It all started with a marvellous idea, what followed was worldwide recognition. Today the company is a synonym for solving deburring problems. HEULE Precision Tools celebrates its 60th anniversary. Three generations look back on the positive development of the company.
It was during a time of economic change back in 1961 when Heinrich Heule left his secure job with a large company. At that time, those who started their own business needed both courage and endurance. There was a lot of competition, many tried to become self-employed entrepreneurs and most of them started by manufacturing parts for already well-established companies on a sub-contract basis. However as soon as the business slowed down it was these smaller companies that really felt the pinch.
A missing tool – the key to success
At a time of fluctuating order intake, Heinrich Heule began to develop his own products. He made his breakthrough in 1978 when he received a major order where the inside of forked workpieces in large batch sizes had to be chamfered quickly and cost-effectively. Since there was no tool on the market that could do the job, Heinrich Heule developed the tool himself. This tool would prove to be the stepping stone to an incredibly successful future for his still young company. The spirit of the engineer had been woken. Heinrich Heule continued to develop his special tool, but remained focused on deburring. For many years, HEULE has been a synonym for deburring solutions and innovative problem solving.
Whirlwind start in Europe
In 1981 – three years after the breakthrough with its own tools – HEULE Precision Tools took part in the European Machine Tool Exhibition in Hannover and presented its patented special tooling to an international technical audience. At the time the media reported the incredible success of this exhibition: «The exhibition stand was so crowded with curious machine tool experts that visitors to the stand almost had to fight their way in! The owner Heinrich Heule, as well as his Sales Manager (…) and representatives working in Germany presented the special tools in practical demonstrations as a "non-stop show". Many of the international tool specialists present confirmed that these tools are unrivalled in the global machine tool marketplace.»
Innovation for and with customers
Customers all over the world appreciate the HEULE tool systems, as their use dramatically reduces production costs. HEULE tools are designed for large series production with the highest precision and quality. The tools are protected by patents and have evolved into various groups to satisfy a wide spectrum of applications. They make HEULE the world's leading supplier of tools for front and back machining of bores in a single operation – on both flat and uneven bore edges.
A convincing argument from the customer's point of view is the high productivity which can be achieved with HEULE tools. For this reason, companies all over the world and from many industries including automotive, machine tool, aerospace and mechanical manufacturing all rely on HEULE tool systems. A customer consultation will very often take place directly at the manufacturing facility, where customer-specific applications require the development of a special tool. «This is how the best solutions have always been created» says Ulf Heule. At HEULE, customer service does not stop with the order. Long-term support with a high level of technical know-how is available to the customer on-site. The customers appreciate this close cooperation with the tool manufacturer.
Strategy and sales are key
With the entry of the current CEO Ulf Heule, the company experienced further global expansion. «At that time, I developed sales and expanded our international distributor network. The market is the key to our success», says Ulf Heule not without pride and adds: «Two things have come together – great products and market-driven sales». As a medium-sized and globally active company with exclusive products in a niche market, you need a specialised sales organisation that has a comprehensive knowledge of the requirements and possibilities in the specialised field of metalworking. HEULE Precision Tools is moving forward step by step, Ulf Heule explains. Today, the company can count on the valuable support from its subsidiaries in the USA, China, South Korea and Germany. A worldwide network of sales partners ensures customer satisfaction. Over 99 percent of all HEULE tools are exported.
Employees as important resource
In addition to the excellent products and the customer-centred sales and service, the 3rd generation, Rik Heule, son of Ulf Heule, considers the know-how in the company as one of the decisive factors for success in the market: «Our employees are a very important "capital" of the company». Thus, a very familiar atmosphere is cultivated with the employees. In line with the pleasant working atmosphere, there are many long-serving employees – for the benefit of the customers. When 110 heads combine their competence and experience, a good solution is always within reach.
Rik Heule found his way into the family business after completing his apprenticeship as a mechanic and is now responsible for lean management after holding various positions in the company. Heinrich and Ulf Heule also once started on the shop floor as mechanical apprentices. All three generations agree: «We will continue to delight the market with our clever products».