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Key Moments in Time

Key Technology Original Building

The year 1948 was full of innovation. It saw the introduction of the first transistor, Velcro®, and the Frisbee.

It also saw a brand new enterprise arise from a small Oregon packing shed. The venture supplied equipment to the Northwest’s booming green pea canneries and would grow to become today’s Key Technology, automating food and other processing industries worldwide.


Key Equipment Company is launched with 12 employees. Co-founder Claude Key, when later called an American success story, replies, “Opportunity was everywhere”.
Key Pak Bed
The Key Pak Bed compacts pea vines so more can be carried per truckload.


The Utah Canning Co. notes that two Key Froth Flotation Cleaners cut hand inspectors "from 42 per shift to 18…a great saving".


President Kennedy’s prestigious "E" Award is presented for Key’s export expansion "from Canada to Tasmania".

Key Oscillating Air Kooler
The Key Oscillating Air Kooler saves water and cools up to 6 tons of vegetables per hour.


Russian delegation arrives to view Key’s extruded french fry equipment.

Iso-Flo® Vibratory Conveyors
Iso-Flo® Vibratory Conveyors eliminate plant and product damage—smooth and quiet enough to run while balanced on margarita glasses.


Key revolutionizes french fries with ADR® Automatic Defect Removal. Today, virtually every frozen french fry in the world passes through an ADR®.

Tegra® Optical Sorter

Key introduces Tegra® Optical Sorter, the company's newest sorting technology, able to sort by color, shape and size criteria and eject defective product with puffs of air—at rates up to a million objects a minute. 

Key acquires the manufacturing operations of Superior B.V. in the Netherlands, creating a significant market presence in Europe.

Food Engineering Magazine recognizes Key as "Innovator of the Year".

Key acquires AMVC, the holding company for vision system innovators, SRC Vision, and its subsidiary in the Netherlands, SRC Vision BV. Farmco Inc., a manufacturer of mechanical grading systems also joins with Key. KEY/Superior BV mergers with SRC Vision BV to create a unified European base called Key Technology BV.

Smaller-volume processors welcome new the Optyx® Compact Optical Sorter.

Modular G6 electro-optical platform debuts, making Key sorters more powerful and future-ready. Key also opens a sales and service office in Mexico.

Raptor Laser Sorting Technology

Raptor Laser Sorting Technology, with Optyx®
optical sorters attacks foreign material and defects in the industry’s most complete sorting solution.

Pharmaceutical business unit, SYMETIX®, launches automated inspection for capsules, tablets and soft-gels.

High-capacity Optyx® 6000 with Raptor Laser Sorting Technology debuts. 

KeyTechnology, Shanghai, China

Key opens facility in Shanghai, China, with engineering services, test lab, training, sales and service.

Key Technology breaks $100 million in sales for the first time in the Company's history.

Manta® Optical and Laser Sorter

Manta®, Key's high volume, high performance sorter is introduced.  This new a state-of-the-art sorter removes foreign material with a powerful combination of lasers and cameras and features a two-meter wide scan area.

Key Technology introduces Veo™, a very compact and affordable new type of sorter designed specifically for seed corn ears.  Inspecting up to 3000 ears of corn per minute, Veo automatically removes ears with remaining husk and eliminates manual labor.

Horizon™ Horizontal Motion Conveyor

Horizon™ debuts. This horizontal motion conveyor moves product with a gliding motion making it ideal for fragile snacks, cereals and seasoned / coated products.  Key now offers a wide range of vibratory and horizontal motion conveyors that satisfy nearly every conveying need. 

Key opens 31,500 sq. ft. Innovation and Solutions Center for equipment demos, application tests and training, both in-person and via live video interface.


Key announces merger with Visys NV of Belgium, creating the single most complete source of advanced, digital sorting technologies for food processing and other industrial markets.

Key inaugurates new corporate logo and brand identity to reflect the combination of Key and Visys strengths going forward.


Key introduces Taurys™, the next-generation digital laser sorter, capable of handling high incoming defect loads with groundbreaking precision.


Check in again … the story continues.

Key Technology | 150 Avery Street, Walla Walla, WA 99362 USA