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03/20/2023|Keller Technology Corporation

Close Technology Partnership for Continous Growth

Keller Technology Corporation's (KTC) long history began in 1918 in Buffalo, New York, with the manufacture of polishing machines and other manufacturing services. Now, managed by the 5th generation, the company has continued to expand into new industries, as well as establishing locations in Charlotte, North Carolina, and South Korea. 

Keller Technology Ownership group
Keller Technology Ownership group consisting or (L – R) 4th generation siblings Michael Keller and Kathie Keller, 5th generation siblings, Scott Keller, Elizabeth Keller, and Mark Keller.

Approximately 200 employees are responsible for manufacturing complex precision components and turnkey technology solutions for customers in demanding sectors such as medical and semiconductor. KTC has been partnering with DMG MORI since 2001. Six 5-axis simultaneous machining centers have already been installed, including three DMC models with automated pallet systems and a DMC 210 FD providing both milling and turning capabilities.

Countering competitive pressure with process integration 

From development to production to assembly – in a clean room if required – KTC is a competent partner for customers in the most demanding industries. “Our offerings range from machining a single precision component, such as a vacuum chamber, to building integrated manufacturing solutions for virtually any industry,” says Mark Keller, Vice President Operations, summarizing the range of services. The intense competitive pressure in the global marketplace requires highly efficient processes, he adds. “The most important pillars for this are our highly skilled employees coupled with innovative technologies and manufacturing processes.”

Expanding into new industrial sectors thanks to 5-axis milling operations 

5-Axis Milling and Turning in a Single Set-Up
5-Axis Milling and Turning in a Single Set-Up

With broad manufacturing capabilities, including welding and machining, KTC can respond flexibly to new orders. The first machine was purchased in 2001, however, the partnership really started to take fold during the transition to factory direct sales and service. As Mark Keller looks back: “Our expansion into scientific research equipment, medical sector and continued growth in the semiconductor industry required investments in new machining technology. We were looking for a partner who would support our growth for the long term, with 5-axis machine tools. » 

Machining our components on horizontal and vertical 3- or 4-axis machining centers would be far too time-consuming due to the necessity for multiple setups and re-clamping. The 5-axis technology not only saves on the time but also reduces the opportunity for inaccuracies.”

Competitive advantage through automated production 

After the DMU 125 P, KTC has to date purchased two DMC 160 U duoBLOCK, one DMC 125 U duoBLOCK, two DMC 210 U and one DMC 210 FD systems, all with pallet changers – so setup and production can be performed simultaneously, providing for maximum utilization. In addition, the two DMC 210 U tools have a 5-fold round pallet storage (RPS 5) and the DMC 160 U duoBLOCK has a 6-fold round pallet storage (RPS 6). Mark Keller adds: “This allows us to utilize the machines in lights-out, unmanned night and weekend shifts, so 24/7 operation is possible.”

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„In DMG MORI, we have found the perfect partner. In terms of precision, reliability, control technology, automation options, and customer support, DMG MORI has the optimal product range.“
Mark Keller, Vice President Operations, Keller Technology Corporation

Process reliability thanks to high repeat accuracy

Steve Ziff, Machine Shop and Programming Manager, explains why the duoBLOCK and portal series were chosen again and again with their productivity: “The large envelop work area allows us to machine large and complex components almost completely. It has become even more economical thanks to automated production.” Another aspect, he says, is the high accuracy requirements of our components. “For example, when we machine large vacuum chambers, precision is very crucial.” With the stable duoBLOCK and portal models, KTC achieves impressive repeatability. “This contributes to process reliability, especially in automated production.”

The latest installation at KTC is a DMC 210 FD. After many years of experience with 5-axis simultaneous machining centers, the millturn center is another step toward process integration. “We are able to mill components with diameters of up to ø 98.4″ (2,500 mm) on 5 axes and perform turning operations on the same machine,” explains Steve Ziff. Since this again eliminates re-clamping operations, additional precision is ensured.

85 % spindle utilization with digitization 

One of KTC’s major projects is the digitization throughout the manufacturing process. To implement the necessary digital and connectivity platforms the company has partnered with TULIP. “After an extensive search to identify a partner for this project, Tulip was a clear choice due to their partnership with DMG MORI and their array of applications to help interconnect our manufacturing processes – from receipt of order through shipment to customer,” explained Mark Keller. Additionally, system monitoring is carried out via DMG MORI Messenger. 

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