Kays Engineering opened its doors for business on Dec. 1, 1980 in Marshall, Missouri. Founded by Ed Kays, the company began as a small welding and repair shop, with Kays as the sole full-time employee along with three additional part-time employees. The company quickly progressed into a designer and builder of custom machinery for the automotive industry. The increase in business helped the company expand to more than 30 employees spread over four buildings.
Kays Engineering entered a new market in 1994 with the acquisition of DeHoff, a manufacturer of gundrilling machines located in Cranston, R.I., and the DeHoff manufacturing operation was moved to the Marshall facility in 1996. To accommodate the new product line, the company relocated to a new 50,000-square-foot building that same year.
Another gundrilling machine manufacturer, Eldorado, was purchased in 2002 and relocated to Marshall from its original Milford, Conn., location. This acquisition further diversified the Kays Engineering product lineup and established the company as the largest supplier of gundrilling machines in the U.S.
In June 2020, the TechniDrill brand, a competing gundrill machine manufacturer in Kent, Ohio, was acquired, further solidifying Kays Engineering as the leading gundrilling machine manufacturer in America. The company has now grown to over 60 employees and serves customers in the automotive, aerospace, firearms, medical, petroleum, agriculture, and plastic molding industries. In fact, the company has customers all over the world in 30 countries and five continents.
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