History.

The current business is an amalgamation of four companies, Microlimit Limited and Howitt & Griffiths, both formed in the mid 1950’s along with Welec and Electronic Accessories Ltd. 

Microlimit Limited was formed in October 1955 to supply the local manufacturing industry with precision parts in volume. Established on the Wigenhall Industrial Estate in Watford, the name “micro limit” was chosen to reflect the surface finishes and tolerances that would make its reputation. 

During the same period Bob Howitt & Graham Griffiths agreed a partnership and set up as precision engineers and toolmakers on the company's current site at Cowley near Uxbridge. Bob was killed in the early days of the partnership; swerving to avoid a young paper boy, he lost control of his motorcycle and collided with a telegraph pole.  Motorcycles have remained significant for the owners of this business; Graham’s collection stretched to 48 while he owned the business. He was also a well known participant racing his classic bikes on the circuits. Neil Budgen, the current owner, is way behind with only nine bikes in his shed - so far. 

Interestingly both businesses become involved in the manufacture of handles for the electronics industry – though for quite different reasons. Howitt & Griffiths had established themselves as a prime supplier to a local company called Imhof Bedco soon to become better known throughout the world as BICC Vero. Howitt & Griffiths had a reputation for succeeding where others failed so when Imhof were struggling to purchase handles in the volumes and of the quality required, Howitt & Griffiths were a natural choice for them to engage. 

Meanwhile Microlimit in Watford had observed the problems the industry was going through and used its knowledge and experience to produce high quality handles. This gave the company the independence that comes from manufacturing and supplying its own product. Competition was strong with several other manufacturers soon competing for work, most notably CJ Armstrong and Hambro Engineering, but Microlimit soon established itself as the largest supplier of quality handles in the UK. 

The fortunes of all concerned changed dramatically with the redesign of the humble filing cabinet in the early 1980’s. With drawer handles now folded in to the drawer face, handle manufacturers the world over saw massive reductions in sales. Vero rationalised its supplier base, sourcing a much reduced handle requirement from another key supplier. Howitt & Griffiths continued to supply Vero with specialised engineering and production support. Microlimit too went through hard times and its first change of ownership. Graham Griffiths had built his business up to run like clockwork. This had enabled his wife Maureen to successfully carry the business forward following his unexpected death. She went into partnership with the firm's leading hand, Ian MacDonald, but after a few years it was now time for her to move on. In June 1986 the current owner Neil Budgen first became involved when he bought Maureen’s partnership. 

He was quick to see the potential of the firm's historic expertise in the handle industry and established a successful relationship with Microlimit in Watford. He soon brought new business to Howitt & Griffiths and helped to increase the scope of the company, revitalising the welding and fabrication department. This produced successful relations with the shopfitting industry and the business produced point of sale displays for Burtons, Burberry, Etam, Jaeger, Sock Shop, Tie Rack plus numerous independent outlets. The company's commitment to delivering superior service to its clients attracted other quality customers such as British Airways and Hitachi Seiki while retaining the likes of BICC Vero. 

In 1988 Mr Budgen bought out his partner in Howitt & Griffiths, Ian, who continued to work for the business in a less demanding role. Not long afterwards Microlimit’s owners were looking to retire and Mr Budgen bought the company outright in June 1988. This consolidation brought in clients such as British Rail, Dexion, GEC Marconi, Plessey, Raytheon Systems and Rolls Royce. Microlimit and Howitt & Griffiths were run independently until they were amalgamated under the name Microlimit in 1990. The company has continued to attract high profile clients, one of its more recent customers being American Power Conversions.  

Weylec was formed in 1985 to manufacture and supply rechargeable batteries and electrical sub-assemblies to customer specification. The business was acquired by Mr Budgen in 1999 and combined with Microlimit to provide a more inclusive service to both businesses’ clients and industry generally. The company acquired one of its few remaining UK competitors in the handle industry, Electronic Accessories Limited, in November 2003. 

The new century heralded significant changes particularly for manufacturing businesses around the world. Microlimit was not exempt from the effects but having reached its 50th birthday in 2005 was determined to be a survivor. With a history of embracing change, new technologies and directions Microlimit introduced the sourcing and supply to the maintenance industry of specialist parts for machinery of Japanese and Korean origin later that year. Microlimit is now looking forward to its next big birthday party in 2055. We have no idea what products and services the company will be supplying then; we do know that they will be of the highest quality and backed by the excellent service and attention to detail that our reputation has been built on.

 Call:  0208 901 6530 with your requirements or
Email:  sales@microlimit.co.uk

 

 


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