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Trend Announces Retirement of Industry Stalwart

Trend Industrial Ceramics, the leading global force in cordierite kiln furniture, has announced that Brian Dodd took full retirement at the end of 2016 after 42 years in the ceramic industry.

Brian Dodd joined Norton Advanced Ceramics in Stoke-on-Trent back in 1974 as a Project Engineer. In those days, there were four major kiln furniture manufacturers within a six-mile radius of the centre of the city – the heart of the British ceramics industry. His brief was to try and rationalise a labour intensive production operation by introducing automation where possible. In all, B. Dodd spent 24 years at Norton’s facility in Fenton, becoming Factory Manager in 1985. This period saw major changes in the kiln furniture industry, not least as a result of the ­introduction of roller kilns for tiles firing, the modernisation of the tableware sector and the pressing need for a product that could withstand much faster firing cycles. A tumultuous period in the late 1990s eventually saw all four Stoke-based kiln furniture companies – Norton, Diamond Refractories, Hewitt Refractories and Acme Marls – coming together as part of Sheffield-based Dyson Ceramic Systems by mid-2000. Brian Dodd spent a short time out of the industry but rejoined Dyson in order to help with the transition of the Acme business to the Diamond site in Hartshill. When Dyson struck up its partnership with Trend, he was asked to move to China in the role of Production Director, and in time was appointed to a technical sales position – a role that he has undertaken for the past 10 years. “The Trend factory, which in 2003 was a series of small buildings, not always on the same level, is now a modern, single-level site with the latest production equipment. I have been immensely proud and privileged to have been a very small part in that transition,” adds Brian Dodd.


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