This is Our Story.
Established in 1977 by company founders Dave Sanderson and Steve Kottman, SKB Corporation manufactured its first guitar case in a small Anaheim, California garage. Today, SKB is recognized globally as an industry leader in the design and manufacture of molded polymer transport cases.
Vacuum, rotational or injection molded, these cases are engineered to provide protection for equipment utilized by hundreds of companies involved in diverse industries from music and pro-audio products to military, industrial and medical applications. SKB even supplies maximum travel protection for consumer sports and electronics equipment. The familiar SKB logo has symbolized uncompromising quality and unsurpassed durability for four decades.
Steve Kottman and Dave Sanderson meet while on the rowing team at CSULB. They begin building guitar cases for friends using homemade vacuum mold equipment.
Sanderson, Kottman & Browne
Dave and Steve take their cases to Doug Browne, a music store owner who offers to invest in the business. They move their equipment into a windowless shed behind Browne's warehouse they call the "pig hole".
Up in Flames
"We were running a vacuum-former and thinking about something else, so we forgot and left. When we got back there was all this smoke—a total loss." While Browne opts to unload his share of the business after this incident, the duo doesn't quit and scrapes up enough money to open a small shop in Orange, California.
In 1979, they convince Fender that SKB can provide 2,500 cases for a special anniversary edition of the Stratocaster guitar, and business begins to take off.
600 Cases per Week
SKB has 20 employees making 600 cases a week for Fender, with Kottman and Sanderson serving as delivery men. The cases are still being made on machinery built by Dave and Steve.
Military contracts and cases for medical equipment, computers and lasers provide huge growth potential. SKB moves into a 40,000 square-foot facility in Orange, CA.
SKB expands into the Sports arena, and by the end of 1990 SKB has 170 employees building more than a million dollars worth of cases a month—including over 8,000 golf club cases alone.
New Roto Molding Facility
500 employees strong, SKB opens a fourth facility. Housing three rotational molding ovens, this facility allows for the production of innovative new product concepts.
Entrepreneurs of the Year
Steve Kottman and Dave Sanderson are named Orange County Entrepreneurs of the Year in the manufacturing category.
A Fourth Roto Machine
A fourth multi-million dollar roto-molding machine is installed to accommodate SKB’s growing line of products.
Mil-Spec Product Lines
Key staff additions fortify the SKB Industrial Divisions. Mil-Spec product lines are developed in response to heightened travel and transport security issues.
New Injection Molder
New Injection molding equipment is installed in SKB’s main plant in Orange impacting product development in all three divisions, Industrial, Music and Sports.
Another New Injection Molder
SKB invests in a new injection molding machine—one of the largest on the West coast. This machine greatly expands production capacity of the ever-growing iSeries line of cases, enabling the development of larger sizes.
Partnership with Think Tank Photo
SKB partners with Think Tank Photo—the premier photo/video bag and backpack company—to develop high-quality, fully-customizable padded divider interiors and lid organizers for iSeries cases. While originally created with photographers in mind, these divider interiors prove to be popular for a wide range of applications in other industries.
50 Sizes and Counting...
SKB announces more than 50 sizes of standard iSeries case sizes, more than any other manufacturer in the industry. New sizes continue to be developed and added to the line every year.
Yet Another Injection Molder
SKB adds another injection molding machine to supplement production of parts and smaller iSeries sizes.
SKB Continues Essential Operations SKB as Part of the Department of Homeland Security's CISA Critical Manufacturing Sector
While the global pandemic rages—and as the preferred manufacturer of cases for FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), integral medical technology companies, and the National Guard—SKB adapts its standard operations to accommodate these mission-critical commitments. SKB cases are deployed around the country to house the safety and medical equipment utilized for test diagnostics and by first responders in emergency situations, as well as the light bars which are used in portable tent hospitals and shelters that provide doctors with the lights they need to perform critical care.