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Knight Global is a world-class ergonomic material handling manufacturer, distinct in our ability to provide both standard and custom handling devices for end-user applications around the world. We transform manufacturing concepts into load-responsive handling devices that provide users with the precision, speed, quality and reliability necessary for efficient production.
Our innovative technology and engineering horsepower allow us to provide our customers with one of the broadest material handling product lines in the industry. With over 250 team members and growing, a greater than 70-person design and engineering team, and a 172,000-square-foot facility, we have the capability to design, manufacture and build all applications in-house.
Offering the complete range of arms, pneumatic balancers, controls, jib cranes, lift assists, servo systems, torque tubes, tables, tractors and rails, our ergonomic equipment accommodates consumer requests for state-of-the-art technology worldwide.
Our Past, Present and Future
Knight Industries is Born
Knight Industries and Associates, Inc. was established as a specialty design and build shop with three employees and 4,000 square feet of floor space in Farmington Hills, Michigan.
Expanded into Two Buildings
The growth and expansion of Knight Industries required more space. The owners acquired and renovated two buildings in Pontiac, Michigan that gave them over 14,000 square feet of space. This allowed them to better accommodate their expanding product line that now included lift tables and ergonomic material handling equipment.
First Rotating Lift Table
Knight analyzed the tilt table market and seized the opportunity to improve the design and versatility of this product by adding a Rotek bearing to the lift table’s top design. This new design created Knight’s first rotating lift table.
Introduced Overhead Mounted Aluminum Rail
Knight was striving to be a one-stop-shop for all ergonomic products within the material handling industry; so they designed their own profile of overhead mounted aluminum rail to offer to the industry.
Growth Continues into Four-Building Infrastructure
As Knight’s growth continued within the material handling industry, we were required to relocate again into a 20,000 square foot building located in Auburn Hills, Michigan. The new building was fully operational in 1991, and from there we continued to grow into a four-building infrastructure in the following years.
Cable and Chain Balancers are Added to the Mix
Knight introduced the cable balancer to our line of products after identifying the need to get into the pneumatic hoist market. Shortly after, in 1993 Knight started offering the same model, but in a chain configuration. We also patented the first safety brake for pneumatic balancers in 1994.
Knight Expanded into International Market
Due to the growing request of Knight products in the material handling industry overseas, Knight developed an international sales division and increased their sales force by acquiring numerous distributors around the world.
By 2004, Knight was ISO9001, ISO 14001 and Ford Q1 Certified.
Made the Move Towards Electric
After working with the manufacturing plants for many years, Knight saw the opportunity to move towards electric systems that provided more capability over pneumatic tractors. Knight developed the VFD electric tractor to accommodate these needs.
Servo System Technology
Knight incorporated Servo System technology after seeing the need for a robust intelligent lifting device. This new technology would rival traditional pneumatic hoists by being fully programmable and having instantaneous lifting response.
Developed XYZ Servo Tractor System
After the development of Knight’s Servo Technology, we wanted to design a servo hoist that could move product in all directions with ease. The development the XYZ Servo Tractor System could move product in all axis’s and still incorporate Knight’s intelligent servo technology. By combining both, Knight was able to create automated and semi-automated servo tractor systems.
Company Renamed as Knight Global
Officially changed company name to Knight Global and redesigned company logo.
FCA Supplier Launch Award
Knight was selected and awarded the FCA Supplier Launch Award during a presentation given at Knight’s Auburn Hills, Michigan location.
Knight Moves to New Home
Due to substantial company growth, Knight moved into a new 172,000 square foot building located in Auburn Hills, Michigan. The new facility gave Knight and their 210 plus employees the ability to combine all services offered under one roof while improving and increasing departmental production.
Developed the Safest, Most Intelligent Hoist in the World
Development of the Safety Drop Stop “SDS” Servo Hoist arose from the constant request for a higher standard in plant safety. Knight researched, developed and patented a new safety chain design for electric hoists, making it the safest and most intelligent hoist in the world.
Introduced Cantilevered Rail System
The Cantilevered Rail System was developed to eliminate the need for a (4) post steel floor structure system. It provides an alternative to large workstations while using minimal floor space.
Developed SDS Pneumatic Balancer
After the development of the Safety Drop Stop “SDS” Servo Hoist, Knight continued to push forward and incorporate its “SDS” design into the existing pneumatic balancer. The Safety Drop Stop “SDS” Pneumatic Balancer uses the same mechanical safety concept, but in a pneumatic operating system.
Introduced Aluminum Floor Mounted Rail System
Design and development of the Aluminum Floor Mounted Rail System was envisioned to create a lightweight easy to assemble version of the traditional (4) post steel rail structure. It’s easy to install design allows for quick assembly while providing industry standard weight capacities for fixtures and products.
Incorporated 3D Printing into Manufacturing Process
With the advances in manufacturing technology and requests for faster production times, Knight stays at the forefront of innovation by incorporating 3D printing machines to accommodate the industries demand for innovative and quality standard products with quick turnaround times.
Low-Cost D-Series Servo Hoist Introduced
Knight Global develops a dynamic lower cost “D-Series” Servo Hoist. This hoist has all of the same programmable capabilities as Knight’s traditional Servo Hoist, minus I/O. This new version of the servo hoist allows Knight to be more competitive with the lower end Intelligent Assist Devices (IAD’s) in the industry without sacrificing safety or intelligence features.
SDS Speed Hoist added to Knight's Hoist Family
Knight Global continues to develop innovative solutions in the hoist industry with the SDS Speed Hoist! This electric hoist utilizes the patented “Safety Drop Stop” technology and comes equipped with a simple analog handle with an UP/DOWN thumb switch. The handle allows for graduated movement and ensures that the hoist can be operated with minimal training. The Speed Hoist can travel as fast as 50 inches per second, and can additionally be customized via an ethernet port on the handle.
Knight Expands to a Second Building
Knight expanded their space into a second building! With the ever-growing reputation for expertise and reliability that Knight has to offer in the material handling industry, a second building was needed to accommodate for widening departments, new employees and shelving space. The expansion brings Knight’s total floor space to 227,000 square feet!
There to the End
When you work with Knight, you work with a team who will stand by the job until the very end. Our sales representatives, designers, builders and service team are here to ensure our products meet your standards and exceed your expectations.
Knight services over 500 customers, both large and small, covering a diverse group of industries including: automotive, aviation, department of defense, food and beverage, construction, textile and entertainment.