Heller Machine Tools says it is expecting record sales for 2012 as it celebrates its 30th year of operations in the United States. The company, a subsidiary of Heller Machinenfabrik (Nurtingen, Baden-Wurtemberg, Germany), specializes in flexible production systems for powertrain operations in the automotive and heavy diesel industries. Another specialty is horizontal machining centers, especially those used for compact graphite iron, a hard material cast onto large diesel engine blocks.
Heller made its U.S. debut in 1982 in Elk Grove, Village, Illinois, as an importing and servicing operation. Today, thanks in part because of the cost advantages of manufacturing in the U.S. versus Europe, it produces machines from a 100,000-square-foot facility in Troy, Michigan, where 130 employees work alongside 60 contractors. The company reports that more than 60 percent of the content of is sourced from that state.