Case Studies

KM Kelly Inc.

Instrumentation and controls for advanced settings

Massachusetts-based KM Kelly Inc. understands the difference between a completed job and a successfully completed job as a longstanding National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) Central Massachusetts member contractor. KM Kelly delivers accuracy and efficiency on some of the most complex and fast-tracked projects in the advanced technology, pharmaceutical and industrial arena.

“Our safety record, the quality of work we perform and our ability to pull off accelerated schedules for our customers sets us apart,” explains Kevin Menard, president of KM Kelly. “We know the sooner our customers can get their product to market, the sooner their making a profit, so that’s what we strive for.”

Rolling over relationships

While the KM Kelly name launched in 2004 when Menard purchased the company from J.H. Kelly, the industry experience and relationships that built the firm are a long time coming. “I’ve been in the industry for over 35 years,” tells Menard. “I was the East Coast operations manager of the electrical division of J.H. Kelly, a large mechanical firm out of Longview, Washington. In 2004, when the firm was restructuring, the executives asked if I was interested in buying this office. With many established contacts and relationships already in place, I bought this division and dropped the J.H. and replaced it with my initials.”

Since Menard took over, KM Kelly has grown into a major player in electrical, mechanical and instrumentation services in the New England market and beyond. “The relationships and the mechanical side have carried over from J.H. Kelly,” says Menard. “Today, we’re an electrical, mechanical, instrumentation and controls installation company, but we specialize in control systems. A lot of our work is in advanced technology and the pharmaceutical industry. We do commercial work, but at a lesser level, and no residential.”

In-house quality control

KM Kelly’s reputation has landed the firm ties with big-name general contractors time and time again. “We work for top general contractors: Turner, Skanska, M&W and Parsons,” says Menard. “And we have a high-end customer base for which we deliver a range of services; low voltage, power distribution, instrumentation and control, process piping, lighting, equipment setting, calibration, toxic gas monitoring, chemical and gas systems. And we do straight up electrical work – all phases.”

Unlike most electrical contractors, KM Kelly boasts an in-house mechanical division. “Working in the instrumentation and controls industry requires both electrical and mechanical know-how,” explains Menard. “We used to subcontract the mechanical side, but I found it didn’t give us as much control as we wanted so we formed the branch to assist in all projects needing instrument air and process piping.”

In-house abilities in electrical, mechanical and instrumentation services means KM Kelly is well equipped to handle construction needs in many advanced settings, including chemical and petrochemical, pharmaceutical, institutional campuses, power distribution and power generation.

“In Malta, NY, we have eight contracts and 200 employees going at GlobalFoundries, a semiconductor plant,” details Menard. “The plant produces device chips for many high-end computer companies, as well as GlobalFoundries, have invested a lot in the area to keep these jobs here on U.S. soil.”

“KM Kelly is delivering mainly controls and low-voltage contracts,” adds Menard. “Instrumentation and controls, toxic gas monitoring, fire alarms, specialty gas and chemical systems- we’re doing a range of things, as well as straight up electrical and mechanical service.”

Another major contract in the books for KM Kelly is a three-year contract with Parsons Construction technology division at Bristol-Myers Squibb. “We were chosen to perform the Building Automation System with Rockwell Automation and the Process Automation System for Parsons Technology Group,” says Menard. “KM Kelly was also awarded card access and video surveillance system project. All contracts were successfully completed on schedule and on budget.”

In Cambridge, KM Kelly is working with Skanska at the Novartis campus pharmaceutical site. “We’re doing two buildings at eight to nine stories in downtown Cambridge close to MIT,” shares Menard. “We’re working on all low voltage, building automation, lighting, fire alarm, security and vivarium controls systems; this is set to complete by October 2015.”

A leg up as a NECA member

The new NECA & IBEW Construction Wiremen/Construction Electrician (CW/CE) initiative program inspires Menard. “Due to the complexity and value of the projects we typically participate in project labor agreements are generally in place negating the need for the (CW/CE),” he details. “Although I do believe it could be a useful tool for other types of projects it is not currently a program we have in place in the Worcester jurisdiction, but I have heard it’s been a successful model in Springfield.”

However, as a relatively young company, Menard says KM Kelly has certainly seen other benefits of its relationship with NECA and the IBEW. “First, there’s the negotiations component, helping us with collective bargaining agreements,” he says. “I’ve sat on boards and been in meetings, because NECA is well aware of what’s going on in rest of country whereas we have local knowledge and it helps to express interest across the board. Second is national support, NECA introduces the newest products and offers online tools for bidding projects and finding quality people.”

Menard, who’s been an International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) member since 1978, says the NECA standard is well recognized throughout the industry and its one reason why more major clients call on KM Kelly. “Going into 2015 there’s a lot of work projected,” he says. “At Bristol-Myers Squib there’s a second phase in progress and GlobalFoundries is projected to expand its campus in Malta starting in 2016.”

“Pharmaceuticals are going to keep pushing for new and life-saving drugs and chip companies are going to make faster chips -that’s an advantage we have, this constant evolution,” measures Menard. As these companies evolve so do their processes and KM Kelly Inc. is there to support them with advanced electrical and mechanical controls.

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