State College company expanding, hiring about 40 more employees

KCF Technologies in State College, Pa., on May 16, 2013.
KCF Technologies in State College, Pa., on May 16, 2013. Centre Daily Times, file

KCF Technology’s mission is to give machines a voice, and continued growth has spurred the need for more employees to interpret what the equipment is saying.

The State College company has approximately doubled in size in the past two years to 60 employees. Jeremy Frank, co-founder, plans to add up to 40 more people to the team by the end of 2017. The company also recently signed a lease to occupy space in a second building in the borough.

“We’re definitely expanding in business and people,” he said. “We’re growing like crazy, so everything has happened exactly how we wanted it to.”

The company implements smart wireless sensor technologies in machinery, which measures equipment’s health using sensory data. The business’ engineers then analyze data to help clientele avoid unexpected, expensive issues.

Frank said former Penn State woman’s ice hockey coach Josh Brandwene, who was recently hired, will lead the company’s personnel expansion efforts.

“Recruiting and hiring is already the biggest challenge,” Frank said. “These are fascinating jobs for people coming out of school. We’re mainly looking for mechanical engineers and petroleum engineers, because we’re doing a lot in the oil, gas, paper and automotive industries. Finding and hiring these really talented engineers with social skills is the key.”

The company has offices in Texas and Pittsburgh, with plans to open more in Florida and Michigan. Satellite offices away from State College, Frank said, allow the company’s engineers to be a couple of hours away from the plants it serves.

“Picture a 22-year-old that thinks State College is nice place, but maybe they’re not sure if they want to stay,” Frank said. “We’ll get them started so they get their first wave of experience with our core team in State College, but then they could potentially travel for work to Boulder, Gainesville, Forth Worth, Ann Arbor and potentially go live in those places.”

The end result of KCF’s work, Frank said, is to save money for its customers. The company is $66 million toward a $100 million goal in 2017.

“The whole focus is giving machines a voice to save money,” he said. “It turns out the most effective way is to use our technology with old fashioned boots on the ground, and that’s why we’ve been successful.”

Shawn Annarelli: 814-235-3928, @Shawn_Annarelli