SGMF membership - uncovered: an interview with Sean Andersen and Tony Haston of Dixon Valve & Coupling
The Society for Gas and Marine Fuel (SGMF) recently interviewed members with Sean Andersen and Tony Haston of Dixon Valve & Coupling, who weighed in on their company, its products, operations and place within the marine fuels industry.
Dixon Valve & Coupling - who are you and what do you do? What products/services do you provide?
Dixon, founded in 1916, is a premier global manufacturer and supplier of hose couplings, valves, dry disconnects, swivels and other fluid transfer and control products.
Dixon provides a wide range of products for numerous industries including petroleum exploration, refining, transportation, chemical processing, food and beverage, steel, fire protection, construction, mining and manufacturing.
What does Dixon hope to achieve in the next five years?
Dixon would like to increase global brand recognition in our chosen markets and countries with products, services and application knowledge. We want to earn the reputation of being a supplier of choice by delivering high value products. Dixon is committed to investing in new equipment, facilities and innovation to ensure our ability to service the customer.
I’m looking for an equipment manufacturer that makes hoses. Why should I choose you and not one of your competitors?
Our involvement with key projects such as Viking Grace, Harvey Gulf and STQ has demonstrated our technical expertise. We have the ability to solve fluid transfer challenges and have a wealth of real world applications and development experience.
Do you believe the LNG industry is a long term viable industry?
Absolutely, the cost advantage combined with price stability and lower emissions are a compelling case for the use of natural gas as a fuel. Large global reserves and continuing efforts to lower emissions will only strengthen the case for its use.
Does the fracking craze in the U.S. affect your business?
Hydraulic fracturing is important to Dixon, and we have positioned ourselves for growth within this market. Overall, the energy industry represents approximately 30% of our business, and we are investing for continued success.
How does the low price on crude oil affect Dixon?
In the short term our sales growth will slow, however, the correction allows us to work closer with end users to understand their challenges and assist in reducing overall costs with efficient, reliable and long-lasting products.
Your mission: “Work together to delight our customers and generate profit.” Is that achievable?
Yes, employees at all levels of the company are committed to and strive daily to achieve our mission and to be the easiest company our customers do business with every day.
Does your company engage in any corporate social responsibilities (CSR) with the local community or in general?
Yes. Strong supporter of the Character Counts education program in our local schools and community with 39 employees currently serving as character coaches; Kent County Chamber of Commerce; United Way of Kent County; Maryland Chamber of Commerce; Washington College; and UM Shore Regional Health.
As the LNG industry grows, with more companies choosing to use gas as a fuel, which product have you found to be the most popular?
Our dry disconnects are useful for LNG, but also used for natural gas supply lines for low pressure gas supply in HHP applications. Our break-away couplings and dry disconnects are part of a system that meets the USCG proposed requirements for the transfer of LNG in bunkering operations.
What advice would you give to a customer about purchasing the right valve, coupling or hose for their operations?
We want customers to share their fluid transfer challenges with us, and we will provide them with the safest and most efficient product for their application(s), either an existing product or a new solution.
How important is safety and training to Dixon?
Safety and training are core competencies within Dixon, and have been since its origination in 1916. HW Goodall founded the company by studying industry and inventing safer couplings for conveying liquids, gases and solids. Today, innovation is a key contributor to the success of the company.
What are you doing to share your knowledge and expertise?
Dixon’s involvement is with the manufacturers of specific equipment that need safe and reliable transfer products when conveying LNG, wet gas, dry gas, and other hazardous and non-hazardous fluids. We regularly attend trade shows to interact with people to foster win-win relationships. The Dixon website is under continuous improvement to make information always available. We also conduct hands-on product training seminars to Dixon distributors that then take that knowledge to end users.
Are there any projects that you are working on right now that you think will affect Dixon’s standing in the maritime/oil and gas industry?
Yes, we are currently working on products that will assist Dixon in becoming a more valuable component supplier for specific LNG transfer applications. We are part of several landmark projects that we think will set the standard for bunkering on LNG in North America.
Why did you join SGMF?
To be part of an organization that will set the highest standards for safety, and to contribute to the development of this industry.
What are you hoping to get from being a member of SGMF?
Contacts with other key individuals, important projects, and networking. Contribute to the development of safe practice for bunkering at an international level.
If you could change one thing about your industry/industries, what would it be and why?
We would like to see the governments of the major countries around the world, allow the free enterprise system to drive the demand and supply of petroleum and gas products. Their focus should be on enforcement of global safety, environment and a level economic playing field for all countries.