Member of the Month

“Every market is individually analyzed and an individual country strategy prepared”

Member of the month – HEULE Werkzeug AG

HEULE Werkzeug AG has been developing and producing front and rear deburring tools since 1962. The family business, based in Rheintal, supplies all well-known automotive and aviation manufacturers via four subsidiaries and sales partners in over 35 countries. In an interview, Christos Mistridis, Chief Sales Officer, talks about the most important lessons learned during the internationalization process and future opportunities.

HEULE Werkzeug AG

Since its foundation as a contract manufacturer in 1961, HEULE Werkzeug AG has been actively increasing machining efficiency. This focus also led to the development of the HEULE deburring tool, originally developed for the company’s own needs. Soon renowned industrial companies also came to appreciate the know-how. Today, HEULE develops and produces standard and bespoke solutions for front and back deburring. This enables the customer to optimize process times, reduce unit costs and increase process reliability. 

Mr. Mistridis, which are your most important export markets and why?
HEULE Werkzeug AG’s customer portfolio primarily includes companies in the automotive and aviation industries. The production facilities of these sectors’ component suppliers and thus our largest customers are mainly located in the USA, Germany, France, Korea and China. We achieve the necessary proximity to our customers through our subsidiaries in the USA, Germany, South Korea and China. We are represented in more than 35 countries by long-standing sales partners.

What were your biggest learning experiences during the internationalization process?
An internationalized business model only works with well-developed local support in the individual markets. This enables qualified employees to reach customers and respond to their needs quickly. This is particularly important because our tool solutions require intensive consulting. Every market is individually analyzed and an individual country strategy drawn up. Switzerland as a production location supports us; the high quality is greatly valued and contributes significantly to differentiation.

“We are grateful for the competent advice and support when recruiting staff in growth markets.” 

What are you particularly proud of?
We are constantly improving. As a result, our distribution network is being constantly expanded. Our US subsidiary was founded in 1988, followed by China in 2011, Korea in 2013, Germany in 2018 and in 2020, our first employee in the Czech Republic. We can meanwhile count on a total of 25 competent employees in our branches outside Switzerland. Customers all over the world enjoy our front and back deburring solutions. Development and production, however, take place entirely in the Rheintal region in the canton of St.Gallen. In order to develop further innovations, we rely on the experience and expertise of our specialized employees in Switzerland.

Where do you see your export opportunities for the future?
Demand for our products will exist as long as drilling is carried out and rear deburring generates benefits. Using our tools, customers can optimize their production processes and thus reduce costs. This enables them to withstand cost pressure and increase their competitiveness. The automotive industry is currently in a state of upheaval. That is why we are actively focusing on new industries. Today, for example, we also supply the watch making industry, the medical technology and the hydraulics sector. We will continue to monitor the markets going forward and will continuously optimize our product range in line with new requirements.

To what extent has S-GE helped you succeed?
The most important chapter in the company’s history was written in 1980, when our tools were approved for use in production at Daimler-Benz. This connection with the automotive industry has supported our business ever since. In recent years, we have also been able to gain valuable experience in the aviation industry. We are now combining this with valuable market research findings from S-GE to achieve geographical growth in this industry. Together we have conducted market analyses and drawn important conclusions. We are grateful for the competent advice and support when recruiting staff in growth markets. Furthermore, the S-GE partner network enables us to expand our contacts and thus gain a faster foothold in markets that have been less of a priority for us in the past.

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