HEBRON — A machine shop located here has been named one of four winners in a national benchmarking survey, and a Norfolk native plays a key role in the company’s success.
MetalQuest Unlimited, Inc. recently was named one of four Honors Program winners in association with Modern Machine Shop magazine's ninth annual Top Shops survey.
Scott Volk, who grew up in Norfolk, serves as MetalQuest’s vice president and chief operating officer.
Modern Machine Shop conducts the annual survey to enable its readers — who largely are owners and managers of U.S. computer numerical control machine shops — to compare their operations' performance and practices against industry leaders.
The survey is divided into four primary sections: machining technology, shopfloor practices, business strategy and human resources. An Honors Program winner is chosen for each of these categories.
MetalQuest, which is a manufacturer of precision machined components for a variety of industries, was named the 2019 winner for shopfloor practices.
"Each year, Honors Program winners are vetted and selected by me from a top-tier benchmarking group established from answers to select survey questions," said Derek Korn, Modern Machine Shop's executive editor. "MetalQuest was selected as the shopfloor practices winner for the innovative ways it uses its home-grown, data-driven manufacturing software and integration of robotic automation to improve efficiency throughout its operation.
Korn said the company’s work to accurately track and analyze data means MetalQuest is not simply making educated guesses as to where potential improvements can be made. Also, the company has worked to automate processes from its inception in 1996, so once it started to integrate robotics, its employees understood that this was a natural next step as part of that strategy, he said.
“They realize the robots are not being brought in to take their jobs, but to free them to do more value-adding tasks," Korn said.
Volk said, "Automation of all aspects of our business, on the shop floor and in the office, has played a significant role in the continued success of our company and allowed us to provide meaningful employment to many rural Nebraska and area residents.”
Volk said receiving the Top Shops award is significant for the company.
“It puts us in elite company with some of the most respected shops in the country. We are proud to show what Nebraska ingenuity and work ethic can do," Volk said.
MetalQuest Unlimited was to be publicly recognized Thursday during a ceremony in Hebron with Gov. Pete Ricketts as the featured guest.
Volk will also be part of a panel discussion at the third annual Modern Machine Shop Top Shops Conference held September 9-11 in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he will elaborate on ways the company has improved its efficiency and grown its business.
Want to learn more? Follow these links:
Modern Machine Shop: https://www.mmsonline.com/
The Top Shops Conference: https://www.topshopsevent.com/