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 Business > Manufacturing

 
14357 Commercial Parkway | South Beloit, IL 61080 | www.ktiusa.com
 
   
 

In 1985, the solution seemed simple enough to John Keene: develop an alternative unit to the industry’s existing splicer at a more cost effective price that could change printing press paper rolls on the fly, allowing the press to keep production rolling for better efficiency and productivity.

Thanks to Keene’s understanding of that vision, Keene Technology, Inc., now known as KTI, A Quantum Design Company, has been a leader in automatic splicer manufacturing for the printing and converting ­industries for more than 30 years.

“Any company that prints or ­converts material in-house is a ­potential customer for us,” says Angie Ostler, executive marketing coordinator. “KTI provides a way to increase production. The butt splicer allows the printing press and converting assembly lines to use a roll, splice and then add a second roll without stopping production.”

KTI’s earlier customer base largely represented the newspaper market, though it’s since expanded to serve tag and label, packaging, converting, business forms, envelope, folding carton, web film and other industries. The company has well over 3,500 machines in more than 24 countries.

In addition to automatic butt splicers, KTI’s product line includes automatic turret rewinders, automatic lap splicers, rewind and ­unwind stands, and infeed systems.

“KTI’s business may be considered niche, but business is booming,” Ostler says. “And even as the traditional print industry has declined with the rise of digital, KTI has maintained and grown its customer base. We also expect to be quite a bit more involved in digital as KTI continues to mature.”

To support that growth, KTI, which was purchased by Quantum Design in 2014, expanded its facility at 14357 Commercial Parkway in South Beloit in the late 90s. A 22,000 square foot addition houses the state of the art machine shop to complement the original 65,000 square foot manufacturing structure, allowing for KTI to control every aspect of the building process.

The work of KTI founder, John Keene, undoubtedly paved the way for long-term success as a world-class manufacturer of automatic butt splicers, turret rewinders and other web handling equipment. And while KTI has been a part of Quantum for just two years, the two companies work very well together sharing resources and staff.

“KTI’s controls division was struggling when Quantum discovered them,” Ostler says. “When the KTI owners were looking to sell the business, Danny Pearse and Dave Culvey thought it’d be the right fit for Quantum.”

The acquisition of KTI combined with Quantum’s controls engineering expertise has already yielded benefits for its customers, with ­improved customer service and product development and enhancement, exhibited by the successful rollout in late 2015 of KTI’s newest product, the Mustang Series Turret Rewinder.