Sixteen students in Mr. Scott’s Skilled Technical Science class got the opportunity to tour Metal Quest Unlimited in Hebron Nebraska on 9-26-18.
The History of MetalQuest
MetalQuest Unlimited started on Jan. 1, 1996 in a man’s garage with one metal lathe and a vision for the future and a passion for innovation. The business began with no guarantee of work, and greatly in debt like most start-up companies.
In the first 6 months of operation, MetalQuest added a second machine and added the first employee. It took about three years to see the investment pay off and the rest is history. MetalQuest calls Hebron, Nebraska its home now. MetalQuest believes in hard work, determination and teamwork. These are still the building blocks of the MetalQuest philosophy.
MetalQuest manufactures precision machined component parts with an emphasis in product line and part family manufacturing. In other words, they may take a part they buy from one company like a foundry company and turn it into a part that they machine and perform some industrial processes on.
FHS students were divided up into two groups and they got to see technology all over the plant with robots that grind parts, polish parts, measure parts, box parts and even store parts. The floor even had a wire in the concrete for a robotic forklift to follow to store and retrieve parts. That robotic lift could not deviate from its path making it safer for employees in the plant.
For all the math teachers at FHS, mathematics is a must with just about all the employees despite what many may think. The use of Trigonometry and precision measuring is a must. There were many tools in the factory that have to be used daily to measure close tolerances such as calipers and micrometers. Students saw the connection between what they are learning at FHS and how that can be use those skills in a job situation. Blueprint reading was also an important skill. MetalQuest uses SolidWorks as their main Software program for the development of their drawings. MetalQuest just ordered a new 3D printer to do part modeling so they can see and hold the parts before they are manufactured. Just one machine in the factory can cost as much as $600,000 dollars each so production down time is not a good thing. They try to keep all machines running all the time. They run two shifts of employees with a $4.00 dollar jump for night shift workers. Weekend workers can earn time and a half.
Just so you know, MetalQuest to name a few makes hydraulic valves for John Deere, silencer parts for guns, valves for hydraulic control systems and many other parts.
I want to thank Dave Sammartano, the training coordinator at MetalQuest and the rest of the staff for letting us come over and tour the facility. It was a rewarding time well spent. The students had a great time.