Dayton T. Brown Inc., a world-class contract manufacturer located in Long Island, N.Y., excels at pooling the technical competence of its four divisions to provide customers with a complete line of product design, manufacturing, test and logistical support services. Edward N. Chaves explains how Dayton T. Brown, Inc. can assist customers develop their product ideas into a reality.
Dayton T. Brown Inc. (DTB) has four divisions: Test Systems, Engineering & Test, Manufacturing and Technical Communications. Each blends together to provide customers with unparalleled product development assistance.
DTB can assist companies through all the phases of production, from idea development and manufacturing, to testing services and logistical support. In the idea development stage, DTB can offer systems engineering and analysis, test specifications, test equipment, manufacturability analysis and technical documentation specifications.
In the manufacturing phase, customers can tap DTB’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, where the company’s experienced engineers and production personnel can answer all of the customer’s precision sheet metal needs. DTB’s aim is to form a partnership with its customers in the design and fabrication process. Whether a customer’s requirement calls for a metal enclosure, a frame assembly, a card rack or any other sheet metal application, Dayton T. Brown, Inc. creates the most cost-effective and high-quality solutions.
For the testing phase of production, DTB provides a complete range of testing resources. Testing services offered include the following: dynamic, climactic, EMI/EMC, TEMPEST, NEBS, hydraulic/pneumatic, optical, mechanical, structural and fatigue, safety and survival, armament/suspension release systems, and conformance inspection/failure analysis.
DTB’s Engineering & Testing Laboratory was established as a quality control testing center. Today, the laboratory is one of the nation’s largest accredited and most thoroughly equipped independently owned facility of its kind.
From its inception as an environmental testing laboratory, the Engineering & Test Division has expanded its capabilities and services to accommodate short- and long-term programs for military, government, aerospace, commercial and industrial clients.
Dayton T. Brown, Inc. also supports its customers’ quality assurance needs within its manufacturing, repair and overhaul facilities. DTB’s test systems and in-process test equipment are designed and manufactured to satisfy a wide range of customer requirements. DTB test systems have been installed across the United States and in numerous locations throughout the world.
DTB also is a leader in providing quality technical documentation and logistics support services to industry and government. The company’s staff of publications specialists fulfills the most demanding documentation challenges. DTB’s comprehensive logistics support services include needs analysis, proposal support, complete program development, validation and maintenance. Moreover, Dayton T. Brown, Inc. can deliver a customer’s documents in the latest technology formats anywhere in the world.
“Our contract manufacturing capabilities have expanded to include everything from A to Z that vary in complexity from small sub-systems to complex medical equipment,” noted John W. Harrow, a vice president at Dayton T. Brown, Inc.
The U.S. Navy and Dayton T. Brown, Inc.
Dayton T. Brown Sr. founded Dayton T. Brown, Inc. in 1950. The company’s early focus was an extension of his background and experience. As an engineer for Grumman, Brown had developed patents for hydraulic landing gear. He retired from Grumman in 1950 and founded what today is DTB’s Manufacturing Division.
During his tenure at Grumman, Brown developed an excellent relationship with the U.S. Navy. Those contacts proved useful in DTB’s early years. The Navy had concerns about quality control and went ahead and asked Brown to test a shipment of armaments from a third party that was going to be delivered to Navy facilities. Brown complied with the testing, in the process establishing Dayton’s Engineering & Testing Laboratory in 1952 to fulfill his part of the work.
In 1966, Brown founded the Technical Communications Division, again in response to a request by the U.S. Navy. The Navy asked him to prepare operating manuals for equipment it was running at the time.
After accumulating an immense amount of knowledge in test equipment, DTB established the Test Systems Division. Dayton T. Brown Jr. found that DTB’s test systems could be put to good effect at its customers’ facilities. Test systems manufacturing for customers began at the division in 1979.
The U.S. Navy contract Dayton T. Brown, Inc. won in 1992 was a breakthrough moment for the Long Island company and represents an important milestone in its development as a company. Dayton T. Brown, Inc. was tasked with supplying hydraulic test systems to the Navy for distribution to depot bases around the world. The company provided all the required production processes on this contract; it was the first time all of DTB’s four divisions worked in unison to fulfill the objectives of one contract. “The contract made us realize how good we were at the full product development cycle of design, testing, manufacturing and logistics support” says Harrow. “It became apparent that the company was at its best when supporting the customer’s needs at all stages of the production process.”
