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Meet Matt Thilges

We continue our "Meet the Team" blog series with Matt Thilges, Maintenance Manager at the MidPort Blvd. location in Waterloo, Iowa. Learn about his recent promotion, how we spends his time outside of work and more!

posted On Monday, February 7, 2022 in Blog

Meet Matt Thilges

Q&As with Matt Thilges

Matt, you joined the AHT team in 2018. Tell us about your professional background and your journey at AHT.

Previous to Advanced Heat Treat Corp., I went into a technical program at Iowa Central Community College (Maintenance Electrician). After college, I joined a maintenance team at a fully automated distribution facility. Everything was fast-paced and keeping downtime to a minimum was a must. I was part of their emergency response team and also a trainer. Travis Sherman, a current AHT employee, informed me of an opening at AHT, and I was hired on at AHT in 2018 as a electro mechanical technician.

You were recently promoted to Maintenance Manager. Congrats! In this new role, what does a typical day look like for you?

In my new position, I help alleviate hurdles for the maintenance team. I am the point of contact for any machine/building problems at Midport. In maintenance, you never know what the day might bring. We are always ready for the challenge. At Midport, we have over 20 nitriding units to keep up-and-running along with all the preventative maintenance that has to be done.

Matt Thilges FamilyWhen you’re not working, how do you like to spend your free time?

I spend as much time as I can fishing from ice to a boat, I enjoy it all. I also enjoy spending time with my family going to different sporting events and spending summers in Clear Lake, Iowa. 

What projects have you worked on lately and how will that benefit our customers?

The biggest one lately is a completely custom-made rust preventive conveyor. This conveyor counts parts, oils them, and removes excess oil at the end. This was a big project for the maintenance team. It was very impressive how everyone worked together to complete this.

I have also programed many PLCs with interfaces. One PLC being used for safety devices using SCADA systems and others to retrofit nitriders that needed to be updated on the controller side.

(Editor's Note: PLC stands for Programmable Logic Controller. SCADA is an acronym for Supervisory Control & Data Acquisition.)

What’s one accomplishment you are proud of?

I have been a volunteer fire fighter for 15 years, and am currently the captain. I enjoy helping people - especially in a time of need.

If someone was considering applying at AHT, what would you tell them about the work environment?

I would tell them that you really are treated like family at AHT. We all work together to get the job done.

What is one thing our customers may not know about AHT?

At AHT, we have incorporated many predictive maintenance (PM) items into our preventive maintenance program. Our PM processes have been added to a software program for better tracking, and this will get us to a paperless system.

Now, a series of quick random questions:

  • Favorite Movie: Grumpy Old Men
  • First Job: Working on an Asphalt Crew
  • Favorite Food: BBQ
  • Least Favorite Food: Any Casserole
  • Favorite Sport to Play: Golf
  • Favorite Sport to Watch: College Football/Wrestling
  • Favorite Team: Iowa Hawkeyes
  • First (and Favorite) Concert: Garth Brooks
  • Favorite Vacation: Hawaii
  • Spouses’ name? Chelsey for 10 years
  • Kids? Wyatt 8, Melaney 6, and Mason 4.
  • Certifications? CIRO Certified (Certified Industrial Refrigeration Operator)

Have a question for Matt Thilges? Email him at thilgesm@ion-nitriding.com or call 319-232-5221.

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