K-Tube Technologies started small. We were the first company to figure out a way to miniaturize laser welding for hypodermic needle production, and, at first, most of our tubing was made for dental needles.
Over the years, our tubing has been used in medical, industrial, automotive, and aerospace applications. So, while the needs of K-Tube’s customers are different than they were when we started in 1974, the need for high-quality custom tubing manufactured to strict specifications has remained a constant.
Today, K-Tube’s available capacity is over 100 million feet of tubing every year, making us the largest producer of stainless steel tubing in the United States. Despite our size, the inventive spirit of our first machinist and engineer—Herb—still lives in everything we do. We have a team of engineers who help design unique tubing solutions and a Quality Assurance team that is prepared to guarantee that each tube leaving our facility is manufactured to the highest standards in the industry.
How We Got Started
This is the story of two men who shared unlikely beginnings and how their inventiveness moved an industry forward.
Brian Baldwin was a businessman and entrepreneur with an eye on the needle market. Herb Karlinski was a machine designer who possessed incredible talent and bad kidneys. The two met at a needle manufacturing company in Chicago, and both had ideas for something better.
Herb moved to San Diego, a milder climate that would relieve his health issues, and opened a shop to experiment with new technologies. His work and experiments led to the discovery of a new manufacturing process that could quickly produce high-quality needle cannulas from miniature stainless steel tubing.
In 1974, Brian and Herb turned Herb’s experimental shop into a company. They named their new business “K-Tube” and the new manufacturing process “K-Form”—both for Karlinski and for the kidneys that brought Herb to San Diego in the first place.
Click on the timeline below to download a PDF and learn about some other major events in our history.