“We have a good customer mix of industrial and commercial clients,” he adds. “Recently we’ve even started looking at the manufacturing opportunities presented by government agencies”.
In 2000, after concluding that the most effective way to gain market share was to offer services at all phases of the production cycle, Dayton T. Brown, Inc. put together an ambitious five-year plan to market its capabilities in manufacturability analysis, prototyping, manufacturing, testing and logistics. Dayton T. Brown, Inc. enhanced the corporate web site (www.dtb.com) to highlight its total product cycle support capabilities.
Based on the strength of the five-year plan, Dayton T. Brown, Inc. has built a diverse customer base that includes the U.S. Armed Services, and a variety of commercial and industrial companies. DTB’s Manufacturing Division has certain strengths that appeal to OEMs in power management, industrial equipment, transportation and homeland security. “We have a good customer mix of industrial and commercial clients,” notes Harrow. “Recently we have increased our efforts in capturing manufacturing opportunities presented by government agencies.”
Dayton’s facilities in Bohemia, Long Island are located on 31 acres. The company has two main buildings that offer combined space of more than 300,000 square feet. One building houses the precision sheet metal fabrication Manufacturing Division as well as the custom test equipment design, fabrication, and electrical-mechanical contract manufacturing Test Systems Division. The other building houses the Technical Communications Division and the Engineering & Testing Division.
A Bright Future
According to Harrow, the future prospects of Dayton T. Brown, Inc. look bright because “there’s been a tendency in the last couple of years for companies to outsource their manufacturing to other companies.” Original Equipment Manufacturers want to utilize other companies’ expertise in the manufacturing process and therefore take advantage of the expertise that DTB provides.
“There’s also a bigger tendency for OEMs to want to form strategic alliances with their suppliers as well as consolidate their supplier base” says Harrow, “which is something we excel at given our financial stability and wide range of product support services that we provide.” DTB also realizes the strategic importance of its own valuable supplier alliances.
Dayton T. Brown, Inc. understands that the key to the company’s growth will rest on its customer service, engineering support and low-cost manufacturing abilities. “We have customers come back to us again and again due to the responsiveness we provide,” notes Harrow. “From an engineering standpoint, at the conceptual phase of a product’s development we can provide the proper guidance. As far as costs are concerned, since the world has become a smaller place and OEMs can take their business any place in the world, we have to keep costs down if we want to capture new business and keep it.”
The recent heightened concern about airline security has given Dayton T. Brown, Inc. a boost in the security sector. The company recently was awarded a large aviation security contract. “We’re also seeing a tremendous amount of work coming from military customers,” says Harrow.
Going forward, Harrow looks to strengthening the company’s position in the medical equipment and device sector. “There’s a certain appeal to the sector because it’s a little less impacted by the ups and downs of the business cycle,” says Harrow. Another attractive aspect of the medical devices sector is the importance the industry places on precision sheet metal manufacturing, one of DTB’s many strengths. The sector’s emphasis on high-volume production is another selling point.
Dayton T. Brown, Inc. has gained valuable experience in the medical device sector that bodes well for the future. The company recently did some work providing high-tolerance frames for an OEM that manufactures blood analyzers. DTB successfully tested and developed an alternate design prototype for the basic frame of the device. All of DTB’s technical and engineering expertise was put to the test during the design and production of the frame. “The frame had to be extraordinarily stiff to give the laser encased by the frame the stability it needed to accurately take readings,” says Harrow. “We passed with flying colors and we were able to cut the frame’s cost by 50 percent. The quality of our technical and engineering capabilities has always been at the heart of what we offer.
DTB has provided cabinets for sophisticated medical X-ray equipment, sonogram systems, and other types of medical equipment. In the last few months, Dayton T. Brown, Inc. also has done component work for an OEM, manufacturing MRI equipment.
“We’re excited about the prospects for providing ever more complex products, and these are exactly the types of opportunities offered by the medical device industry”.