History

History of KLA Laboratories

Bus with vintage KLA advertisement on the side

1929 - 1947


KLA Laboratories, Inc. was founded in 1929 in Detroit, Michigan, by three friends, Kraus, Ludwigson and Almas.

Early projects included radio transmission, antenna reception, voice reproduction, data collection, and time keeping systems.

Early customers included Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and Packard Motors.

KLA was instrumental in promoting the War Bond Drive through the use of the days' latest technologies: Public Address Systems

Legend has it that Al Capone frequented nightclubs that were staffed by KLA Technicians operating the music systems.

1947 - 1973


Through the 1940's and 1950's, High Fidelity (Hi-Fi) radio continued to be the rage. KLA was among the Midwest's leading retailers, distributors, and installers of these products.

James "Pat" O'Bryan started with KLA in 1947 upon returning home from the Army after WWII. Pat began to purchase stock in 1956 and acquired a controlling interest in KLA in 1964.

With Pat's leadership, KLA branched out to nine retail locations including many inside the then J.L. Hudson's stores (now Macy's) throughout Michigan.

KLA continued to install a variety of systems for churches, schools, governments, auditoriums, stadiums, racetracks, professional sports arenas, and recording studios including Hitsville USA, the Motown Recording Studios.

black and white photographs of KLA team and storefront
KLA office building

1973 - 1990


In March of 1973, KLA closed all of its retail locations and moved to Dearborn, Michigan. Pat decided that there was greater potential in the systems contracting and installation business.

In 1978, KLA became the first local company to install a Broadband Local Area Network Cabling System for General Motors and 3M. This coaxial cable network system was designed to remotely monitor and manage the resources on an automobile production system.

Broadband Local Area Networking was developed by the cable television industry and required the installation and testing of active components such as signal amplifiers, status monitors and system power supplies.

From 1978 through 1992, KLA installed Broadband Networks in more than 300 plants and facilities. During that period KLA installed thousands of sound and specialty communication systems including sound systems at the Pontiac Silverdome and The Palace of Auburn Hills.

1991 - 1999


On January 5, 1991, the President and Owner of KLA, Pat O'Bryan, passed away. His wife, Norma O'Bryan, assumed control of the company and became its President.

KLA named Matthew O'Bryan as Vice-President of Operations and Donald O'Bryan as Vice President of Sales. Matt and Don were exposed to the industry at an early age, beginning their careers in 1984 and 1976 respectively.

In 1995, Ford Motor Company began its GENI (Global Enterprise Network Integrator) Project, a worldwide Fiber Optic Local Area Networking Project. KLA was selected as one of the cabling contractors for this IBM managed project.

In 1997, KLA was named as the sole provider for Structured Network Cabling Projects at Ford Motor Company manufacturing facilities throughout North America.

Photo of the O'Bryan family in the 1990's
Photo of the Palace of Auburn Hills

2000 - 2010


In 2002 Norma O’Bryan sold her interest in KLA to Don, Mary, and Matt O’Bryan. Matt was named President and Chief Operating Officer and Tommy Cataldo III was named Vice President and General Manager.

KLA implemented a strategy of growth in 2007 and formed its Network Services Division. KLA expanded its service offerings and technical experience to include Network Design, Implementation, and Staging services as well as Wireless LAN design, survey, and implementation.

KLA opened its Network Staging Center in 2008 and has since been staging and implementing thousands of network routers, switches and access points. KLA provides Cisco Network Implementation services for Ford including the deployment of switches, routers, access points, controllers, IPTV, and IPTel.

2010 - Present


KLA celebrated its 85th anniversary in June 2015 with the expansion of the Technical Engineering Center in Dearborn, Michigan. The space is used for network and wireless in-building services and acts as an extension of KLA’s headquarters.


In June 2016, KLA expanded to the west coast with the opening of the Las Vegas location, which offers KLA’s full suite of services.


KLA opened its Service Center in May 2018. The center offers network troubleshooting and end-user support. It is designed for quick response times and escalation to ensure a high level of service to customers in the United States.

In June 2018, President and CEO of KLA, Matt O’Bryan, was named Entrepreneur of the Year in Michigan and Northwest Ohio in the technology category. The program recognizes entrepreneurs who are excelling in areas such as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.

KLA is celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2019. The company continues to deliver value at all locations across North America in stadiums/arenas, entertainment centers, manufacturing facilities, parts distribution centers, healthcare facilities, education and government entities, and a variety of other verticals.

