KEB America is headquartered in Shakopee, Minnesota, a suburb outside of Minneapolis. The 86,000 sq. ft., ISO 9001:2015 facility has full design and manufacturing capabilities and is responsible for supporting the North American market. With more than 100 employees and growing KEB America provides top-tier service, repair, and field support for customers in the US, Canada, and Mexico.
The facility is home to R&D for mechanical and electrical products, as well as production of KEB’s full mechanical product line. KEB America assembles the R6 and F5 lines of drives, and the full line of KEB integral gearmotors. Products produced and assembled on-site gives KEB America’s customers the benefit of German engineering with responsive local support.
The KEB America team has a broad view of the various sectors of mechanical engineering and automation, giving them accurate insight into the needs and trends of the market. Sales and applications engineers reach out to potential and existing customers to create and strengthen partnerships and promote KEB’s product portfolio as it continues to grow with new and emerging technologies.
The American market strategy is built upon bringing KEB’s powerful and versatile products to a host of niche markets. Rather than focusing on a single product line, KEB America Sales Engineers will supply a vertical market with a complete KEB solution.
The Elevator group at KEB America is the largest application team focused on a specific vertical market. KEB America began inverter assembly in 2003. Local production allows for short production and shipping lead times. Customers in this market benefit from the F5 line of drives – high overloads, an integrated brake transistor, safety features, and control options – as well as the R6 regenerative drives. Harmonic filters designed specifically for 60Hz mains are also popular and allow customers to meet IEEE519 requirements.
A more recent development for KEB America is the growth of the theatre and stage market. Many KEB control and automation products work well in theatre machinery, amusement parks, entertainment venues, and other mechanized structures. Stadiums with retractable roofs, such as the University of Phoenix Stadium – home field of the NFL Cardinals – and the Lucas Oil Stadium – home of the NFL Colts – use KEB brakes in the roof operation. KEB F5 drives are used to synchronize the fire-breathing dragon Maleficent the Disneyland show Fantasmic. Backstage, KEB gearmotors are used on a variety of applications where their quiet operation and configuration options are beneficial.
KEB America also has a focus on the plastics machinery market. The kinds of machines used in plastics-related applications can vary widely in size and power, so there are many KEB drives that can be used. Typical applications include injection molding machines, extruders, blow molding or film, upstream and downstream conveying, robotic handling, granulators, winders, and unwinders.
Another market KEB America heavily focuses on is medical applications. Hospital beds, surgical tables, imaging machines, surgical robots – all require precise movements and accurate positioning. KEB P1 brakes provide backlash-free power-off braking. Customers trust KEB products in the most critical and demanding applications.
In 2015, KEB America introduced the newest automation products from KEB to the North American market. Since their debut, controls and automation Sales Engineers have found a strong interest in Industry 4.0 and IIoT in many markets. Attending trade shows like the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) gave KEB America the opportunity to discuss Industry 4.0 in greater detail with interested customers. A live router demonstration showed how the factory floor can be connected, allowing better and more proactive actions to be made.
KEB America takes an application-focused strategy to designing products for each customer’s unique needs. Many products in the KEB catalog come with an impressive list of customization options which allow the customer to choose a product with the features they need, without paying for what they don’t. Mechanical design engineers in the North American facility have the tools available to help the customer envision their custom product and ensure it will fit their application. Working with the client, KEB designers use familiar design software to analyze and conceptualize the products to be built.
KEB America also has a team of software engineers that develop products to meet North American requirements. For example, KEB America developed the firmware used on the F5 Ethernet/IP operator. Additionally, software development can happen at the application level where the inverter’s interface is customized to meet the needs of a customer or industry.
KEB’s North American customers of mechanical product see a huge benefit when they buy brakes, clutches, and rectifiers from KEB America. Production of the full mechanical line at the Shakopee location means the plant is able to deliver the quality of German engineering without the long delays of international shipping. In addition to production and assembly of the full mechanical line, the facility completes assembly of the full line of F5 and R6 drives and KEB gearmotors. Custom power options, communication interfaces, or special paint treatments are all possible, depending on the client’s requirements.
Testing and quality are also a part of what KEB America does for the North American market. The facility is fully equipped to test each product and provide quality assurance before it’s shipped to the customer.
KEB America is also equipped to support the KEB products that have been imported from machinery around the world. Customers can choose to send products to Minnesota for repair, or KEB America can send a technician to their site to review the issue and make fixes. In some cases, KEB America has stocked inventory of refurbished drives which means users can quickly get their machine running without suffering significant downtime.
KEB America is ready to embrace the future of control and automation technology. The company is always adding talented new employees to meet the needs of its expanding customer list. A newly created marketing initiative seeks to educate potential customers on emerging technologies by using videos, articles, and social media interaction while promoting KEB brand recognition in North America. As products are developed and released to meet the newest trends in control and automation KEB America is proud to be servicing clients on behalf of KEB Automation KG.
If you’d like to learn more about how KEB America can help you with your next control and automation project, drop us a note using the form below.
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