Dixon Opens New Innovation Center
Mullin/Ashley supports marketing effort through trade advertising/promotion and press publicity.April 2, 2012 – Dixon, a leading worldwide manufacturer and supplier of hose fittings and accessories, opened the new Dixon Innovation Center this week. 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.
Mullin/Ashley Associates provided marketing support for the Center’s opening, developing press materials as well as developing advertising that appeared in several industry trade journals.
The Dixon Innovation 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. 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,” he stated.
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,” he remarked.
“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,” Goodall noted.
Under the leadership of his successor, Richard B. Goodall, the company continued to grow and prosper largely due to his 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,” Goodall remarked.
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 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.”