Feller LLC, a manufacture of power cords for high-tech devices, is expanding its Leland, NC factory. Feller is a subsidiary of Feller GmbH, an Austrian-based power cord producer with manufacturing in Austria, Hungary, Great Britain and Leland, NC. Feller produces power cords for electronic equipment that meet a range of international and domestic standards and have application in computer, printing, medical and high voltage usage, such as welding and uninterrupted power supplies. Customers include HP, IBM, Agilent, GE Medical and Eaton. According to Gregor Kysely, company president, the Leland factory will be expanding its production line by transferring machinery from the Austrian factory. “The machinery should leave Austria on December 5th and arrive in the middle of January,” said Kysely. After the expansion, Feller will be able to produce a complete cord entirely in the U.S; currently, the cord’s plugs come from other Feller facilities and are assembled in the Leland factory.
The company produced over 500 different power cord styles last year because the U.S., Canada, European Union and China have a variety of standards for plug type, material and other specifications. “There are five standards in Europe alone,” said Kysely, “and once you hit 125 volts, everything is regulated.”
According to Kysely, Feller products have no Asian components and use only U.S. or European sources. Feller is privately held, and this is a company policy, said Kysely. Also, according to Kysely, proximity to U.S customers also allows Feller’s manufacturing to have shorter lead times and a competitive advantage over Chinese competitors. “It is tempting to close shop and move [production] to China,” said Kysely “but that would make us just another one of the over 400 Chinese companies that make power cords.”
The company’s NC operation currently employes seven employees in the office, six full time manufacturing staff and up to fifteen temporary manufacturing employees depending on demand. Globally, the firm employees over 300 people. Kysely estimates that the new N.C. equipment will expand production and create approximately twenty new jobs, but he admits that the current economic climate makes forecasts more difficult. Last year, the Leland factory processed about 4000 orders and produced about 1.3 million pieces.