Though the 2 Van Otten's were, by all measures, far too young to open a business, they were experienced beyond their years in the trade. Before they were even old enough to work, the 2 helped their father in the repair of the heavy equipment he sold. Both had completed their education at a local technical college, learning the ins and outs of machining, welding and fabrication, and both spent their post education years working at job shops. In fact, machining was a sport for the 2, and they achieved National champion status in the Vocational/Industrial Club of America (VICA). The main purposes of VICA 's contests are to document students' skill mastery, encourage excellence, and increase the competence of entry-level workers.Tom and Terry excelled in VICA.
"We borrowed $5000 to open our business", Tom said, "and we repaid our debt in less than a year."
As the company evolved, Precision Tech was renowned for its certified welding, grinding (ID/ OD and surface), honing and manual machining capabilities. Because the brothers and their team are nearly all journeymen machinists, customers came to Precision Tech for their ability to support them with reverse engineering and design support. "We used to outsource all of our CNC machining to outside machine shops", Terry said.
There was one particular machine shop that performed exceptionally well for Precision Tech, and in fact, Precision Tech was its largest customer.That company was Swenson Machine Works, founded and operated by Rick Swenson. "We wanted to bring all critical functions in-house", Terry said, "so that the final product we deliver to our customers is totally within our control in both quality and schedule. We acquired Swenson Machine Works, brought Rick and his team into the Precision Tech team, and with the acquisition came a Mazak QTN250-MY turn/mill lathe and a Mazak AJV-18 vertical machining center.
We've always been known for making some of the most complex parts for our customers, but we've evolved into manufacturing complete assemblies today for some of the largest customers across such industries as medical, mining, nuclear and construction industries, and as an example, the hydraulic cylinders we design and manufacture range from 2 to 36 inches", Terry said.
The Precision Tech team had no previous experience with the Mazak machine tool line, Tom said, but Rick and his employees were believers in it. The transition to the Mazak machine tools went so well that Precision Tech traded in one of their non-Mazak lathes, and upgraded to another QTN-250M5Y Mazak lathe with a barfeed, and they also added a Mazak multi-tasking mill/turn center, a 5-axis Integrex i-200S.
Today, the company owns 4 Mazak machines, and they have no need to outsource their CNC machining to any other machine shops.
“ We looked throughout the United States for suppliers because it was often difficult to find a company that met our requirements locally. Through a recommendation, we found Precision Tech, in Sandy, UT.
I purchased ISO-Kenetic probe weldments to exact specifications. These were high precision weldments that required certification. Terry and Tom fabricated these parts with 100% accuracy. They also made thousands of dollars of precision shielding and formulated kits that were crated and ready for delivery to my customers.
Precision Tech never let us down!”
Former Purchasing Agent, Fortune 500 Company,
Santa Fe, New Mexico