Dixon, a leading worldwide manufacturer and supplier of hose fittings and accessories, announces the opening of the Dixon Innovation Center.
Located in Chestertown, MD, the new 12,000-sq-ft center becomes an integral resource, along with the individual Dixon divisions, for the development of new products and solutions pertaining to Dixon’s industrial and specialty market segments including petrochemical, construction, fire prevention and suppression, food and beverage, mining, and pharmaceutical processing.
The center is dedicated to Howard W. Goodall, founder of Dixon, and his son Richard B. Goodall, who combined to lead the company from 1916 to 1994.
Bob Grace, president of Dixon, explained the significance of naming the center after these men. “We are structuring the activities of the new Innovation Center around the needs of our customers. And this customer-centric focus is a hallmark of our company that goes right back to our early leaders.”
Dick Goodall, CEO of Dixon, provided a personal perspective on the company’s culture of listening to customers. “Howard Goodall, my grandfather, was more than an astute inventor and engineer. He was a person who recognized the importance of asking consumers in various industries what they needed to do their jobs better.
“This was no easy feat to do in the early days of Dixon. But he crisscrossed the country, visiting construction sites, mining operations, oil drilling companies and railroads. From these visits, he was able to build a solid product line that solved many of those challenges.”
Under the leadership of his successor, Richard B. Goodall, the company continued to grow and prosper largely due to R.B.’s long range thinking and understanding of the industrial hose and fitting business. “My grandfather and father set the foundation for the company. Both men were great innovators and motivators,” said Goodall.
True to their spirit, activities at the Innovation Center encompass a wide variety of technologies and products. Jim Shifrin, center director, leads the staff of product development engineers and technical support personnel. Research, development and testing functions include prototype product design and manufacturing, application-specific testing, and competitor product benchmarking. To support these functions the center houses technologically advanced machine tools, testing equipment, and computer-aided design using SolidWorks modeling and simulation.
In addition, the Innovation Center conducts training sessions for Dixon distributors and end-users in a large, interactive training facility suitable for serving groups up to 75 people. Wide-ranging training topics include sessions on fluid and dry material transfer applications, industrial hose coupling workshops, and specific market segment training. Programs designed for small and large groups – including general and custom courses – are part of the training options offered.
According to Scott Jones, vice president of sales and marketing, one key mission of the Innovation Center is to be a resource wherein customers can collaborate with Dixon engineers on proprietary projects. “We’ve always encouraged customers to share the challenges they face pertaining to specific application needs,” said Jones. “We’re now taking this to a new level of support by working side-by-side with customer personnel, here at the center, to come up with strong solutions.”
He also added that another goal of the center is to support companies throughout the world, not merely those in North America.
According to Bill Harr, Dixon’s global marketing director, the Dixon Innovation Center fulfills an important industry need. “To the best of our knowledge, other hose coupling manufacturers haven’t made this degree of commitment to continuing innovation in developing coupling product solutions that improve processes, productivity and safety,” said Harr. “Our Innovation Center does just that. We’re providing expertise, training, information, and answers. For many of our customers, the center effectively serves as an extension of their own technical area.”
To learn more about the resources of the Dixon Innovation Center, including training course topics, visit www.dixonvalve.com/innovationcenter or call 800-520-0947.