Our History

Local Beginnings

Driven by a passion for engineering and innovative solutions, Bob Diedrichs founded Diedrichs and Associates in 1983 to provide engineering and R&D services to local manufacturers.  Starting out of a smalle building, Bob recruited some of the smartest engineering minds in the area along with skilled fabricators to match.  In those days – as is often still the case today – larger companies needed more space and personnel for their R&D.  Most of the work was building test or “mule” vehicles for local manufacturers.  Being centrally located in the Midwest, this meant tractors, combines, mowers, excavators, backhoes, and the like.  Thus the company’s foundation was laid in the R&D world, providing staff, space, and rapid machining and fabrication of the parts and components needed to round-out these vehicle builds.

 

Yeah, we can do That.  

So here the company was, with all this space, skilled labor staff, and engineering staff.  The days were filled with designing and building test stands for vehicle systems, and/or building complete test vehicles.  With our customers coming and going in and out of our facility, it wasn’t long before someone asked the question: “Do you guys suppose you could make…”.  Generally, our answer was: “Yeah, we can do that.”  And thus, without anyone really knowing it, a new branch of the company was born.  The requests came in all shapes and sizes: custom machines, test stands, special fixtures, one-off tests of unique components and systems, and the like.  We had all the space, we had all the talent, and we had the all the know-how, so we took on the projects.  It didn’t take long for word to get out…

Word starts to get Out

Our local work didn’t stay local for long.  As our portfolio of business grew, so did demand from new customers.  Word was getting out that we not only had a versatile and talented staff, but that we were also down to Earth and easy to work with.  With Midwestern qualities instilled from the start, our commitment to quality and service was almost considered a given.  Before long we were branching out from the vehicle and implement world into industrial manufacturing of smaller goods, consumer goods, components, and almost anything else that someone could put a process together for.  Our footprint expanded from a local company to a Midwestern presence.

A House Divided

As the company grew it became more and more clear that the market for our “non-R&D services” – such as automation, testing equipment, and robotics – was growing.  While our R&D services tended to require us to be in closer proximity to our clients, these new services were not bound by such restrictions.  This opened a whole new door to and led to internal growth and investment.  It wouldn’t be long before a new Genesis was to take place.

New Leadership Brings new Ideas

After about thirty years of continued growth and expansion, Bob decided it was getting time to retire.  He began looking for parties who might be interested in taking the helm of the already successful company, finding one in closer proximity than he may have expected.  Dennis Padget, an employee at the time, heard that Bob was looking to put the company in new hands.  With a wealth of business experience, a driven entrepreneurial spirit, and a passion for the company’s unique skillset, Dennis was an ideal fit for the future.  He bought the company from Bob and eventually changed its namesake to that which we now go by: Padget Technologies.

Getting back to the Future.

Today, Padget Technologies has grown its services in automation, robotics, test stands, and custom machines, while continuing to provide the same R&D services it was founded on.  The company has expanded into a 40,000 square ft. facility employing four degreed engineers and numerous technicians.  Padget Technologies currently exhibits at two trade shows per year, constantly expanding our presence while keeping a finger on the pulse of cutting edge technology.  The engineering staff regularly participates in new training and continuing education, while technicians and other staff are bolstered by investments in infrastructure and respective training as well.  Check out our services page to learn more about how the innovative solutions that continue to be provided by Padget Technologies.

