SOURCE: Key Technology, Inc.

March 25, 2008 10:00 ET

Key Technology Introduces Manta™, Its Highest Volume Sorter

WALLA WALLA, WA--(Marketwire - March 25, 2008) - Key Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: KTEC) announced today the introduction of Manta™, a new state-of-the-art high volume, high performance sorter. Developed in response to a market need for improved production efficiency at higher capacities, Manta is Key's largest optical inspection system and extends the Company's sorter family to meet a broad range of customer requirements.

Manta incorporates the Company's G6 processing platform and features a two-meter wide scan area that can process up to 27 metric tons (60,000 pounds) of processed vegetables or fruit per hour with high precision and efficiency. The result is dramatically increased throughput within a smaller overall footprint than Key's other sorters. While initial solutions target the needs of the processed vegetable and fruit industry, Manta is being developed for other industry applications.

"Manta brings increased productivity and inspection capability to high-volume customers. We have delivered Manta to the marketplace on-time and within nine months from concept to introduction. This represents a tremendous reduction in our time-to-market cycle, a major strategic objective for Key," stated David Camp, President and CEO. "We recognize that our customers expect value and innovation from Key, and we will continue to focus our resources on capabilities that differentiate our solutions from any competitor's offering."

Manta has been designed for exceptional versatility, serviceability and sanitation. With the highest number of sensors and image processing modules of any sorter available on the market, Manta delivers all the inspection capability of the finest narrow-belt sorters with more than twice the output of our existing systems.

Key can configure Manta with up to eight top-mounted color or Vis/IR (visible infrared) cameras and up to two top-mounted FluoRaptor™ fluorescence-sensing lasers. Combining color and laser sorting on one platform provides the most comprehensive sort available today, maximizing product quality and food safety.

"All of the customers who have viewed Manta operating in our test facility have been impressed with its operating performance," noted John Boutsikaris, Sr. Vice President of Sales and Marketing. "We have a number of Manta systems scheduled for installation for the 2008 processing season in multiple customer locations around the world. Among these is Bonduelle, one of the largest vegetable processors in Europe."

About Key Technology

Key Technology, Inc., headquartered in Walla Walla, Washington, is a worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of process automation systems for the food processing and industrial markets. The Company's products integrate electro-optical inspection and sorting, specialized conveying and product preparation equipment, which allow processors to improve quality, increase yield and reduce cost. Key has manufacturing facilities in Washington, Oregon, and the Netherlands, and worldwide sales and service coverage.

This release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on management's current expectations or beliefs and are subject to a number of factors and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements in this release address future financial and operating results.

The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements:

--  adverse economic conditions, particularly in the food processing
    industry, either globally or regionally, may adversely affect the Company's
    revenues;
--  competition and advances in technology may adversely affect sales and
    prices;
--  failure of the Company's new products to compete successfully in
    either existing or new markets;
--  the limited availability and possible cost fluctuations of materials
    used in the Company's products could adversely affect the Company's gross
    profits;
--  the inability of the Company to protect its intellectual property,
    especially as the Company expands geographically, may adversely affect the
    Company's competitive advantage; and
--  intellectual property-related litigation expenses and other costs
    resulting from infringement claims asserted against the Company by third
    parties may adversely affect the Company's results of operations and its
    customer relations.
    

For a detailed discussion of these and other cautionary statements, please refer to the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, particularly Item 1A, "Risk Factors," of the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2007.

Note: News releases and other information on Key Technology, Inc. can be accessed at www.key.net.

Contact Information

  • CONTACT:
    David Camp
    Chief Executive Officer
    Key Technology, Inc.
    (509) 529-2161