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Key Tronics: EMS

October 6, 2014

Key Tronics Corporation was founded in 1969 and headquartered in Spokane Valley, Washington. The firm does business as Key TronicsEMS Co. offering electronic manufacturing services (EMS) and solutions to original equipment manufacturers (OEM) in the United States, China and Mexico.

The firm’s EMS services include product design; surface mount technology and pin through hole capability for printed circuit board assembly; tool making; precision plastic molding; sheet metal fabrication; liquid injection molding; complex assembly; automated tape winding; and prototype design and full product assembly services.

Key Tronics also provides integrated electronic and mechanical engineering, assembly, component selection, sourcing and procurement, logistics, and product testing and production services. It also manufactures and sell keyboards and other input devices. The company markets its products and services mainly though field sales people and distributors.

The firm has managed to find new manufacturing services as the business environment changed. Key Tronics was founded in 1969 as an independent keyboard manufacturer by Lewis G. Zirkle. The firm was recognized as the no. 1 keyboard producers in the world in 1978. It became a public company in 1983 through an IPO on NASDAQ, trading under KTCC.

Key Tronics was growing and by 1993 had the resources to purchase the Mexico manufacturing of Honeywell Keyboards Division. The firm excelled in producing keyboards and achieved its highest keyboard annual revenue of $207 million in 1995. Management was keen enough to look for other revenue streams and began to diversify. Qualcomm awarded the company its first electronic manufacturing services business in 1998. Following the trend that was already happening Key Tronics began a manufacturing facility in Shanghai, China in 1999. That same year the firm decided to become a full service electronic manufacturing services provider.

A major shift occurred in 2001 when electronic manufacturing services revenue exceeded keyboard revenue. In 2013 Key Tronics purchased Sabre Manufacturing effectively adding an in-house metal stamping fabrication capability. The following year another company, CDR Manufacturing was acquired.

Today, Key Tronics has evolved from manufacturing keyboards and an OEM company to become an electronics manufacturing services firm.

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