Dixon Makes Right Connections Under Pressure

Dixon Makes Right Connections Under Pressure

“Make the right connections” might be good advice for getting ahead in life. In the case of IBT and manufacturer partner Dixon Valve & Coupling Company, making the right connections can also be a matter of more than life success: it can be a matter of extreme safety and efficiency.

Dixon’s products are coupled to hoses that carry many fluids, often under pressure. Hoses accommodate air, water, steam, chemicals, hydraulic fluid and even powdered materials. Choosing the right hose and coupling for any given application is critical. You not only have to specify the right coupling, you also have to install it properly.

Dixon’s Phil Kimble is the main evangelist for the company’s teaching of the coupling gospel. As a long-time Dixon employee, he helped create the hands-on training, which he conducted for IBT in late January, and has taken the show on the road many, many times.

Dixon has always been a major believer in the power of training. For many years, they made sure that the field sales forces of their distributor customers were well informed. Then, about 1994, they made a major expansion.

“We’ve always trained sales people,” Phil Kimble says. “But, we found that making sure that the shop people were equally well trained has really made a difference for us. By that I mean the guys making the assemblies are asking questions, making sure that the hose and couplings match for the intended application. Therefore, calls to us about in-field problems have been reduced. My colleague Dan Burke was the original champion of the shop training program, but Dixon soon made sure that this type of training was emphasized as well.”

With a background in the R&D Department and the Dixon Test Lab, Kimble has an encyclopedic knowledge of what to do and what not to do. He also knows all too well what can happen when things go wrong.

“I emphasize a simple and pervasive philosophy during my training,” Kimble continues. “Think about what you are doing. If you are paying close attention to the hose, the application, the fittings, you’ll probably be OK. But don’t do anything with hose and couplings without carefully thinking about what it is you are about to do. Simply put: little things mean a lot. Take care of the little things – the small but important details – and the big things should take care of themselves.”

When asked about what the “little things” are, Kimble gets right to the point. “Sometimes, it’s as simple as just making sure that the hose is cut square. Other times, it’s making sure that it’s cleaned out inside. Proper lube for coupling is important. And, of course, being very, very careful to choose the right coupling and see that it is installed correctly and seated properly.

“When little things go wrong, you can learn a big lesson. And, big lessons can lead to lots of liability claims. This is why it is so important that the assembly (the hose, the couplings, and the clamps) be matched to the application, media, temperature, and pressure for which it will be used.

“So,” concludes Kimble. “Do it once. Do it right. Do it thoroughly. Do it safely. And do it using Dixon. You’ll sleep better when you do.”

For more information about Dixon Couplings and any of IBT’s full selection of industrial and hydraulic hose, ask your IBT sales rep or write to IBT.


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