MOUND HOUSE, Nev. (KOLO) -- Vineburg Machining in Mound House manufactures high-end products to make your everyday life better.
Vineburg Machining can manufacture almost anything from a tube or block of metal just as Michelangelo produced David from a large marble slab.
Have you ever use Google? The cameras used to capture images of your neighborhood are attached to cars with a mount made by Vineburg Machining.
Critical parts for the M250 machine gun are also produced by Vineburg Machining before they're sent to U.S. Ordnance in McCarran, Nevada for final assembly. The gun is used to defend the United States against ISIS and the Taliban. Its bullets weigh 1/10 of a pound and can pierce through an inch of steel.
Vineburg Machining also makes fasteners to hold wire in place in the walls of most passenger and military jets. These are examples of thousands of parts the northern Nevada business produces.
Each part is produced at the company's warehouse about 13 miles northeast of Carson City at 26 Stokes Drive in Mound House. The products produced there are often extremely high-end parts. Other companies turn to Vineburg Machining when China can't make the parts they need.
Sven Klatt is the general manager. "We never say no. So if customers come in with very complicated stuff it's maybe not possible at first glance. We usually pull it off somehow."
The possibilities at Vineburg Machining are essentially endless because of its advanced machines. Many other manufacturing companies in China or the United States simply don't have them.
"The advantage we have with the five-axis machine is we can move the five axis all at the same time," said Klatt.
The five axis points controlled by a precision computer can produce basically anything, just as Michelangelo produced David from a large marble slab.
"This is a gun slide we make, and it starts out as a routine piece of steel and when we're done with it, it basically becomes this," said Klatt.
The production is staggering. Thirty-three workers produced 4 million parts in 2017 alone.
The company can only do this with the help from robots. One is called the universal robot because it can do so many things. It can make a high security lock for Schlage. It could end up on a cruise ship or in a prison.
This arm can work 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Klatt monitors it from his phone thanks to a camera set up near the robot.
This CMM Coordinate Measuring Machine checks the work after it's done to make sure each part is true to the blueprint. The precision optical measuring of this machine can be mindboggling.
"If you split a human hair about 15 times, that one piece would be about 2-one-thousands of an inch," said Vineburg Machining employee Bill Poleshuk.
"We're talking cutting hair from the top to bottom right?" asked KOLO 8 News Now's Noah Bond.
"Top to bottom, correct," Poleshuk responded.
The story of Vineburg Machining's high-end approach starts in 1961 when the company's President and CEO Gerd Poppinga started his machining apprenticeship in Germany where he grew up. He moved to the United States and started Vineburg Machining in Sonoma, California in 1977.
"We were in the high-volume machining industry and it went pretty well up until the mid-'90s, when a lot of my customers were asking me to lower my prices and said if I wouldn't they'd go overseas," Poppinga said. Many of his customers went overseas.
Then the recession of 2001 shrunk his workforce from 100 employees to only 35. Combine California's higher taxes with this hardship and he felt compelled to move his business to Nevada in 2003. Seventeen families chose to follow him to the Silver State.
"Mainly because of tax savings as far as personal income and corporate income tax," Poppinga said.
He says at that time homes were half the cost of what they were in the Sonoma area as well. His employees essentially got a raise just for moving with him to Nevada.