Keystone 107 Years Of History

From Horseless Carriage to Spacecraft

Keystone was founded in 1907. The original business was involved in automotive engine rebuilding. Also, Keystone was one of the very first companies in Los Angeles to offer welding services.

The company continues to grow, even during the height of the depression, as a result of making custom parts for “State of the Art” heavy tunnel digging and construction equipment used in the building of the Metropolitan District Colorado River Aqueduct and the All American Canal.

As World War II neared, Keystone turned to making aircraft parts and tooling. Upon full mobilization, Keystone became sole source supplier to Lockheed for P-38 aircraft landing gear making, at one point, 66 main and 33 nose gear units per day. Keystone also produced turret bearings for tanks, being the only such manufacturer west of the Mississippi River.

Keystone kept pace with industry’s growth by demonstrating a record of service. The combination of the West’s most experienced and skilled craftsmen and being one of the best equipped & diversified manufacturing plants attracted other metal fabrication business. Business diversified into components for nuclear power plants, copper mines, ordnance vehicles, oil equipment, etc…

In the making of turret bearings Keystone acquired a unique expertise that evolved into the capability to design, qualify & produce ultra high performance, large diameter bearings. This capability provided Keystone the opportunity to design & produce the large diameter, anti-friction, hollow section bearing for the E-3A radar rotodome on the Boeing AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control Systems). Keystone is the sole source for new bearing and overhaul & repair of the world-wide fleet of AWACS systems flying today.

Keystone becomes major supplier for structural ring segments for the Atlas II program. Additional space craft and launch vehicle structural components were produced for the Space Shuttle, Space Station and Delta II launch vehicles.

Keystone added space satellite tank and expendable launch vehicle (rockets) business through acquisition of key personnel and equipment and incorporation of existing Keystone Engineering technologies. Keystone delivers its first satellite tanks produced using spin-form manufacturing technologies developed by Keystone for the fabrication of Titanium hemisphere and elliptical domes. Keystone also initiates the design and fabrication capability to produce all metal propellant tanks with propellant management devices for satellite propulsion and station keeping.

Acquired by United Technologies Company (UTC) as a wholly owned subsidiary of Hamilton Sundstrand.

Move from original Los Angeles Facility to modern facilities in Long Beach at Long Beach Airport to better focus on aerospace and space flight market.

Keystone develops new technology to create highly wettable surfaces on aluminum surfaces improving the performance of demisable satellite tanks (U.S. patents granted in 2013, international patents pending).

Keystone is acquired by the present management team from UTC and returns to its roots as a privately held company.

Keystone expands engineering technology to include complete COPV propellant and pressurant tank design and fabrication capabilities. Keystone heritage spin-form capabilities are consolidated into the Long Beach facilities. Keystone initiates design & development for new generation propellant and pressurant tanks for manned commercial spaceflight.