Keltech has designed and built hundreds of research-type machines and products over the last 30 years. They include specialty abrading machines, complex web-coating production lines, and medical devices. It has focused exclusively on developing a high-speed abrasive workpiece flat-lapping and polishing system for the last 20 years. This system uses vitrified diamond agglomerates encapsulated in islands coated in annular bands on flexible discs to successfully provide both high cut rates for sapphire and disc long abrade lives. This high speed system has been a quest in the industry for many years, but all others have failed.
Keltech is a Research & Development company. It is fundamentally a “garage operation”, similar to others that have a rich history in so many hugely significant and well-known companies that are active today. All of the many components of the high-speed sapphire polishing system were developed, processed and tested on-site here. That includes furnace vitrification of the glass-encapsulated diamonds, fracturing it into agglomerates, molding them into bead-islands, bonding them in annular bands on flexible polymer discs and curing the adhesive in ovens The industrial-type lapper machine and the disc grinder were built here from scratch. Sapphire wafer cut rate measurements from the lapper were made and the data presented in graphical plots.
Patents, Trade Secrets
Keltech has a large patent portfolio and a wide range of proprietary (trade secret) information that protects and supports the technology that makes up the high-speed sapphire abrasive polishing system.
President Wayne Duescher, Keltech founder, was an aerospace engineer at the General Motors AC Electronics Division. He was active in equipment design, mechanical vibration testing, heat transfer computer simulations, and analyses for sophisticated inertial guidance systems. He is a P.E. and has a MSME degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Wayne worked in the Engineering Research Department for 3M. He specialized in computer simulations and analyses for web-production lines, chemical processes, manufacturing systems and products. Analyses included: mechanical structures, feed-back control systems, equipment vibrations, manufacturing processes, heat transfer and fluid-flow modeling.
He founded a number of companies across different industries including medical products (Spine-Tech, Twin City Surgical), fishing (VMC /America for French fish hooks and FishHair), analytical (Physical Electronics), FEM computer analyses (Kensinger Associates), large abrasive belt machines (Tech Mach div.) and special R&D machines (Keltech). Wayne bought Tartan Tooling (a powdered-metal mold company) from 3M, renamed it Keltool and sold it to 3D Systems, a rapid prototyping company.
Wayne is active in all aspects of technology development and business operations at Keltech. He has patents in numerous fields including abrasives, industrial, fishing, and medical.
Cameron Duescher, Keltech co-owner, attended the University of Wisconsin, Madison from 2008-2009. He constructed much of the lapper machine and the disc grinder machine, starting as a welder and machinist. Later, he worked here full time for three and a half years, modifying and operating the machines and developing processes for the abrasive agglomerate and island disc coating. He is also co-inventor of multiple issued and pending Keltech patents. Cameron continues to work part-time on the system.