Feller Strikes a Cord Internationally - WilmingtonBiz
Feller Power Cords’ manufacturing and distribution facility in Leland makes products that are powering industries around the globe.
The company’s 50,000-square-foot manufacturing facility and warehouse off Industrial Drive in the Leland Industrial Park hosts manufacturing operations, testing and distribution of its products, servicing North, Central and South America.
Utilizing hand-and-tool assembly and molding machines, Feller produces power cords for a wide range of industries in the medical, IT and computer, industrial and test-measurement equipment fields.
Feller LLC is a part of a network of four other sister companies in Great Britain, Austria, Hungary and Hong Kong, said Gregor Kysely, Feller LLC’s president and CEO.
The company was founded in Austria in 1863 at a textile mill and in the 1940s began to use thermoplastics and focused on producing power cords. The company established operations in the United States in 1984, first in New Jersey and later moving to Leland to expand manufacturing. It has maintained full operations there since 2006.
While the product might seem simple, maintaining a safe and reliable electrical connection that can power clients’ products must meet certain standards. That’s why the company maintains more than 90 different certifications to meet the code requirements of regulating agencies around the world, Kysely said. Its products, he said, are engineering- and technical- driven.
“It’s a simple product and not. The nature we’re in is the higher end ... and all the different certifications,” Kysely said. “There’s a lot of technical details that all these agencies require. We probably have the most in-depth approvals of anybody out there.”
Servicing its range of clients and contracts requires maintaining high standards, where “quality matters,” Kysely said.
“When you are supporting medical equipment – [these customers] don’t want to save or cut corners on a power cord. For a heart monitor, you want to make sure power is not an issue. So that’s where all these extra features that we build into the power cord matter in that industry,” Kysely said. “If it’s a data center where your credit card gets processed – they don’t like shutdowns either. So again, that is an environment where quality matters, and they’re willing to pay more for that quality.”
The 24,000-square-foot warehousing space houses various cables that are first cut to a customer’s specification before assembly. Workers then attach and assemble inner parts and finalize ends to the cables – plugs and connectors – through the manufacturing processes.
“That makes it a power cord. There are so many different international standards. That’s why there are so many different products here. Each country has their own electrical standard,” Kysely said. “You wouldn’t be able to use your cords from the United States in the South American countries.”
Each power cord gets electrically tested and recorded before it’s packaged on-site and prepared for shipment.
The company has been increasing output over the past two years, Kysely said. Last year, the Leland facility shipped about 2 million cord sets, with 60 percent of the products manufactured locally.
To meet increasing demands, Feller expanded its manufacturing space at the facility last year with an additional 13,000 square feet and ordered a new vertical PVC injection mold machine, capable of producing eight plug molds at the same time, doubling throughput, Kysely said.
The company is expanding into online sales this summer, Kysely said, to become more visible to the engineering community building prototypes and other new clients.
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