Kays Engineering Celebrates 40th Anniversary

Missouri company which started out as a small welding and repair shop has grown into a designer and builder of custom machinery for the automotive industry, representing multiple brands.


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Kays Engineering Inc., the maker of the DeHoff, Eldorado and TechniDrill brands of gundrilling machines, celebrates its 40th anniversary in December 2020.

Ed Kays founded the company in December 1980 as a small welding and repair shop in Marshall, Missouri. Kays was the lone full-time employee with three part-time employees. The company progressed into a designer and builder of custom machinery for the automotive industry with 30 employees spread over four buildings.

In 1994, Kays Engineering entered a new market with the acquisition of DeHoff, a manufacturer of gundrilling machines located in Cranston, Rhode Island. 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.

Eldorado, another gundrilling machine manufacturer, was purchased in 2002 and relocated to Marshall from its original Milford, Connecticut, location. This acquisition further diversified the Kays Engineering product lineup. In June 2020, Kays Engineering acquired the TechniDrill brand, a gundrill machine manufacturer in Kent, Ohio.

The company has now grown to over 60 employees and serves customers in the automotive, aerospace, firearms, medical, petroleum, agriculture and plastic molding industries.