Born in 1933, the son of a stoker grew up in modest circumstances. Thanks to a family friend, he was able to learn his dream job as a machinist at the company Starrfräsmaschinen AG (Starrag) in Rorschacherberg. As he was determined to become self-employed, Heinrich trained to become a foreman. On the 22nd June 1961, the time had come: on the very day that his wife Regula gave birth to their first child, Heinrich Heule founded a contract manufacturing business in the cellar of his in-law’s house in Rheineck.
Thanks to Heinrich's great commitment and valuable contacts, the company grew to a considerable size and was relocated to Balgach. In addition to contract manufacturing work, the company started to develop its own tools, because Heinrich had reached his limits with one of the first orders. The challenge was to quickly and cheaply chamfer the inside of a fork piece in a large series. As there was no suitable tool available at the time, he developed one himself and thus found a niche in the market. The foundation stone for a flourishing company was laid.
Hundreds of patents for his inventions
Back in 1978, Heinrich Heule started working with the first agency in Baden-Württemberg and obtained the first of more than two hundred global patents, as the inventor of a tool that could deburr both sides of bores on one axis and in just one operation. Not long after, he received his first order from Daimler in Stuttgart. «This first order for my tool was the best day in my professional life», the senior boss once said looking back. This aroused the interest of other companies.
As time went by, the Rheintal-based company became a worldwide success story. Heinrich used to say: «The manufacturing problems of our customers are our daily bread!». This statement captures the essence of the company's success. He continued to intensively look after his customers, listened to their problems and then, together with his team, looked for suitable tooling solutions. At the same time, he began handing over responsibility to his son Ulf as his successor, who rejoined the company in 1988 after completing his training and was responsible for sales and management. At the end of the 1980s, the company started its internationalisation with its own subsidiary in the USA.
Nature as a second home
Even after Heinrich Heule handed over the responsibility of the company to his son Ulf, he could be found in the company building every day - usually after a walk in his own forest with his beloved dog Simba. Heinrich was known for his great closeness to nature: «My biotope in the forest always gives me strength, is the source of my contentment and my oasis». The grandchildren affectionately called this forest «Grandpa Forest». So did Rik Heule, who is now the 3rd generation of the family to work in the management of the company. He will proudly lead his grandfather's company into the future.
All employees mourn the loss of their senior boss together with the family.