American Built Resonates With Keiser Customers
Randy Keiser still shakes his head and laughs when he recalls the phone call from his then-college student son, Jay. A professor had told the class that there was no more manufacturing in America. Jay Keiser pointed out that his father and uncle owned a company that manufactured in California. “Well, they’ll soon be broke,” the professor replied.
Every piece of equipment that Keiser sells to the world’s leading fitness club chains, the most glamorous soccer, baseball, football, basketball and ice hockey teams, military branches and the largest older adult communities is assembled in Fresno, California.
Contrary to the professor’s belief, Keiser Corporation continues to flourish and one reason is that its products are assembled in America.
“People equate made in America with quality,” explained Keiser Vice President of North American sales Darrin Pelkey. “There can be consistency issues with foreign made products.” “We do have an advantage, Vice President and Head of Manufacturing, Randy Keiser elaborated, “we can control quality.”
Each day one hundred and five employees clock in to the south Fresno facility and, in a series of five staggered shifts, build the company’s renowned M3 Indoor Cycle
, its new M3 Total Body Trainer
, popular Functional Trainer
and line of revolutionary pneumatic resistance Strength equipment
. Dozens work assembly lines while others operate machines that create components of Keiser equipment.
In the west area of the plant bright flashes come from a million dollar machine that uses lasers to precisely cut steel. Nearby, a computer controlled machine welds together the elements of equipment. Loud bursts periodically emit from the east side of the building and the powder coating bay.
The cardio and strength equipment made by Keiser undergoes extensive testing. Machines simulate the stresses the equipment will be under during many years of use in a fitness club. Over in another area, equipment is tested to ensure it will not erode from salt laden human sweat.
On the assembly lines a system of double checks is employed. Workers at each station review the assembly made at the previous station. “There is a lot of responsibility here,” stated Keiser.
Late each afternoon the dock area is filled with the results of the teams work -- M3’s, Total Body Trainers, Air300 squats or Power Racks. Each is wrapped in plastic and soon to be loaded onto a truck and shipped to either a domestic customer or the Port of Oakland where it will be loaded onto a ship for transport to customers in Asia, Europe, South America or Africa.
In an industry where a great many indoor fitness cycles and strength products are made in Asia, Keiser’s commitment to build in America is a rare exception. “To me it’s a great source of pride,” Randy Keiser beamed. “It’s a source of pride for all our people.”