Dixon, a leading manufacturer and supplier of hose fittings and accessories, opened the doors to its new Dixon Innovation Center, located at its headquarters in Chestertown, Md.
The new 12,000-square-foot center becomes an integral resource 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, lead the company from 1916-1994.
“We are structuring the activities of the new Innovation Center around the needs of our customers,” says Bob Grace, president. “And this customer-centric focus is a hallmark of our company that goes right back to our early leaders.”
“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,” adds Dick Goodall, chief executive officer. “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.”
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 that serves 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 also part of the training offered.
“We’ve always encouraged customers to share the challenges they face pertaining to specific application needs,” says Scott Jones, vice president of sales and marketing. “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.”
To learn more, go to www.dixonvalve.com/innovationcenter.