While the customer always has been at the heart of the way Davis-Standard LLC has conducted its business, its branding may not always have reflected that.
Consider it done now.
Equipment maker Davis-Standard rolled out a global brand refresh at NPE2018 in Orlando, focusing on the customer, with the goal "to provide complete and total solutions when they're looking for ways to improve productivity and profitability in their operations," said Jim Murphy, president and CEO.
"Our belief is that if our customers are looking to partner with an equipment supplier, we will be the brand to really drive those opportunities."
The brand refresh includes:
• A new logo, the first since the Davis-Standard name originated in the 1950s.
• A new slogan: "Where your ideas take shape."
• A new website, which launched 7 May.
Previously, Davis-Standard branded itself as "The Global Advantage" and executed that by expanding its reach through its global facilities and capabilities. With that having been accomplished, Murphy said the time is right to change the focus to the customer.
"We wanted to better represent the markets that we're participating in and the demands of the customers because we think those demands in the last 10 years have evolved significantly," Murphy said. "We didn't think our brand was mass representing what we're seeing in the market and how prepared we are to respond to the customers in the marketplace."
Murphy said the tagline reflects Davis-Standard's intent to help customers "create a better future, doing it with collaboration and teamwork … in partnership with our customers."
The process began eight months ago. The company began by not only engaging its customers, but also talking with its employees.
"Our employees are key enablers of our technologies," Murphy said. "This is more of a partnership approach with our customers, not only to provide equipment, but to really provide the support our customers need on an ongoing basis. As they're evaluating their investment decisions, we have to make sure we're responsive in terms of providing the best options and certainly … equipment support as well as ongoing technical support."
Debbie Crowley, global marketing administrator, said it was the right time to make a change. "The industry needs it and is looking for it," she said.
Murphy said the brand refresh reflects what Davis-Standard is seeing in the market. "Customers are really looking for solutions," he said. "They understand the production demands they have, and they understand the challenges they have in the markets, but they're looking for someone to help them figure those things out and provide solutions."
Davis-Standard also showed off several other company initiatives at NPE2018, include running a TPE tubing line with "smart" technology and displaying its next-generation direct drive groove feed extruder along with its Thermatic and Super Blue extruders.
Davis-Standard has manufactured equipment with open communication architecture since the early 1990s. This new smart technology involves sensors that can provide predictive maintenance so that a plant operator can determine when a particular component on the line is operating outside the normal expected window.
The sensors monitor motors, as well as gearbox and bearings, for both temperature and vibrations; they also monitor electrical control and closures in specific units such as drives, primarily for temperature. A sensor will send an alarm, or a yellow conditional, when something needs to be investigated or is not operating normally, while another alarm, a red conditional, sounds when it is determined a component is at near-failure point that requires immediate intervention.
"Otherwise, there is green status that indicates things are in normal range," Murphy said. "It's like the check-engine light on a car."
The system is in place to eliminate unanticipated downtime. "And those usually happen at the worst time," Murphy said.
The new 65-millimeter direct drive groove feeder extruder features Davis-Standard's Helibar design, with a grooved intake zone and a helically grooved barrel, and new barrier-mixing feedscrew technology. Davis-Standard said this combination offers increased processing flexibility because of higher regrind levels and improved energy efficiency.
According to the company, the Helibar design offers higher throughput, improved melt-pressure buildup, lower melt temperatures, improved melt homogeneity, reduced barrel wear and short residence time. Applications include pipe, profile, sheet and blow moulding processes.
Murphy said Davis-Standard finished strong in 2017, and 2018 has begun just as well. He expects sales to be line with 2017, perhaps slightly better.
"We continue to be very strong in North America," Murphy said. "We're seeing very good growth and good demand in thermoform packaging, particularly for food and food service. That's been a very good trend for the last three years, and it's continuing."
Murphy said the oil and gas industry is starting to revive, helping to support Davis-Standard's wire and cable business, as well as on the pipe side. "We are seeking an improvement in the industry over the last year. Some believe that there is stability in the pricing. Certainly in North America, we're starting to see good activity there."
Much of that success in that sector has come from Maillefer, a Swiss-based manufacturer that Davis-Standard acquired in September, 2017. Maillefer has a strong presence in wire and cable and tubing, and has helped Davis-Standard bolster its portfolio in those markets.
Murphy said Davis-Standard isn't actively pursuing another company for added synergies but it is always looking for good opportunities.
"There's a lot of small- and medium-sized players in the industry," Murphy said. "In most industries, where you see that fragmentation, you see consolidation over time. We fully expect those things to occur because that's what the market generally does, consolidate.
"We're market participants — we're always aware and interested, but there's nothing imminent. We're focused on, from a technological standpoint, extrusion technology as a core competency and controls technology to support that. Business and product lines that are consistent with our core capabilities are very interesting and ones that have a deep technology advantage in the market."