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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.

Timeline

1948 
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
1948
The Key Pak Bed compacts pea vines so more can be carried per truckload.

 

1951
The Utah Canning Co. notes that two Key Froth Flotation Cleaners cut hand inspectors "from 42 per shift to 18…a great saving".

 

1962 
President Kennedy’s prestigious "E" Award is presented for Key’s export expansion "from Canada to Tasmania".

Key Oscillating Air Kooler
1973
The Key Oscillating Air Kooler saves water and cools up to 6 tons of vegetables per hour.

 

1977
Russian delegation arrives to view Key’s extruded french fry equipment.

Iso-Flo® Vibratory Conveyors
1981
Iso-Flo® Vibratory Conveyors eliminate plant and product damage—smooth and quiet enough to run while balanced on margarita glasses.

 

1982
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

1995
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. 

1996
Key acquires the manufacturing operations of Superior B.V. in the Netherlands, creating a significant market presence in Europe.

1998
Food Engineering Magazine recognizes Key as "Innovator of the Year".

2000
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.

2001
Smaller-volume processors welcome new the Optyx® Compact Optical Sorter.

2004
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

2005
Raptor Laser Sorting Technology, with Optyx®
optical sorters attacks foreign material and defects in the industry’s most complete sorting solution.

2005
Pharmaceutical business unit, SYMETIX®, launches automated inspection for capsules, tablets and soft-gels.

2006
High-capacity Optyx® 6000 with Raptor Laser Sorting Technology debuts. 

KeyTechnology, Shanghai, China

2006
Key opens facility in Shanghai, China, with engineering services, test lab, training, sales and service.

2007
Key Technology breaks $100 million in sales for the first time in the Company's history.

Manta® Optical and Laser Sorter


2008
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.

2010
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


2011
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. 


2011
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.

 

2013
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.


2013
Key inaugurates new corporate logo and brand identity to reflect the combination of Key and Visys strengths going forward.

 

2013
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