Jane Warren and Andrew Wilkes are a husband-and-wife team who own Dixon Manufacturing Ltd in Warkworth, a renowned stainless-steel products manufacturer who provide precision metal fabrication and installation services.
They purchased the business in 2006 from the original owner Neil Dixon, back then the business was largely focussed on the marine and marina industry and had built up a well know name and credible reputation within the sector.
After the Global Financial Crisis hit, the marine industry was significantly impacted so Jane and Andrew started thinking about what else they could do and other markets they could target. They were also becoming increasingly frustrated with their outsourcing model for componentry manufacturing, the lead times were getting stretched out and they were reliant on the timeliness of their suppliers.
They decided to bring the componentry manufacturing in-house to have more control over the process and to also be able to offer the service to others. Andrew began researching waterjets and soon came across Roadrunner Manufacturing. He reached out and hasn’t looked back since,
Jane and Andrew decided to first invest in a Maxiem 1530 Abrasive Waterjet system, the Roadrunner team travelled to Warkworth to install the system and also ensure that Dixon Manufacturing’s trained waterjet operator Doug Stables was happy with all the operating software.
Dixon Manufacturing were highly satisfied with the Maxiem 1530 as it made the business much more self sufficient and took away the vulnerability of external suppliers. They also had new customers and projects coming in that were previously outside of their scope such as artwork, braziers, and other custom projects.
Changing needs require a larger waterjet
After a few years their production ramped up and needs changed so they decided a bigger waterjet was required, Jane shares;
“We eventually outgrew the Maxiem 1530, it had been fantastic, but we started to require larger sheets for production and realised a bigger machine would also allow an increased output.”
They upgraded to the larger spec Maxiem 2040 and sold their original Maxiem 1530 back to Roadrunner. It wasn’t long however before their workload grew again and the Maxiem 2040 couldn’t keep up with production. So a new Maxiem 1530 was purchased and added to the shop so that they could keep up their demand and production schedule for waterjet cutting services. They even brought a smaller ProtoMAX to cover smaller, lower volume cutting so they now have three fully operational waterjets…
A legendary father/son waterjet duo was born when waterjet operator Doug Stables’ son Riley also came on board with the business and trained up to be the second waterjet operator. According to Jane having two operational waterjets has had a significant impact on the business.
”We now have two operators running two machines and have doubled production. The machines run all day, every day and are just brilliant, we can pretty much do all of our componentry in house now. It’s enabled us to service a completely different customer base and expand our service offering.”
Dixon Manufacturing has experienced minor issues with their waterjets over the years, as you do with most machinery, but is always impressed with the proactivity from Roadrunner.
“We’ve had the odd issue/break down, but the Roadrunner team are always onto it straight away, they literally will get on a plane and be there the next day to sort it out, their service is second to none. The warranty on OMAX waterjets and parts is also fantastic, it’s great quality equipment but it’s good to know that they will replace it hassle-free if needed.”
Jane thinks that what sets Roadrunner apart from other waterjet suppliers / distributors is their team and is quick to say, “we love dealing with the Roadrunner team, they are so easy to deal with and their communication is always on point.”
“Reach out to Roadrunner! Just do it, I wouldn’t even bother considering another waterjet supplier. Our OMAX machines have been of the highest quality, and we would recommend the machinery to others but more so the supply and support that Roadrunner has delivered is what has made our experience with OMAX a lesson in great customer service.”