Norm Dove was born in Romford, Essex, England on October 29, 1941. He attended Thurrock Technical College from 1957 to 1963, where he obtained a Higher National Certificate plus endorsements. From 1957-65, he worked with Van den Burgs and Jurgen of Unilever Brothers (1957-65); with Dominion Engineering’s Paper machine division (1965); with American Can Co. as project engineer (1965-68) and then with Crestbrook Forest Industries, B.C., Canada as Sr. project Engineer (1968-77).
Dove’s legacy began in 1970 when, while working for Crestbrook, he designed a better steam shower system for a Fourdrinier that enabled a significant increase in machine speed. He obtained a patent for his invention, the first of over 33 in his name. The boost in productivity from this device would lead to his founding of Devron Engineering Ltd. in 1972 and becoming its President.
The first sale of the now famous Devronizer to Consolidated Papers in New Richmond, Quebec resulted in a 15% increase in production on a linerboard machine. His Devronizer would be applied over the Fourdrinier, the couch, and in the press section, with impressive success. But Dove’s quest for innovation did not stop there.
His company soon expanded its product line to include dry-end steam applications (Calendizer), slice lip actuators (Autoslice), calendar stack actuators (Calcoil), and coat weight actuators (ProCoat). Dove’s SuperFlex Titanium Slice Lip gave significant gains in productivity and quality by enabling much tighter basis weight control. As business grew, Dove required employees to be trained in Edward Deming’s system of statistical process control. He drove attitudes of quality and zero-failures in every aspect of their work.
In the area of cross-direction (CD) actuators and controls, Devron enjoyed a worldwide market share of 30% by 1990. Compact, automated actuator beams networked to the mill’s QCS system allowed CD variation in sheet properties to be dramatically reduced, often by over 50%. The CD actuators and controls from Dove’s work continue to benefit many of the paper machines in operation today.
In September 1991, Devron was acquired by Measurex, which in turn was acquired by Honeywell in 1997. The Devron methodology and passion for excellence continues today at Honeywell’s Center of Excellence in the original Devron factory in North Vancouver, B.C.
Norm Dove and his wife, Nan, live in Echo Valley Ranch, B.C., Canada. Norm has three daughters, Ashlie, Megan and Amy.