Volex is a leading global supplier of powercords and cable assembly solutions, servicing a diverse range of markets and customers, including consumer electronics, medical equipment, data centres, telecommunications, industrial robotics and the automotive industry.
- In 2013 we acquired APM Opics Group and IP.
- In 2015 we launched our V-Novus cable range and were one of the first two companies to be Infiniband-registered for EDR transmission.
- In 2018 we completed the acquisitions of MC Electronics, Silcotec Europe Ltd and GTK UK Ltd.
- In 2019 we acquired Ta Hsing Industries, based in Hong Kong and China, and Servatron, Inc., located in Spokane, Washington state, USA. We also marked 100 years of being registered at Companies House in the UK.
Our growth through acquisitions continued into the new millennium:
- In 2000 we acquired Mitema Industri AB, with plants in Sweden and Estonia, and completed the purchase of the remaining 40% of Volex do Brasil ltda., formerly Telepart Cables. New facilities were established in the Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan and China.
- In 2001 we established new manufacturing facilities in Vietnam and Indonesia, and closed the Dartmouth site in the USA.
- In 2002 we restructured our European data/telco and powercords operations. We established two facilities in Poland, but closed our Chula Vista and Wilmington sites in the USA. This year also saw us produce the first duckhead component.
- In 2006 we launched our V-lock range, while the following year saw us produce our first high-speed copper cables. In 2008 we launched a halogen-free cable range delivering a more environmentally friendly and fire-resistant product.
The early 1990s were a turning point for the company and would mark the start of the Volex group we know today. In 1992, the company’s centenary year, a number of major changes were made to bring about an important strategic repositioning of the group’s products and markets.
In July 1991 the company sold its Volex Accessories division due to a long-term downturn in the building industry. However, throughout the 1990s the group acquired a number of new businesses including:
- In 1992 – the acquisition of Cable Products, Inc., gaining manufacturing operations in the USA and Ireland. This enabled us to enter the field of data cable assemblies. We also acquired a 60% interest in Mayor Pte Ltd in Singapore and also acquired Icontec Inc. in the US and Ionix in the UK.
- In January 1993 – the acquisition of Component Manufacturing Services Inc. in Massachusetts and North Carolina.
- In 1997 – the acquisition of Capulum, located in Ottawa, Canada, which gave us additional factories in Chula Vista, California, and in Shenzhen, China.
- In 1998 – the acquisition of a majority stake in Telepart Cables in Brazil, gaining plants in China, Croatia and Malaysia.
- In 1999 – the acquisition of Belden Inc., with further plants in the USA, Mexico and Chennai, India.
In 1983 the company’s name was changed from Ward & Goldstone p.l.c. to Volex Group p.l.c., with a divisional structure that included Volex Accessories, Volex Pencon, Volex Wiring Systems and Volex Raydex.
The 1970s saw further growth, including an expansion into Ireland with an electrical conductors plant in Dublin, an electrical accessories plant in Carrick-on-Shannon and a plastics factory in Cork.
The 1960s represented innovation and modernity, and alongside the traditional range of cables and flexibles, the company started to produce wires for fluorescent lighting and coaxial television feeder cables.
By the mid-1950s the range of plastic goods being offered included belts, lampshades and handbags, although the majority of moulded material still went into the ever-popular range of electrical accessories. Indeed, it was to promote a new range of top-quality accessories that the “Volex” brand name made a comeback in the late 1950s.
Product ranges in all divisions continued to expand after 1945. The company was especially well placed to exploit the post-war plastics boom, having been involved in plastics and moulding technology since before the war.
In 1892, the Volex group began as a company called Ward & Goldstone, founded by Meyer Hart Goldstone and James Henry Ward. Its only capital was a £50 loan. From modest beginnings in a 300 square foot, two-storey building in Gorton, a suburb of Manchester, England, Mr Goldstone and Mr Ward laid the foundations of a business which grew continuously and progressed to incorporation as a limited company in 1919.
By 1920 Ward & Goldstone had developed its own range of products bearing the increasingly familiar “W&G” trademark, but other trademarks and tradenames were also used, including Volex, found on batteries and lamps as early as 1910.
During the Great War we were an established supplier to the UK’s Post Office, Government and Admiralty, and acted as electrical contractors to the Government and others. With what proved to be characteristic foresight, the company became involved in what were to be two of the leading 20th century technologies: the development of wireless communications and the growth of the motor vehicle as a truly popular form of transport.
Our association with the automotive industry began in 1911 when we started to supply wiring harnesses made from the growing range of “W&G” cables and wires to the brand-new Ford plant in Manchester. Today we carry this tradition forward with our involvement in the EV markets.