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Beginning life as a small forging shop, Dyson Corporation has grown to becoming a key supplier of fasteners to many industries, including rods and nuts used to anchor wind-turbine foundations.

Dyson Corporation has been a specialty forge shop for many industries for more than 130 years, and for the last 15, the company has seen a need for its expertise in the growing wind-energy industry.

In that time, Dyson has become a supplier of anchor rods, nuts, PVC sleeves, grease, and bolt caps for turbine foundations.

“We did very large diameter forgings, special forgings, large diameter fasteners, and we were even making forged forklift forks for that industry up until sometime in the last decade or so,” said John Kovatch, sales director of Dyson Corporation. “We got into the wind industry about 15 years ago, manufacturing fasteners for the foundations. In addition to the foundations, we were going all the way up the tower making hex flange bolts and blade bolts and other high-strength critical fasteners for the wind industry.”

Wind Offers Opportunities

Dyson sees wind as a big opportunity for growth, and since the company already had decades of tangential experience with what was needed, wind became an obvious area in which to branch out, according to Kovatch.

“We’ve always been a manufacturer of highly critical fasteners, and when wind started to develop in the U.S., there was a need for manufacturers with our capabilities and expertise,” he said. “The import markets just weren’t a consideration at the time for those highly critical fasteners. So, we relied on the expertise that we’ve had in place for a hundred years, which is exotic materials, special heat treating, development, and meeting the critical needs of a new and growing marketplace. It fit really well with what we already did for our customers.”

And it appealed to Dyson’s desire to support the continued growth of green, renewable energy, according to Kovatch.

“We believe in wind as a source of clean energy for our country and the rest of the world, and want to be a part of the global solution for climate change and sustainability,” he said. “We see it as an important part of the infrastructure of the U.S. and our economy. Our philosophy toward wind is we want to support it from a domestic manufacturing standpoint. We see ourselves as a continued supplier of the foundation anchors, nuts and washers, but we also feel the supply chain is going to begin moving back toward domestic, and we want to supply additional critical components beyond the anchor rods.”

Offshore Possibilities

Part of that expansion may involve offshore wind, but that will depend on what types of anchoring systems will be needed for each potential project, according to Kovatch.

“There are a lot of different anchoring designs right now,” he said. “It really depends on what kind of design they settle on. If it’s a fixed anchoring or piling-type foundation, we would be in the anchoring systems. And as the industry develops the need for larger diameter, highly critical fasteners to support against the high offshore wind loads, we have the capabilities to supply those products as well. That could be a good market for us.”

In that vein, Dyson employs a staff of engineers to help its customers with their needs, according to Kovatch.

“Our background and our expertise is in fastening; it’s in forging; it’s in critical types of components, typically used in challenging environments and challenging applications,” he said. “We’ve got a background of solving those kinds of problems. When our customers come to us with a problem, we work along with them as a development arm. We propose solutions, do prototype work through R&D, and work alongside our customer to develop a solution on the front end as the most cost effective product design. And when they come to us after the fact, when they’ve had a problem in the field, we do a full analysis to determine the root cause, then come up with a solution that will prevent it from happening again.”

More Wind Opportunities

With Dyson starting out in the wind industry with a literal and figurative foothold, the company has begun to branch out as other areas of wind construction are needed, according to Kovatch.

“We’ve certainly found our footing in the foundation rods,” he said. “And now that we’ve got the materials and the specifications perfected and we understand that market, our goal is to drive our costs down by automating our manufacturing processes and exploring alternative materials. As far as future developments, we believe — at least in the near term — there’s going to be a real drive toward domestic manufacturing for highly critical fasteners based on the current situation we’re all living through. We’re gearing up our manufacturing capacity to support those kinds of demands in the market.”


“We’ve certainly found our footing in the foundation rods. And now that we’ve got the materials and the specifications perfected and we understand that market, our goal is to drive our costs down by automating our manufacturing processes and exploring alternative materials.” — John Kovatch, Sales Director of Dyson Corporation

 

Kovatch emphasized that Dyson prides itself on being able to deliver its products in a flexible timeframe along with its customers’ needs.

