Manufacturing Today - May/June 2017 - 98
www.dometic.com / U.S. HQ: Elkhart, Ind. / Employees: 6,700 (globally) / Dwight Miller, vice
president of operations: "I see operations as the hub of Dometic that brings things to fruition."
dometic primarily serves rv
oems, but it also focuses on
the needs of rv users.
vice president of operations dwight miller
oversees the 'nucleus' of dometic. by alan dorich
For Dwight Miller, the operations department at Dometic is more
than just a part of the company. "I see
operations as the hub of Dometic that
brings things to fruition," the vice
president of operations declares.
Miller is a longtime veteran of
the Sweden-based company, which
manufactures products for the recreational vehicle (RV), marine and
commercial passenger vehicle markets. Its history goes back to 1919,
when engineering students Baltzar
von Platen and Carl Munters devel98
manufacturing-today.com MAY/JUNE 2017
oped the world's first refrigerator.
The two accomplished this by using what would later be known as absorption refrigeration technology. In
1923, the Sweden-based firm Arctic
acquired the manufacturing rights,
and Electrolux acquired the company
two years later.
Electrolux made the company its
leisure appliances division, which became known as Dometic towards the
end of the 1960s. In 2001, Electrolux
divested its interests in the division,
now operating as a separate company.
Dometic thrives by providing smart
solutions to niche markets. "Over
the last 75 years, we've acquired other
product families such as rooftop ACs,
water heater products and different
appliances to make Dometic what it is
today," Miller says.
For example, in 2014, Dometic acquired Atwood Mobile Products LLC,
which manufactured ranges, furnaces and power ventilation fans for the
RV industry. "Their products complemented ours and it really made
a good portfolio for Dometic when
these two companies came together,"
The company also benefited from
its 2004 purchase of WAECO, which
manufactured cooling boxes. After
enjoying success in both Australia and
Europe, "They're making their way in
the United States," he says.
Currently, "We have nine different appliances we serve the industry
with," Miller says, noting that Dometic is the marketshare leader in many
of these product categories, including
toilet sanitation systems, range and
cook top stoves, and furnaces.
The company's recent additions also
include its power awnings.
"That was a trend-setting product for
us," Miller says. "We transitioned the
industry from manual awnings to power awnings."
Dometic's customer base largely consists of RV OEMs, but the company's
main focus falls upon the people who
use the vehicles. Over the last decade,
Miller says, the market has significantly changed.
A decade ago, RV users largely consisted of retirees and the affluent.
"The RVs were not for an entry-level
family," he recalls. However, the in-