HEBRON — MetalQuest Unlimited Inc., a Hebron company that produces tight-tolerance, precision machined component parts for customers, has been honored as 2020 Small Manufacturer of the Year by the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Gov. Pete Ricketts presented the award during a tour of the plant Oct. 1 to celebrate Manufacturing Month.
MetalQuest was founded in 1996 in Deshler. The business moved to Hebron in 1999 and now has 56 employees.
The company has customers in 27 U.S. states who often ship products internationally.
“Innovation happens daily,” said Scott Harms, MetalQuest president, in a Nebraska Chamber news release announcing the award. “One of our core values is the ‘third idea.’ If you have an idea and I have an idea, we put those together and get the third idea, which is hopefully better than each individual idea.”
Harms and Scott Volk, MetalQuest vice president and chief operating officer, said MetalQuest’s strength is its employees, who continue to adopt and implement the latest automation and technology to keep the company competitive in the marketplace.
Two recent examples are a fully automated machining cell that makes oil field retainer segments and a multi-spindle CNC lathe that allows parts to be machined in seconds rather than minutes.
CLAAS Omaha Inc., was named Large Manufacturer of the Year. The company has been in Omaha since 2001 and has 138 employees, producing products for customers throughout the United States and Canada.
Introducing the latest series of LEXION combines into the Omaha production line was listed as one of the Omaha company’s more significant achievements, said Matthias Ristow, president and managing director of business administrator for CLAAS Omaha.
MetalQuest and CLAAS Omaha were honored Monday during the Nebraska Chamber’s Digital Manufacturing Summit Series.
According to the Nebraska Chamber, the awards recognize companies for innovation in use of products, processes, technologies and strategies.
“Nebraska’s manufacturers are on the cutting edge of innovation that meets both typical demand and that of a pandemic-stricken nation,” said Bryan Slone, president of the Nebraska Chamber. “MetalQuest and CLAAS are cases in point. Their innovative cultures offer resilience and stability in uncertain times. We are grateful they’ve chosen Nebraska to build and grow.”