Swagelok At 65: ‘Pride Of Perfection’ Pays Off
by Katie Dennis, on Thu, Sep 27, 2012 @ 08:09 AM
From a Cleveland apartment, a worldwide company grew and prospered
Swagelok has been a trusted name in valves and fittings for more than six decades. Founder Fred A. Lennon got things started when he joined up with design engineer Cullen Crawford in 1947. They brought to market a new tube fitting that Crawford had created, using two ferrules to form -- or “swage” -- the tube and lock the fitting into place. On a $500 investment they formed Crawford Fitting Co. to make and sell the new Swagelok product line.
Sixty-five years later, the original Swagelok fitting is still the company’s best-selling product in a line that includes ball valves, check valves, needle valves, quick connects, regulators and other products. Through the decades, Swagelok stayed away from “me too” products, preferring to rely on its own research and development. In the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s it developed new fittings for ultra high-vacuum applications, for petrochemical refineries, for the nuclear industry, and for semiconductors. Today Swagelok files about 75 patent applications each year.
The company began doing international business before it was 10 years old. Today the original two-person operation has grown into a multi billion-dollar, worldwide corporation.
Swagelok products have even gone into space on missions to the Moon and Mars.
Commitment to quality has always been the foundation of Swagelok’s success. As Fred Lennon was quoted in early company advertising, “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.”
Swagelok leadership has consistently improved the service side of the business as well. From the earliest days, Fred Lennon began a network of independently owned sales and service locations focused exclusively on Swagelok products so that customers would always have a nimble sales and support team nearby.
Edmonton Valve & Fitting has been part of the Swagelok team since 1965, and remains locally owned and operated. For the past dozen years the local company has been owned by Keith Johns, who has been involved with Swagelok for more than 30 years. Keith started as a Swagelok account manager and worked his way up, dealing with customers in a variety of industries. His deepest experience is with general industrial, oil and gas, pipeline and refining applications of Swagelok products.
Edmonton Valve has grown into a quality service organization of over 40 people with branch offices in Drayton Valley and Fort McMurray, and supports and maintains the ISO 9001:2000 certification and the Swagelok Quality System standard. When you purchase a Swagelok product from Edmonton Valve, it will be accompanied by what we believe is the strongest warranty in the industry, unmatched by any of our competitors. To get in touch with one of our Customer Service Representatives click the green button on the right side navigation pane.
Fred Lennon lived to see his tiny start-up become the industry giant before his death in 1998 at age 92. In the following years Swagelok has continued the founder’s legacy of “pride of perfection.”
When you deal with Swagelok, you are dealing with a corporate culture that emphasizes power to the customer. It’s a formula that has stood the test of time, and points the way to a strong future.