In the course of the course of greater than seven many years, a family-owned Dubuque enterprise has established itself as a good designer of business manufacturing instruments and producer of particular person components.
Uelner Precision Instruments & Dies, 4545 Futuro Court docket, is celebrating its seventy fifth anniversary this 12 months.
“We now have clients all through the USA, and we’re delivery components all world wide,” mentioned firm President Thomas Uelner. “We now have some native enterprise, however quite a lot of it’s exterior of the realm.”
There are two main aspects to the operation of the corporate. First, it designs and creates the instruments wanted to fabricate particular mechanical components, whether or not inside automotive elements or agricultural components.
Thomas Uelner mentioned these instruments are complicated and require a exact design to be able to work correctly.
“These can take six months to construct and have 500 elements that go into it,” Uelner mentioned. “A number of ability goes into making that form of software.”
Secondly, the corporate makes use of its steel stamping presses to fabricate a wide range of components for patrons, comparable to automotive components.
Brad Kueter, head of steady enchancment and gross sales and advertising and marketing, mentioned Uelner’s 55,000-square-foot facility produces from 9 million to 14 million components per 12 months for corporations that embody the Common Motors Co., Tesla and Magna Worldwide.
“For one buyer, I’m making 25,000 components per week,” Kueter mentioned. “Once you add up all the purchasers we serve, that’s quite a lot of components.”
The corporate was based in Dubuque by Thomas Uelner’s grandfather Felix in 1946.
Initially, Felix ran the corporate out of a rented storage close to Flora Park. On the time, the corporate particularly centered on software and die manufacturing. It will definitely moved to a extra everlasting location on Washington Road.
Early on, Thomas Uelner mentioned, the corporate primarily created the instruments wanted for toy manufacturing.
In 1986, the corporate moved to the Dubuque Industrial Middle West in a brand new facility.
In 1997, the corporate, by then beneath the management of Thomas, invested in including manufacturing stamping to its operations. As we speak, the corporate has advanced from a small software store with a handful of staff to a serious software and die supplier within the Midwest area that employs practically 50 folks.
Jayne Uelner, the spouse of Thomas and the director of human assets for the corporate, mentioned Uelner Precision Instruments & Dies has made a reputation for itself via its dedication to creating high quality components, one thing that’s notably vital throughout a time when some corporations are turning to having their instruments produced abroad.
“It’s all in regards to the high quality and the ability of the folks that you just rent and are working with,” she mentioned.
Thomas mentioned many corporations typically expertise points with supply and high quality when outsourcing their software manufacturing, which, in flip, offers his firm the chance to make issues proper.
“With Ford and GM, we stored them from shutting down due to a poorly made half offshore,” Thomas mentioned. “We have been in a position to enhance the software sufficient that we might take it to their facility and run it of their presses.”
Nevertheless, Thomas additionally attributed the corporate’s continued success to its funding in high quality staff. The corporate participates in selling commerce college schooling, and those who it hires are given aggressive pay and office flexibility.
“It’s the folks that you just rent, and the folks that develop every single day that make the corporate higher,” Thomas mentioned. “It is a household enterprise. It’s not nearly pushing numbers.”
Although the corporate faces challenges, starting from workforce shortages to a transition from in-person to on-line gross sales strategies, Thomas mentioned he feels assured in the way forward for his now-historic household enterprise.
“It’s actually rewarding,” he mentioned. “Seeing our staff and our firm develop is a rewarding factor to see.”