KBIM has been family owned and operated since our founder, Karl Buller, formed the company in 1976. Born in Germany, Karl began his working life as an electrician working in Siemens’ experimental test labs. After immigrating to Alberta, he moved into millwrighting. While working on the construction of TransAlta’s Sundance plant (formerly Calgary Power), he realized there was a future for a millwright-only contracting firm.
As the company grew with its reputation, Karl ensured that it was always on the front edge of technology. Highly inventive, he became a master at adapting off-the-shelf tools and equipment so his employees could do their work faster, more accurately, less expensively and more safely than before.
His first customized portable machine, a hydrogen seal face grinder, is still in use by KBIM today. OEMs and power companies recognize that no other machine on the market provides a better, longer-lasting seal—a seal that’s often better-than-factory quality.
KBIM also entered the computerized world ahead of many of its clients. When Edmonton’s power company converted to computers, they acquired the same type of equipment we already had in use for payroll, cost-tracking and job scheduling. Even today, the software we use is either custom-designed by us or adapted by us specifically for our needs.
Karl’s inventiveness and love of precision lives on at KBIM. His wife Ursula, who has run the financial side of the business from the beginning, is our President. Their sons, Stan and Cliff, are our General Manager and Senior Field Superintendent.
Today, we still routinely modify specialized machines—whether they’re worth $8,000 or $300,000—so they work better, faster, more accurately and more safely.