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HarbisonWalker International is open for Open Innovation

Jun 14, 2017 / Press Releases

Don Abrino appointed Senior Director, External Technology and Open Innovation

Moon Township, Pennsylvania – June 14, 2017 – Citing its continued commitment to advance industry technologies, HarbisonWalker International (HWI), the largest supplier of refractory products and services in the U.S., announced today that Don Abrino has been appointed as Senior Director of External Technology and Open Innovation.

In his new role, Don will create the environment and systems at HWI to provide insight on technology trends, identify and evaluate outside technologies and future business opportunities, and establish strategic collaborations and partnerships with universities, research institutes, other companies, customers, suppliers, and other HWI partners.

“With more than 30 years of experience at HWI and keen insight in the markets we serve, Don is the perfect person to lead this effort for HWI,” said Stephen Delo, chairman and CEO, HarbisonWalker International. “For more than 150 years, we have been a leading supplier of refractory technologies. Today and moving forward, open innovation concepts offer additional new ways for us to lead the industry and better serve our customers.”

Open Innovation is a concept defined by Dr. Henry Chesbrough in 2003 as “the use of purposive inflows and outflows of knowledge to accelerate internal innovation and expand the markets for external use of innovation.”

“Don’s new role at HWI reflects our purposeful commitment to open our innovation pipeline. It will allow us to further harness and integrate global external technology advancements, emerging science with value chain collaborators and adjacent-market companies to benefit our customers and bring new offerings into refractory markets,” said Delo.

Abrino most recently served as Senior Director, Technical Marketing at HWI. During his career at the company, he has held a variety of positions including Research, Product Safety and Stewardship, Plant Manager, Technical Marketing and Glass Sales Unit Manager.  Don holds several patents and has been active in product development and innovation for many years.

“By intensifying our focus on external developments and adapting them into HWI offerings, we anticipate an increased pace from our innovation efforts.  This will result in greater value creation for our customers and accelerate their internal continuous improvements and innovations,” noted Delo.

About HWI, A member of Calderys

HWI is the largest supplier of refractory products and services in the United States, with a history that spans more than 150 years. Acquired in February 2023 by Platinum Equity, it is now part of Calderys and is the brand for the Americas region of the Group.

HWI has manufacturing sites and strategically placed distribution centers in the Americas, as well as the largest refractory industry research facility in North America. Serving virtually every major industry that requires refractory solutions to enhance production and protect assets, HWI is consistently recognized for its talented experts, industry firsts, and intensely driven excellence.

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