It hardly seems possible, but on May 31, 2007, Haas Automation installed its 75,000th CNC machine tool. When one considers that more than two-thirds of that number have been sold in the last 7 years, and that the company designs and builds its machines at a single plant in Southern California – employing just 1100 people – it’s even more incredible. And to think, less than 20 years ago, skeptics the world over doubted that any U.S. company could ever build machine tools economically again, let alone on such a scale.
Recipient of the milestone machine was German company MEPO Minoudis GmbH & Co. KG, a family-owned, second-tier automotive components supplier based in Korb, in the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg. The company already had four Haas vertical machining centers. The new VF-3SS high-speed machine will, like the others, be set to work making parts for local companies Porsche, Bosch and Mercedes, plus a number of other prestigious domestic and overseas car builders.
At a special hand-over ceremony to mark the occasion, Haas Automation General Manager Mr. Bob Murray traveled from the company’s U.S. headquarters to meet the owners of MEPO, and personally thank them for their purchase.
“Installation of the 75,000th machine is a very special occasion for Haas Automation,” says Mr. Murray, “and we’re very pleased that it has been installed at MEPO, a successful and growing company with high standards and demanding customers. They are very typical of the sort of companies we work with around the world.”
Also present at the ceremony was Mr. Peter Hall, managing director of Haas Automation Europe, and the man responsible for leading the company’s meteoric growth on the European continent.
“It’s fitting that the 75,000th Haas CNC machine tool should be installed in Europe,” Mr. Hall says. “Although obviously not Haas’ home market, it’s an incredibly important one for the future prosperity of the company.
It took the vision, energy and engineering brilliance of a small group of individuals – with, let it be noted, no prior machine-building experience – led by a maverick machine-shop owner named Gene Haas, to change the face of precision engineering the world over. Never before has CNC metalcutting technology been so affordable, reliable and easy to use. Haas machines have become the tool of choice for anyone running a machine shop to make a profit.
Needless to say, a multitude of imitators follow in the company’s wake, but none can match the ingenuity of Haas, the western world’s largest producer of CNC machine tools by volume. Still growing, and with its sights set firmly on 15,000 machines a year and $1 billion in annual revenues, the company continues to introduce new products almost every month, expanding its already impressive range by applying the same tried-and-tested engineering logic to constantly improve productivity and reduce running costs.