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The Case for Continual Product Innovation

By: Jeff Coale

Innovation is critically important to ensuring a company’s future viability. Many times, innovation is viewed through the lens of new product development that drives new revenue growth.  Best practice benchmarks recommend that upwards of 20 percent of revenue needs to be derived from new products every year.

Equally important but sometimes relegated in priority is continual product innovation for existing products that are already well-established revenue producers.  These products often need to be redesigned to meet changing end-user requirements.

The voice of the customer is always critical. Listen to how customers perceive your current product mix and understand what they require of your products moving forward.  Markets change quickly; what works today may not work in the future.  It’s critically important to be totally aligned with end users.  A devotion to continually tweaking designs of existing products is mandatory to our success.

Upgrading existing products to incorporate new design features is way of life at Victory Energy.  We’re constantly seeking new and improved design features.  Our new Standard and Articulating Hinged Access Doors on HRSG and hot flue gas configurations are examples of directly answering the need of our customers.  They asked for a better solution and we responded to meet their requirements.


Standard Hinged Access Door

Standard Hinged Access Door


Articulating Hinged Access Door

Articulating Hinged Access Door


The main issue that’s continually voiced by end users about HRSG and hot flue gas configurations is the cumbersome process involved with having to remove the door to allow for easier maintenance access.  It is time consuming to remove multiple screws and requires at least two people to physically remove the door.

Responding to the need for easier HRSG and hot flue gas duct configurations, we designed and created our new unique fully tool less Standard and Articulating Hinged Access Doors.  Gone is the need to unscrew multiple bolts and lifting out and off an extremely heavy door.

The Victory Energy Standard and Articulating Hinged Access Doors do away with this.  This new innovative door allows quick and easy access to HRSG pressure parts as well as other components in the hot flue gas steam, saving considerable time and manpower when undergoing maintenance.  What used to require two people and close to an hour to remove the door, now can be accomplished in fifteen minutes or less with one person.  The design, with ergonomic handles, allows the door to come straight out and then easily moves to the side.

It’s a new design feature offering a magnitude of difference for plant operators.  The genesis of the idea came directly out of in-depth product development conversations with end users.  The design has been specified on several new projects being manufactured at our Collinsville operation, one of which is for a leading energy provider in the Southeast.  The Standard and Articulating Hinged Access Doors are now a standard feature on all Victory Energy hot flue gas duct system applications and can be easily retrofitted into any existing HRSG casing or flue gas duct.

It’s critically important to stay in lock step with your customers to understand how products need to evolve to continue to meet their needs.  It’s easy to fall into the behavior of “milking” existing products.  Products must continually evolve to remain relevant and useful.  The path to success is through continual product innovation.  It is the Victory Energy way.