“When putting a foundation in the ground, weather has a big effect on timing, as does funding and machine availability,” he said. “Therefore, it’s important for us to be flexible with our manufacturing processes to support the everchanging timelines of our customers. We’re really proud of being able to do that. As far as other industries, we are a proud supplier to the U.S. Military for products used in the building of ships and submarines. Our Infrastructure division supplies products that end up on bridges, locks, and dams. Our products are on many popular bridges: The Golden Gate Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge to name just a couple. Dyson products are everywhere around us. Our domestically made fasteners hold together the infrastructure of this country and help defend it.”

136 Years and Counting

That diversity has been a driving force in Dyson’s long history.

Dyson was founded in 1884 as a specialty forge shop in Cleveland, Ohio, and has grown to become a leading supplier of specialty fasteners and forgings ranging in size from 0.5 to 10,000 pounds and diameters up to 20 inches. In that time, the company has produced critical fasteners for use by the military, infrastructure, construction, and renewable energy industries. Products are produced to ASME, MIL, ANSI, SAE, and DIN standards, and Dyson is an ISO 9001:2015 certified manufacturer.

With all that experience and capabilities, Dyson has developed a reputation for quality and reliability, and it sees itself as a key supplier to the wind industry from the foundation to the nacelle both now and into the future, according to Kovatch.

“We would like to become the preferred supplier of domestically manufactured, highly critical fasteners,” he said. “As the blades get longer and larger, carrying more loads, I think our engineering and manufacturing capabilities will find a real home in the wind industry.”

More info: www.dysoncorp.com

This article was originally published in the June 2020 issue of Wind Systems magazine.


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DYSON CORPORATION
PAINESVILLE, OHIO

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DYSON CORPORATION ACQUIRES ACCU-TECH MANUFACTURING & SUPPORT CORP. – MENTOR, OH

Specialty Fastener and Forging Company expands capabilities with acquisition

Dyson Corporation (portfolio company of Tulcan Management), a Specialty Fastener and Forging company in business since 1884, expands their manufacturing capacity and capabilities through the acquisition of the business assets of Accu-Tech Manufacturing & Support Corporation, located at 8875 East Avenue in Mentor, Ohio.

Accu-Tech has operated as a high-precision machine shop in Lake County, Ohio for the last 25 years, primarily selling into the specialty valve and tooling industries. Dyson plans to continue operations at the Accu-Tech facility through the remainder of 2020, when it will combine the assets and employees with the Dyson Corp. operations located in the same Ohio county. All equipment and employees of Accu-Tech are expected to remain with the combined company after the transition.

“With the increased capacity this equipment will provide, Dyson will be able to increase throughput, improve our tooling availability, and optimally improve our on-time deliveries to our valued customers. This acquisition is a very positive step in the direction we intend to take in order to continue the growth of our business in 2020 and beyond,” said Tom Plisko, General Manager of Dyson Corp.

ABOUT DYSON CORPORATION
Founded in 1884 as a specialty forge shop in Cleveland, OH, Dyson has grown to become a leading supplier of specialty fasteners and forgings ranging in size from 1/2 to 10,000 lbs. and diameters up to 20”. The critical fasteners they produce are used primarily by the Military, Infrastructure, Construction, and Renewable Energy industries, and are produced to ASME, MIL, ANSI, SAE, and DIN standards. Dyson is an ISO 9001:2015 certified manufacturer. To learn more about Dyson, please visit: www.dysoncorp.com.

ABOUT TULCAN MANAGEMENT, LLC
Tulcan Management is a private financial sponsor and operating partnership based in Houston, TX that makes investments in middle-market companies. Tulcan provides capital to business owners in the form of buyouts, recapitalizations, and growth equity and supports the development of management, appropriate governance, professionalization of reporting and tracking of operating metrics. For more information, please visit: www.tulcan.com.

MEDIA CONTACT
John Kovatch | Director, Sales & Marketing jkovatch@dysoncorp.com


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“We supply the anchor rods, nuts, washers, and PVC for the foundations, as well as rod caps and grease for when the project is complete that protects the exposed threads of the anchor rods.”

 

What’s a typical day like for you at Dyson Corporation?

