the UK, USA, Germany and China. Numerous bits of kit can be found everywhere from concert halls to conference centres, clubs to churches

It was founded in 1974 by Scotsman Roger Willems, (pictured centre, with glasses) in Penn, Buckinghamshire, England, when he purchased his first metal engineering plant. The embryonic Penn Fabrications – as it was then known – focussed on steel fabrication, anodising, and associated sub-contracting services.

Penn Elcom’s California team celebrates 50 years

“So many fantastic people have contributed to making Penn Elcom what it is today,” said company founder Willems. “Their collective personalities, foresight and diligence have helped shape the strong brand identity that sees us achieve this landmark anniversary. I want to say a huge and sincere thank you to each and every one.”

In the company’s long history, a key moment was the expansion into the US in the 1980s. A friend, Frank McCourt, started up Penn Fabrication on the west coast of the USA and the overall product portfolio expanded to include cables and other installation-related elements, as Penn’s international reach started expanding to Canada, Australia, Latin America, and other places.

The next two decades saw steady growth and diversification. Penn in the UK focused on the core elements of manufacturing metalwork. In 2001, Penn Fabrications became Penn Elcom via a merger with Elcom Hardware in California which also consolidated the ever-expanding West Coast operation. Penn then bought out the minority shareholders.

A few years later, the company started operating in China, working hard to ensure that Penn Elcom China became an integral part of the business. Today, two UK factories – in Washington, country Durham, and Hastings, East Sussex – plus a new 180,000 square metre facility in Huizhou City, Guangdong Province, China, all make identical Penn Elcom products.