Kurt Industrial Products Division Video

Welcome to Kurt Manufacturing company! Kurt was founded in 1946 and now employs over five-hundred people. Since 2011, we have been a 100% employee owned company. This video is a preview of our industrial products division located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We purchased this facility in 2008 with 108,000 square feet all dedicated to vise production. This division employs seventy-five employee owners working in several shifts. A six-million-dollar investment has been made in state-of-the-art equipment, fixturing and tooling. We strive to finetune our processes, add automation and deliver the highest quality product on the market.

Our vise bodies start as painted castings, they are identified by a camera equipped robot. Each fixture pallet is identified by an RFID tag. The robot precisely places the castings into the fixtures. Once loaded, the fixtures are then transferred to one of four horizontal machining centers. Each horizonal machine has 330 available tool pockets for redundant tool storage and lights out operation. During the final machining process, the parts are marked to identify the CNC machine and fixture used to produce the part. That data is stored to help identify any issues that may arise.

Once a vise body is through the machining process, the fixture is automatically unloaded and reloaded with new painted castings. The machine castings are then shuttled to the heat treater. Vise bodies are loaded into the heat treater and hardened to our specifications. This process is monitored automatically for heat and quench temperatures guaranteeing they will provide a lifetime of service. After heat treat, the vises bodies are robotically loaded onto a power conveyer and run through a blow off station. At the next cell, a robot picks up the casting and places it into a regrip station. Vise bodies are then transferred into a vertical machining center for final machining of critical features, as well as some deburring operations. Each critical feature is measured within the CNC machine with a probe. The probe provides cutter compensation if needed. After machining, the vise bodies are palletized for transfer to final grinding.

Within our multiple grinding cells, various vise parts are ground to critical dimensions and the required surface finishes. Vise nuts and movable jaws are machined in the same horizontal machining cell used to produce vise bodies. These parts are manually loaded into fixtures. A separate automated cell is used to produce a wide variety of fully qualified vise screws. Screws are machined, cleaned and measured complete within the cell. 

Kurt vises are then assembled. Any components not produced directly by Kurt are supplied by closely monitored partners to our exacting standards. Once the assembly is complete, each vise is placed in an automated gage that verifies critical features. Any identified problem is corrected. The measurement data is recorded with each serial number. The completed vise is oiled and packaged in a rust prohibited VCI bag and boxed for shipment. Each Kurt vise leaving our plant, carries with it our iron clad lifetime warranty against material and manufacturing defects. Since 1960 we have built and stood behind the Kurt vises we have produced right here in Minneapolis, Minnesota. And, we will continue to do so with our great team of dedicated employee owners.