I’m mostly in constant communication with our customers and then with our production team out on the floor. I’m doing quoting for the customers, trying to get status updates on projects that we have that are ongoing, updating current shipments schedules, making sure everything stays on track. And then we’re trying to get feedback from customers as well about the quality of the products they’re seeing on-site that’s coming from us — schedule changes and what small improvements we can make as these jobs go on that make things run smoother for them and make sure they’re still on schedule.

And then with our production team, we’re just making sure they’re on schedule, they’ve got all their equipment up and running well, or whatever ancillary things that they might need that just keep the project going and keep them running efficiently. That’s how most of my day is spent generally.

What does Dyson do for the wind industry?

We supply the anchor rods, nuts, washers, and PVC for the foundations, as well as rod caps and grease for when the project is complete that protects the exposed threads of the anchor rods. All of our rods and nuts are 100 percent melted and manufactured in the U.S. Our manufacturing is all done in Painesville, Ohio. All of our material is 100 percent traceable. It all goes back to when the steel was melted at our steel supplier. We gauge and test all of our threads and all of the products that we’re sending out so we know that it all works properly. Everything is certified by a third-party testing lab that we use to make sure our materials are meeting the grades that are specified.

What makes Dyson unique to wind?

We have a proprietary thread on our anchor rods and nuts that we developed in early 2000. We have the ability to pretension every rod that we ship out to the site to make sure it meets the standard of the spec for each rod and how it’s tensioned in the field, so we know that we’re not sending out a rod that’s going to break at that tension point. And we’ve got experience from our production manager and our director of engineering — about 40-years-experience — together in the wind industry. We have a very knowledgeable staff here as well. We were also ISO 9001:2015 Certified, so that quality specification is there as well.

How do you work with a client when they come to you with a particular challenge?

Each wind project and each job site is very different. There are a lot of similarities, but there are a lot of small details that make each job unique. In our view, listening is the first thing. You have to be able to identify each small detail of the challenge that they’re facing. And then once we kind of nail all that down, really as I touched on our engineering and production experience, we kind of lean on them. They’ve done a great job of being able to identify solutions and work with our customers — whether it’s the engineer of record for the project or the engineers for our specific customers — just to find a solution for those problems. We can kind of take that and apply it to those challenges and use that to improve our processes as well as foresee some of those challenges in the future and apply it to our processes going forward.

As the wind industry has evolved, how has Dyson evolved with it?

It’s taken off quite a bit in the last few years. Dyson is investing in the wind division. We’ve dedicated an entire business unit and entire division to the wind industry. We’ve added some production lines, and we’re running multiple shifts, so we’re bringing in more quality people and doing continuous improvement and maintenance to our equipment. I mentioned the tensioning ability that we have. We built the equipment for tensioning about four years ago. So, we can try to eliminate bolt failures out in the field, because that’s the last thing you want once a bolt’s been put in the ground and concrete poured around it. You don’t want failure there.

We know for sure that we’re sending out a quality product. And then we’ve allocated more resources and raw material on hand. And we have the manpower just so we can meet these increased quantity demands that we’re seeing. We’ve seen an increase in tighter project schedules. Everybody wants to get these done a little bit quicker. We feel like with the more quality people here working on this line and more raw material on hand, we’re going to be able to better meet those needs.

And we are continuing to improve quality and efficiency, taking those experiences and the challenges that we see our customers having in the field. With all that experience that we have on-site here with this industry, we can apply that and make some little adjustments to how we do things going forward and make it easier on our customers.

Where do you see you wind energy in the next 10 to 20 years, and Dyson’s place in that future?

We’ve got some things that we’re working on in the future, but right now it seems like a lot of our customers are basically focused on wrapping up 2019 and the next two, three years going forward. We keep hearing that everything’s going to just grow, and every year is going to be bigger than the next for the next couple of years. We had a very busy 2019, and 2020 and 2021 look to be even busier.

But beyond that, these energy companies are moving to work more and more toward renewable energy. Wind is a big part of that. They see that being more and more of a viable option with more and more of these wind farms out there.With our continued growth and with the investment that we are putting into that industry, we’re in it for the long haul.

More info: www.dysoncorp.com

This article was originally published in the January 2020 issue of Wind Systems magazine.