Our History – The LB Story
LB Wire Ropes was established in 1962 by Frank Hansen and Jack Smith. Frank and Jack were WWII servicemen and had established rigging backgrounds working in the AE Goodwin locomotive manufacture plant at St Marys, NSW. They noticed an opportunity to build their own business when James Le Blanc offered to sell his rigging supply business. James Le Blanc had designed and patented the Le Blanc wire rope splice. Frank and Jack named their new business Le Blanc Wire Ropes and wire rope slings with the Le Blanc wire rope splice were the main offering of the business.
The business operated from Wentworthville before moving to the present site at 3 Amax Avenue, Girraween in 1970.
Service has always been the corner stone of the company with the customer at the fore. The development of containerisation and hydraulics, changes in packaging and materials handling techniques evolved markedly from the 1970’s. Jack Smith retired in 1975. During the mid-1970s alloy chain and synthetic slings entered the market and Frank Hansen working with his wife Lois continued to evolve our product offering until they both retired in 1993. A key acquisition made during this time was the Expanda cable stocking brand in 1976. The company continues to design and manufacture the Expanda Cable Stocking range and it is now one of the flagship brands of the company.
The 1980s were busy times in the industry with several key development projects at hand and the company was growing during this time to meet with increased demand in the industry.
The company also diversified and developed an interest in wire rope crash barriers, an unknown product in Australia until 1991, and supplied the first tension wire rope barrier system into Australia at Munno Para, SA. Over the next 20 years more than 1,000km of the wire rope barrier system was installed in Australia.
In 1996 the company purchased a 150t 13m test bed, broadening its product offering to include inspection, testing and repair services. This capability not only provides a further service to our customers but ensures we have the capacity to proof load manufactured items in accordance with Australian Standards.
Apart from a wide variety of lifting, lashing and material handling products and road safety products, a key contribution to growth has been the ability to solve problems for lifting and handling materials or engineering design for defence, civil, mining, industrial or transportation industries. This ability comes from our experienced staff. We employ skilled and fully qualified riggers who have over 200 years of combined experience in the industry. Our professional staff have qualifications in Civil, Mechanical and Mechatronic engineering, and Mathematics with over 100 years of combined experience.
The current owners, Paul and Vivien Hansen, purchased the company in 1993 when Frank and Lois Hansen retired. Vivien had joined the company in 1982 and two years later Paul joined after a 10 year career in consulting geotechnical and civil engineering. The last 22 years have been a period of expansion and both sons Dane Hansen and Marc Hansen have been involved with the company for over 10 years.