4/25/2011 | 3 MINUTE READ

Technical Member Profile: Horn USA Inc.

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Horn USA Inc. is the United States representative of Hartmetall-Werkzeugfabrik Paul Horn GmbH, which was founded in Germany in 1969.


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Horn USA Inc. is the United States representative of Hartmetall-Werkzeugfabrik Paul Horn GmbH, which was founded in Germany in 1969. Paul Horn saw a need that wasn’t being met by any of the carbide companies at that time, so he began producing high precision grooving, side turning and slot milling tools. 
The company, which is based in Tübingen (near Stuttgart), grew to become the number one precision grooving company in Germany. Beginning in the early 1990s, Horn started establishing subsidiaries in key markets to oversee sales and distribution of the manufacturer’s products. These subsidiaries include Horn France and Horn UK, as well as operations at Horn Hungary and now the Czech Republic.
Horn USA Inc. was incorporated in 1997 in Franklin, Tenn., about 15 miles south of Nashville. Including its outside sales force, there are 48 Horn USA employees serving all of North America.
“When we started out, we were essentially an import and sales office,” says David Fabry, the company’s operations manager who joined the company in 1998. He and the National Sales Manager Duane Drape manage all aspects of the U.S. subsidiary. “We didn’t do any local manufacturing until 2001. Since then we’ve quadrupled the size of our facility. We have grinding equipment identical to what they have in Germany, just on a smaller scale.”
Besides standard tools, customized tooling accounts for a large part of Horn USA’s sales. “We are a specialty tooling manufacturer,” Mr. Fabry continues. “We serve a niche in that most people know us for our small tools, for boring tools and small-diameter threading and grooving tools. In reality, many people would be surprised at the breadth of our standard offering.
“Both here in the United States and worldwide, Horn is committed to manufacturing its products in the markets it serves,” Mr. Fabry states. “You don’t see many global companies manufacturing in traditionally higher-cost countries like the U.S., U.K. or Germany. Each of our subsidiaries manufactures for their local markets. That’s something that makes us unique. It helps us to better react to customers’ needs and enables us to serve them quickly.” 
Horn USA’s products are used in all of the primary metal manufacturing markets: aerospace, automotive, power generation and medical, as well as in precious metals manufacturing for jewelry. The company’s manufacturing and sales operate under ISO 9001-approved quality assurance and its environmental systems are certified as ISO 14001-compliant.
Mr. Fabry currently serves on the PMPA Technical Conference Committee, and brought three of Horn’s machinists to last month’s Technical Conference in Columbus, Ohio. He sees the conference as the most important opportunity for networking. “I meet with the same people and find out what’s going on not only from a business standpoint, but from a personal standpoint. There’s discussion during the meetings, as well as after the meetings at the social events. I think that networking in that environment tends to support the industry as a whole.
“As a PMPA Technical Member, Horn USA gets a certain amount of exposure to our primary market of metalworking companies,” Mr. Fabry explains. “In addition to having that market exposure, we also have the benefit of access to the Listserves and to the expertise of other member companies. It’s not just a one-sided affair being a Tech Member.
“I monitor every single one of the Listserves—HR, IT, Corporate and certainly the Technical Listserve,” Mr. Fabry adds. “We have a staff of six technical support people who also monitor the Technical Listserve, as do all of our outside salespeople.
“Aside from general speed-and-feed information, we’re able to help PMPA members with tooling recommendations, even those that don’t fall into our realm of expertise,” Mr. Fabry says. “That’s what I like about the Listserves. It’s not a place to promote our products. We’re just trying to help member companies, which helps to further the industry as a whole. PMPA is really unique compared with other organizations. There’s a lot more sharing that goes on between the member companies. 
“PMPA keeps members informed of everything from legal compliance with OSHA to advocacy in national government policies to helping someone set up a machine to run it more efficiently,” Mr. Fabry says. “All of that helps keep manufacturing in the United States. That’s not only good for Horn USA, but also for the rest of the PMPA member companies.”