Dixon, a leading worldwide manufacturer and supplier of hose fittings and accessories, announces the opening of the Dixon Innovation Center.
The new 12,000 sq. ft. center, located in Chestertown, MD, 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 lead the company from 1916 to 1994.
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 of 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. 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 says.
He also adds 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. 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.”