We begin our 50th year in business with a newly retooled website. Later this year we will also look at upgrading our periphery grinding capability and capacity.
All timeline stories.
Our original Wendt WBM top and bottom grinder is replaced with a Stahli DLM 605. This increases our capability and capacity for top and bottom grinding.
We introduce the capability to provide PCD and CBN tools in both standards and specials and to provide special solid carbide drills and end mills.
Bill Wise joins the salesforce.
A Haas 5-axis mill is acquired and specially configured to grind carbide. This further increases our capabilities for broach blades, dies, and other larger carbide tools.
Knight acquires a Keyence visual inspection system to automatically inspect our tools and provide detailed reports in real-time. We also introduce 3-D printing capabilities to make internal tooling and to generate tool-holder and component prototypes for marketing and engineering purposes.
Ewag Compact line added for increased productivity and capacity for threading and grooving tools. Wendt Wam alpha added for updated periphery grinding on milling inserts.
Brian Dunn moves from inspection to inside sales and estimating, Bob Green takes over quality control, and Dave Panich heads engineering.
Haas multi-grind CNC profile grinders are purchased to increase our capabilities for complex form tools. We also introduce laser marking for the permanent identification of tools. The product line is expanded to include standard turning tools, and new vendor relationships are formed with Tungstemet for materials, and Cemecon and Ionbond for coating.
In May of 2001, we move to our current 24,000-square-foot building on Structural Drive.
The salesforce now consists of Chris Kyle, John Kyle, Jack Kroll, David Nowicki, and John Hoh with Lisa Markel in order entry.
The ball nose and spade drill product lines are retired and Knight starts selling more engineered custom tool holders and inserts. Gear shaving tools are added to service the automotive drive train market.
Knight leases a second building on Metzen and purchases two Schneeberger 5-axis cutter grinders to accommodate the production of a full line of spade drill inserts. Other products introduced at this time include a line of thread chasers for the oil and gas industry.
Bruce Kyle’s son John joins the company to assist in inside sales and engineering. We add a full range of PVD coatings to our offerings through a partnership with Blazers
In November, a fire decimates the main building and everything in it. The newer building, where ball-nose cutters and spade drills are produced, is undamaged.
We are able to lease a small building adjacent to the property and outfit it with showroom models of machines. By outsourcing some production to various grinding companies around the country we are able to meet our customers’ expectations while we rebuild.