Press Release


Medeco Celebrates 50 Years of High Security

Salem, Va. (September 19, 2018) - Medeco Security Locks, a division of ASSA ABLOY N.A., is celebrating its 50th year of manufacturing high security cylinders and electronic intelligent key systems. Medeco provides state-of-the-industry retrofit security solutions for OEM manufacturers, businesses, government facilities, retail operations, financial institutions, utilities, schools and homes.

Since 1968, Medeco has led the security industry in innovation and quality. “Our culture of high quality innovation and drive for continuous self-improvement was instilled by Medeco’s founders and continues today,” said Joseph Kingma, Medeco general manager and vice president, electromechanical and high security group. “Roy Oliver’s passionate desire to innovate and to produce great “Made in America” products put Medeco on the map, and I mean the world map. It’s exciting to see our employees carry on this storied legacy today. We’re at 50 years and counting because our engineers, assemblers and staff teams have an entrepreneurial drive and a contagious ‘can-do’ attitude. That’s the reason Medeco is an American manufacturing success story.”

impact on the world began with a clever idea more than 50 years ago in small town Salem, Virginia. An engineer named Roy Spain ran a machine shop from his basement called Mechanical Development Company. One of his inventions was a locking cylinder with a key that had unique angled cuts, making it extremely difficult to pick open. However, the marketplace wasn’t quite ready for a high security lock. It would take another decade before Spain and his partners applied for a utility patent and began promoting their pick-resistant lock. The new company was named “Medeco,” an abbreviation of the machine shop’s original name.

Soon, Medeco’s U.L listed pick and drill resistant locking cylinders were discovered by security providers in New York City, and used to fill a quickly emerging need for greater locking security. Over the next half-century, Medeco Security Locks would become world renowned for providing U.L. listed high security mechanical locking cylinders and for expansion into electronic intelligent key systems.

In 1998, Medeco was acquired by ASSA ABLOY in Sweden. ASSA ABLOY is now the world's leading manufacturer and supplier of locking solutions with more than 47,500 employees, operations in 70+ countries and annual sales of SEK 76 billion, or $8.5 billion USD.

Today, Medeco locking cylinders are still manufactured in Salem, Virginia in a sophisticated and highly automated facility, and share the same painstaking attention to quality provided by the founders. Medeco U.L. listed mechanical locks remain famous for their resistance to picking, bumping, and physical attack. Users are also safeguarded from unauthorized key duplication thanks to utility patents on Medeco's locking technology and innovative designs.

While mechanical security products have long been Medeco’s forte, the company has also turned heads with development of sophisticated intelligent key platforms. Medeco CLIQ and Medeco XT both add scheduling and audit capability on top of the robust physical security found in a Medeco mechanical cylinder and key. Additionally, just like their mechanical counterparts, these products will retrofit into a customer’s current hardware without the need for wiring. Again, Medeco has positioned itself to lead the way with smart new solutions for a world in need of more effective, efficient, cost-effective security systems.

Sustainability is another key to Medeco’s success. “It’s gratifying to produce high quality products using recycled and regional materials,” said Kingma. “Many of our customers demand sustainable solutions to achieve LEED v4 building certification. Medeco has almost two dozen products certified by GreenCircle Certified, LLC, an internationally recognized third-party certification entity that verifies product sustainability claims.”

Medeco began 50 years ago with a brilliant idea for a pick-resistant lock. Today, Medeco is an industry leader with comprehensive loss, liability and security solutions for customers all over the world. For more information about Medeco’s unparalleled mechanical locking systems and award-winning intelligent key systems, visit

About Medeco:
Founded in 1968 and based in Salem, Va., Medeco is a market leader in mechanical and electronic locks and locking systems for security, safety, and control. The company’s customer base includes wholesale and retail security providers, original equipment manufacturers, and institutional, commercial, industrial and residential end-users. Visit for additional information. 

ASSA ABLOY is the global leader in door opening solutions, dedicated to satisfying end-user demands for security, safety and convenience. In the fast-growing electromechanical security segment, the Group has a leading position in areas such as access control, identification technology, entrance automation and hotel security. For more information, visit

Medeco Contact
John Phillips
Medeco Marketing Manager