Meet Our Staff

Dennis Padget
President & CEO

Experience: 44 years of business experience

Education: B.S. Management, Simpson College, AAS Computer Programming, Kirkwood Community College

Randy Rigdon
Shop Manager

Experience: 43 years of business experience

Education: AAS Ag Power, AAS Farm Management, Hawkeye Community College

Brad Meyer
Engineering Manager

Experience: 21 years of engineering/business experience

Education: B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Iowa State University, Licensed Professional Engineer

Brian Balvin
Mechanical Engineer

Experience: 9 years of engineering/business experience

Education: B.S. Agricultural Engineering, Iowa State University

Adam Padget
Mechanical Engineer

Experience: 6 years of engineering/business experience

Education: B.S. Mechanical Engineering, Iowa State University

Zachary Thoma
Director of Business Development

Experience: 18 years of business experience

Education: B.A. General Studies, University of Northern Iowa

Our Facility

Our facility is equipped to accommodate a nearly limitless array of project types.  We’ve set it up to be modular, meaning that we can adapt an area or cell to suit a particular project (program, fab, test, build, etc.) for nearly any amount of time.  When that project is complete, we break down the area and reconfigure it for the next project.  Automation, robotics, test stands, and custom machines are always assembled on-site and tested prior to delivery.  This gives our customers the chance to see their equipment in action before taking delivery.  On the R&D side of things, we have accumulated an impressive menagerie of equipment and supplies that we keep on hand should they need to be called into service again.  With 44,000 square ft. of space, on-site machining & fabrication, and the personnel to make it all tick, there’s almost nothing we can’t do.  Here are some of the highlights about our facility.

  • 44,000 sq. feet of working space
  • On-Site robotics cells including Kawasaki CX110L demo robot
  • On-Site Cognex vision lab
  • On-site machining
  • On-site welding and fabrication
  • Multiple mechanical bays
  • Overhead cranes
  • Heavy duty power supply
  • Large overhead doors
  • Drive-off dock

Our Equipment

We come prepared.  This list isn’t everything, but you’ll get the idea. We also build equipment specified for any project, whether it’s for automation, robotics, testing, prototype builds, repair projects, or anything else. Nothing is off limits.  All of the equipment below can be used for just about any customer need, but in general it breaks down as follows:

Automation, Robotics, Test Stands & Custom Machinery

  • Kawasaki CX110L 6-axis demo robot 
  • Two fully fenced robotic cell areas
  • Vacuum and gripper EOAT
  • Cognex IS7000 state of the art vision system lab
  • In house design, fabrication, and programming
  • Multiple programming/project bays
  • Full 3D design suite including:
    • Inventor
    • ProE
    • Solidworks

R&D and Production Support

  • Multiple bridge cranes
  • High ceilings and large work bays for larger projects
  • Dewetron data acquisition with multiple accessories
  • On-site design, machining, and fabrication of parts
  • Sound dampened cells for component testing
  • 600 HP dyno
  • Faro arm for CMM inspections
  • Dodge Ram dually with gooseneck hitch
  • 30′ Flat trailer
In-House High-Power Test Cell
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Made specifically to isolate and contain tests that may be loud, dangerous, or environmentally sensitive, this cell is lined with steel, insulated, and enclosed from the outside.  The cell is 16’x30′ and has large doors to allow for the installation and removal of larger pieces of equipment.  A large power supply is routed to the area to accommodate projects of all shapes and sizes.  The cell is also equipped with Dewesoft data acquisition equipment.  This cell can be used for lights out testing, short-run testing, life-cycle testing, etc.  This cell is open for business for your testing needs, so reach out and ask about how you can make use of this valuable tool.

Kawasaki Robotic Cell
PTI Robotic Cell

These two fully fenced areas are perfect for robotics validation and run-offs.  We currently house two full-size Kawasaki robots:

  • CX110L
  • ZX230S

Both are versatile and high-payload robots that are capable of demonstrating a wide variety of uses.  These robots are here for demonstration purposes and validation, so we encourage customers to come to use with questions and applications.  There is no better way to know if robotics are the right choice for you than to actually give your application a run.

Cognex IS700 Vision Lab
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Utilizing Cognex’s most advanced camera to date, we are able to provide vision inspection validation on-demand.  With this vision system can not only use the most cutting edge technology available for vision inspections, but we can also emulate all less advanced versions of Cognex equipment to hone in on the most appropriate piece of technology for the application, thereby maximizing the customer’s value.  We encourage customers to reach out to us with their questions and applications.