A Dalton Group Company

Investments led by logic, not rules. With focused experience, we drive results, operator to operator.

About IDI

IDI is a southeast based investment company led by John Dalton, a three decade industrial products veteran with experience in all company functions and as a private equity investor with SouthPointe Ventures in Atlanta. John’s past experience began with General Electric and Black & Decker, and includes senior leadership and ownership positions with smaller organizations focused on unique technologies within basic industries. He holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University, and an M.B.A. degree from the University of North Carolina. He and his family live in Knoxville. 

What we invest in

IDI invests in manufacturers of industrial devices, sensors, machinery and instruments. More specifically, we prefer specialty product companies that have the following characteristics.

  • $5 - $50 million in revenues, and $1 - $6 million in earnings

  • Strong technical features, such that use expertise is value added

  • Opportunity to improve by stronger strategic focus and strong operational execution, but not turnarounds

  • Industrial selling environments with larger ticket items:
    – Products with larger dollar sales values
    – Selling to large companies or governments
    – Products are significant to the customers operations
    – Global opportunity for sales and growth

  • Segments where technology and innovation can drive sustainable advantage

  • Preference toward scenarios where key management can stay and hold meaningful equity stake




Proton Power, Inc. (PPI) founded, in 2005, by Dr. Sam Weaver and Dan Hensley developed patent-protected clean energy gasifier systems, for the cost-effective conversion of a wide variety of biomass feedstocks into synthetic fuel or electricity. In addition, PPI systems produce a high quality, semi-activated carbon biochar with valuable agricultural and industrial applications. A recent development is the ability to produce high quality graphene at quantity, using a proprietary secondary processing of this biochar by-product of the gasifier system. PPI is headquartered in Lenoir City, TN.

Materials Research Furnaces LLC., designs, manufactures, and services industrial high-temperature, vacuum and controlled atmosphere furnaces for a wide range of applications. MRF offers vacuum furnaces, laboratory furnaces, industrial furnaces, arc melting furnaces, hot pressing furnaces and builds custom furnaces to meet specific customer requirements and processes. Over 29 years, MRF technology is used worldwide in aerospace, medical, energy, electronics, laboratories, universities and gem and crystal industries. MRF is headquartered in Allenstown, NH.

Perceptics is approaching 40 years of existence, and was acquired from Northrop Grumman in 2006. Perceptics’ primary product is high accuracy license plate readers, complemented with container and truck DOT code readers, with primary technical capabilities of image processing, optical character recognition and pattern matching. Perceptics’ heritage is at the national border, as sole supplier to US Customs & Border Protection and the Canada Border Services Agency. More recent efforts target high performance systems in the electronic toll collection industry for efficient open road tolling. Perceptics is headquartered in Knoxville, TN.


Via SouthPointe Ventures

Sunbelt is a niche distributor of packaging, strapping, and industrial thread supplies and equipment, used across virtually all industries. The company was founded in 1980 and services the Carolinas, Georgia, and Virginia. The company’s deep product offerings, foreign sourcing, 24/7 customer service, and technical expertise keep it a leader in its industry.


Arkis manufactures a portfolio of neuro-surgical tools to streamline surgery, reduce risk, enhance treatment, and reduce cost.


Ark Labs has developed an artificial intelligence-enabled water shutoff valve that studies your water usage and prevents dwelling water damage.

EXITED INVESTMENTS (via SouthPointe Ventures)


New York, NY & Spartanburg, SC

Covington Industries, founded in 1940, is a world-class converter of decorative and commercial fabrics. The company provides proprietary designs and sophisticated foreign sourcing of fabrics and yarns sold to retail, hospitality, furniture, and durable commercial goods markets.


Lithonia, Georgia

Tucker Architectural Millworks is a manufacturer of premium, handcrafted doors, windows, and molding. TAM’s primary markets include historic renovation and preservation, luxury residential homes, and commercial construction throughout the Southeast and Southwest US.


Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Aerial Access Equipment is a leading provider of high-reach man lifts, aerial work platforms, boom lifts, scissor lifts and related lift equipment rentals, service and sales to the marine, petro-chemical, and construction industries in the Louisiana and Texas Gulf coast area.

Great business and great communities

IDI has led, through Perceptics, the creation of the Perceptics Foundation. Built upon employee time and money contributions, the Foundation triples the good, and is approaching a million dollars of employee sponsored donations.

Offices: 10335 Starkey Lane / Knoxville, TN 37932 | Chesapeake, VA