Photo of the O'Bryan family at the Tech Center Grand Opening
  • 1929 - 1947

    KLA Laboratories, Inc. was founded in 1929 in Detroit, Michigan, by three friends, Kraus, Ludwigson and Almas.


    Early projects included radio transmission, antenna reception, voice reproduction, data collection, and time keeping systems.


    Early customers included Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and Packard Motors.


    KLA was instrumental in promoting the War Bond Drive through the use of the days' latest technologies: Public Address Systems


    Legend has it that Al Capone frequented nightclubs that were staffed by KLA Technicians operating the music systems.


    Bus with vintage KLA advertisement on the side
  • 1947 - 1973

    Through the 1940's and 1950's, High Fidelity (Hi-Fi) radio continued to be the rage. KLA was among the Midwest's leading retailers, distributors, and installers of these products.


    James "Pat" O'Bryan started with KLA in 1947 upon returning home from the Army after WWII. Pat began to purchase stock in 1956 and acquired a controlling interest in KLA in 1964.


    With Pat's leadership, KLA branched out to nine retail locations including many inside the then J.L. Hudson's stores (now Macy's) throughout Michigan.


    KLA continued to install a variety of systems for churches, schools, governments, auditoriums, stadiums, racetracks, professional sports arenas, and recording studios including Hitsville USA, the Motown Recording Studios.


    black and white photographs of KLA team and storefront
  • 1973-1990

    In March of 1973, KLA closed all of its retail locations and moved to Dearborn, Michigan. Pat decided that there was greater potential in the systems contracting and installation business.


    In 1978, KLA became the first local company to install a Broadband Local Area Network Cabling System for General Motors and 3M. This coaxial cable network system was designed to remotely monitor and manage the resources on an automobile production system.


    Broadband Local Area Networking was developed by the cable television industry and required the installation and testing of active components such as signal amplifiers, status monitors and system power supplies.


    From 1978 through 1992, KLA installed Broadband Networks in more than 300 plants and facilities. During that period KLA installed thousands of sound and specialty communication systems including sound systems at the Pontiac Silverdome and The Palace of Auburn Hills.


    KLA office building
  • 1991-1999

    On January 5, 1991, the President and Owner of KLA, Pat O'Bryan, passed away. His wife, Norma O'Bryan, assumed control of the company and became its President.


    KLA named Matthew O'Bryan as Vice-President of Operations and Donald O'Bryan as Vice President of Sales. Matt and Don were exposed to the industry at an early age, beginning their careers in 1984 and 1976 respectively.


    In 1995, Ford Motor Company began its GENI (Global Enterprise Network Integrator) Project, a worldwide Fiber Optic Local Area Networking Project. KLA was selected as one of the cabling contractors for this IBM managed project.


    In 1997, KLA was named as the sole provider for Structured Network Cabling Projects at Ford Motor Company manufacturing facilities throughout North America.


    Photo of the O'Bryan family in the 1990's
  • 2000-2010

    In 2002 Norma O’Bryan sold her interest in KLA to Don, Mary, and Matt O’Bryan. Matt was named President and Chief Operating Officer and Tommy Cataldo III was named Vice President and General Manager.


    KLA implemented a strategy of growth in 2007 and formed its Network Services Division. KLA expanded its service offerings and technical experience to include Network Design, Implementation, and Staging services as well as Wireless LAN design, survey, and implementation.


    KLA opened its Network Staging Center in 2008 and has since been staging and implementing thousands of network routers, switches and access points. KLA provides Cisco Network Implementation services for Ford including the deployment of switches, routers, access points, controllers, IPTV, and IPTel.


    Photo of the Palace of Auburn Hills
  • 2010-Present

    KLA celebrated its 85th anniversary in June 2015 with the expansion of the Technical Engineering Center in Dearborn, Michigan. The space is used for network and wireless in-building services and acts as an extension of KLA’s headquarters.


    In June 2016, KLA expanded to the west coast with the opening of the Las Vegas location, which offers KLA’s full suite of services.


    KLA opened its Service Center in May 2018. The center offers network troubleshooting and end-user support. It is designed for quick response times and escalation to ensure a high level of service to customers in the United States.


    In June 2018, President and CEO of KLA, Matt O’Bryan, was named Entrepreneur of the Year in Michigan and Northwest Ohio in the technology category. The program recognizes entrepreneurs who are excelling in areas such as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.


    KLA is celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2019. The company continues to deliver value at all locations across North America in stadiums/arenas, entertainment centers, manufacturing facilities, parts distribution centers, healthcare facilities, education and government entities, and a variety of other verticals.


    Photo of the O'Bryan family at the Tech Center Grand Opening
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