Father/son team ensures strong future for HMMI

COURTESY PHOTO Collin Knudson, left, a Manufacturing Engineer at Horizontal Machining & Manufacturing Inc., is teaching the trade to his son, Dale.

HURON — A father / son duo at Horizontal Machining & Manufacturing Inc. were chosen by the business to be highlighted in HMMI’s first Employee Spotlight for the first quarter of 2021.

Collin Knudson, who has been with HMMI for 13 years, works as a Manufacturing Engineer to create and develop all new parts that come in for work orders. His son, Dale, joined him 15 months ago when new customers started rolling in and the work load became greater than one man could handle. The men work with various software, including E2, Inventor, Auto Cad, Adobe and Excel.

“As Albert Einstein once said, ‘A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it,’” said HMMI president and CEO Linda (Nordby) Scher. “The father and son duo of Collin and Dale Knudson are both clever and wise. They help us solve our engineering problems, and manage to help us avoid many others.

“They play an important role on the shop floor with all the team members; and, this will help with succession training when Collin is ready to retire,” Scher added. “And what a better plan than Collin training his son. HMMI takes great pride in hiring family and internal growth.”

Customers send complex drawings completed by engineers, and Collin and Dale use those engineers’ drawings and convert them into plans that other skilled workers in the shop use to cut, bend, weld and machine parts that will be used to dig deep underground in a mine, position people to install power lines or move heavy loads across the country.

Collin, a native of Viborg, graduated from Huron High School and received his Machine Tool Technology degree at the University of South Dakota in 1977.

At work and play, he embraces honesty and a strong sense of devotion to detail and quality.

His son, Dale, is employed at HMMI as a Manufacturing Engineer Assistant Level II.

Like his father, he is hard working, and committed to efficiency.

Both point to waterskiing as a favorite hobby, something Dale began doing with his father when he was 3.

“I remember teaching Dale to ski when he was 6,” Collin said. “He didn’t want to, but we kept trying. He realized that I was not going to give up on trying! And then, there he went, right around Lake Byron.

“I enjoy having my grandchildren at the lake and teaching them to ski, too,” he added.

Collin’s grandchildren are Ivy, 10, Farah, 8, and Eve, 5, who are Dale’s children; and his other son, Christopher, has a daughter, Ayla, 8, and a baby on the way.

“The work they do utilizing state-of-the-art technology ensures the accuracy and integrity of our steel fabrications,” Scher said. “The importance of their work cannot be overstated.

“They are also a lot of fun both inside and outside the office,” she added. “Far from being ‘computer nerds,’ they enjoy time for recreation. If you see a huge wall of spray behind a boat at Lake Byron this summer, it may just be Dale or Collin.”

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