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Early Years

earlyAdvanced Machine & Engineering® (AME) was founded in 1966 out of Rockford, Illinois by Willy Goellner—a man of drive and determination who immigrated to America from Germany in 1958. Originally known as Advanced Engineering Co., AME offered design, engineering, and consulting to industries including machine tool, assembly, and packaging out of a small 1,000 square foot office space in Loves Park, Illinois. Relocating to Rockford, Illinois in 1968 expanded the AME footprint to 33,371 square feet, which included a new R&D facility. Shortly thereafter, in 1970, the company was incorporated to increase efficiency in service and guarantee future growth.

In 1977, AME partnered with Hennig, Inc. (Germany), the leading manufacturer of machine tool protection, chip conveyors, and coolant filtration systems because of a relationship that developed through AME’s distribution of Hennig products for several years.

In 1980, Goellner partnered with Martha Roper from Advanced Boring, Inc. (United States) to handle large boring and milling sub-contract work. By 1984, AME incorporated Advanced Boring, and in the next year built its own facility at its current location in Rockford, Illinois.

Product Line Development

  • 1982 | Shortly before the move to Rockford, Illinois, AME purchased an enclosed cable carrier line from Hennig. After post-purchase evaluation and revisions to the product line, it was relaunched as AMFLEX® (discontinued).

  • 1985 | Power drawbars, power-check pull force gages, and other related products were added to AME’s offerings with the development of a sales and service contract with OTT KEMPTEN (Germany), now known as Ott-Jakob.

  • 1987 | AME’s product line expanded with the addition of OTT’s precision worm gears and ODU (Germany) quick change electric connectors.

  • 1988 | AME developed and launched a new product line, AMLOK® rod clamps.

  • 1990 | EXCEL, Inc.’s (United States) precision hard ground gears and AMLON-SKC anti-friction coating lines are developed.

  • 1992 | AME added partner Sitema’s (Germany) safety clamp products to the AMLOK® product line. New, hydraulically-operated squeeze bushings were launched as AMBUSH®, as well as clamp disks and rings that were launched as AMDISK®. AME capabilities expanded with the addition of two large CNC CMMs to supplement inspection of large machining components and contract inspection work.

  • 1993 | A new air conditioned manufacturing facility was built to house the CNC CMM’s and large boring machines, providing an increase in productivity. Since the move, AME has purchased and implemented a number of new machines including high production ID/OD grinders, vertical and horizontal machining centers with multiple tool and pallet changers, a CNC turning center, and more.

  • 1994 | Tschudin & Heid (Switzerland) linear roller bearings further expanded AME’s offerings while an agreement with B&S Maschinen GmbH & Co. KG (Germany) and Bütfering (Germany) was developed to promote their beet processing machinery in the United States.

  • 1995 | The AMLOK® pneumatic cylinder rod clamp was developed and released, while the SAFE (Self-Aligning Fixturing Elements) modular fixturing line was purchased and sold under the AMFLEX® name. AME also expanded into a third building during this time.

  • 1996 | NFPA pneumatic tie-rod cylinders were launched as a compliment to AMLOK® cylinder rod clamps.

  • 1997 | AMSAW®, a product line of carbide-tipped circular saw blades was released. AME also developed an exclusive North American partnership with Triag (Switzerland), a manufacturer of high precision miniature vises and various workholding components. A new product line of HSK toolholders is also added to complement the HSK power drawbars from OTT-Jakob.
  • 1998 | A segmentation of operating units takes place to increase efficiency and better serve customers. These segments include machine design/build, components, fluid power, workholding systems, power drawbars/toolholders/gauging, and contract machining/inspection.

Global Expansion

In 1999, AME acquired Hennig, Inc. (USA), the leading manufacturer of machine tool protection, chip conveyors, and coolant filtration systems. In 2000, Goellner, Inc. was founded to act as a holding company for both Hennig, Inc. and AME. By July of 2000, Goellner Inc. proudly announced its global expansion through the acquisition of Hennig GmbH (Germany).

History has shown the effects of a manufacturing industry in decline. A lack of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) skills among workers and a gradual decline of technical education programs in public high schools and community colleges in the USA, combined with the negative stereotypes surrounding the industry has created a shortage of skilled and knowledgeable workers required to run a successful manufacturing facility.

We are not immune to these challenges. Our mission is to support the American manufacturing industry by providing the necessary resources, training, and support through services like our robust apprenticeship and community outreach programs. These services will continue to provide the same successful and rewarding American dream our founders were blessed to experience over 50 years ago. When you work with AME, you’re joining the movement for American manufacturing—strengthening local and national economies while creating careers and building futures for the individuals that make our industry possible.

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