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Industry News

Viega expands manufacturing capabilities

October 23rd, 2014

WICHITA, Kan. – Viega announced that manufacturing of its MegaPress carbon steel press fittings will begin at the company’s manufacturing and distribution facility in McPherson, Kan. Viega plans to break ground in November for an 80,000-square-foot addition to the 439,000-square-foot facility, with full production expected to begin in 2016.

“Adding production capabilities in McPherson will ensure that we are prepared for future growth and the continued demand for Viega products,” said Dave Garlow, president and CEO of Viega.

Viega is the industry’s premier manufacturer of pipe joining systems for plumbing, heating and industrial applications. The McPherson facility currently manufactures plastic products for the PureFlow plumbing and Viega ProRadiant product lines, including the Viega ManaBloc homerun water distribution system and the Viega-assembled panels for easy radiant heating installation.

Viega owns and operates five strategically located manufacturing and distribution centers around the U.S. Each facility is ISO 2008:9001 certified and operates with a comprehensive, state-of-the-art quality management system that guarantees the best possible products and services.

Visit www.viega.us

Manufacturers urged to develop, adopt Communication Protocols​

October 22nd, 2014

ARLINGTON, Va. — ACCA, the association of indoor environmental systems professionals, is urging the industry’s manufacturers to become engaged in the development and implementation of universal communication protocols for equipment commissioning and on-going diagnosis for the purposes of ensuring that HVAC equipment is properly installed and maintained. Similar to what the automotive industry has achieved, initial objectives would be the development of a common set of error codes and a standardized access method (e.g., connection port or wireless) for data collection.

Developing and implementing a universal communication protocols and diagnostic tools for HVACR equipment will have numerous benefits, positioning the industry to overcome some of its toughest challenges; such as:

  • Improved ability to properly diagnose system problems the first time, limiting misdiagnosed equipment and reducing call-backs.
  • Improved opportunities to provide better service/maintenance contracts through improved communications.
  • Increased productivity through potential failure alerts and prognostics that identify potential failure points.
  • Help OEMs with installation verification of their equipment (and subsequent warranty issues).
  • Reduced service and installation costs for contractors through better and more reliable equipment/system information and analysis.
  • The ability to show potential next generation workers that the industry embraces technology.

“Universal communication protocols for diagnostics are something that many industries are already utilizing successfully, and it’s time that our industry gets on board,” said Paul T. Stalknecht, ACCA president and CEO. “I have been involved in this situation before when I worked for the American Trucking Association. There were objections and fear about moving to this type of plug and play system for diesel engines and truck maintenance. But once the productivity and efficiency benefits were made known to truck owners and mechanics, demand peaked and it was implemented and greatly improved the industry.

Stalknecht continued, “I know there are a number of concerns in the HVAC industry about adopting these types of protocols, such as encouraging DIY customers, and manufacturers losing their ability to distinguish themselves from the competition through proprietary equipment design. However, we risk losing more if we sit back and do nothing, or worse, let another entity (perhaps the federal government) develop it and be forced to accept their protocols.”

ACCA believes that the industry can come together to develop and implement universal communication standards. To help move the initiative forward, the ACCA Board of Directors adopted the unanimous motion, “To implore the manufacturers of HVAC equipment to develop and implement open (non-proprietary), universal, on-board diagnostic (OBD) communication protocols for HVAC equipment self-commissioning and on-going diagnoses.”

The ACCA Board of Directors asked that this motion and issue be presented to the AHRI Board of Directors for their consideration, and hopeful action, at its next meeting.

Visit www.acca.org

Kohler and NIBCO recognized by PHCC Educational Foundation

October 21st, 2014

FALLS CHURCH, Va. – The PHCC Educational Foundation recognized the continued commitment of two corporate supporters – Kohler Company and NIBCO INC. – with its Chairman’s Awards. Presented in New Orleans at PHCC’s CONNECT 2014, Educational Foundation Chairman Roger Peugeot commended these manufacturers for their continued contributions toward “allowing the foundation to make a difference to our industry each and every day.”

Kohler Company has been supporting the PHCC Educational Foundation since its pledge to the foundation’s Endowment Fund in 1989. Through the years, the company also has been instrumental in bringing business management training to contractors and their employees by supporting the Foundation’s webinar and seminar series.

“That adds up to more than 550 education programs reaching almost 24,000 industry professionals,” Peugeot said.

Kohler is passionate about supporting the next generation of skilled workers, sponsoring and donating materials to both the SkillsUSA plumbing contest and PHCC Educational Foundation’s own Plumbing Apprentice Contest, held each year at PHCC’s CONNECT event.

Likewise, NIBCO INC., a leading provider of valves, fittings, and piping products, was a key visionary behind the formation of the foundation more than 25 years ago, providing crucial funding to get the foundation started and holding one of the original seats on the Board of Governors. Not only has the manufacturer been a long-time supporter of PHCC’s Plumbing Apprentice Contest, but it also was the first to step up as a sponsor for the Foundation’s HVAC Apprentice Contest, which debuted at CONNECT last year. Additionally, NIBCO provides matching contributions to the Foundation’s annual Invest in Your Future Campaign.

At the CONNECT event, Peugeot praised NIBCO Chief Executive Officer Rex Martin as “a leader in our foundation since day one.”

As the manufacturer representative on the foundation’s Board of Directors, Martin is consistently in front of industry issues, serving, for example, as the driving force behind the Foundation’s formation of the Get the Lead Out Plumbing Consortium, which was instrumental in preparing the industry for the new lead-free laws that went into effect last January.

“We’re stronger because of the support of Kohler, NIBCO, and all our industry partners,” Peugeot said. “With that, I’m proud to present this Chairman’s Award to two manufacturers that have been with us from the beginning and continue to be strong supporters of the Foundation’s mission.”

Visit www.phccfoundation.org

Sloan Valve names new VP Marketing

October 20th, 2014

FRANKLIN PARK, Ill. — Sloan Valve Company announced that Parthiv Amin has joined the organization as vice president of Marketing. The announcement was made by Kirk Allen, president and CEO of Sloan.

“Parthiv brings leadership skills and strategic thinking to our company,” Allen said. “His extensive experience in building marketing plans from the ground up will ensure that Sloan remains the global leader within our industry.”

Amin, who has over 20 years of global marketing and business development experience, will have responsibilities that include developing key strategies and formulating global marketing plans to ensure the continued success and profitability of the organization. Prior to joining Sloan, he worked at Enerpac as vice president of Global Marketing and Engineering where he built and implemented the company’s go-to-market strategic plan. Before Enerpac, Amin was at Northern Power Systems as President of the Distributed Wind power market. He also spent four years as President of the Americas to the Wind Drive Systems entity of the Siemen’s Corporation.

“I am excited to join Sloan, the premier brand in the industry,” Amin said. “I look forward to working with the team, customers and partners to develop business strategies to expand Sloan’s global leadership position.”

Amin graduated from University of Illinois at Chicago with a BSME in Mechanical Engineering and received an MBA from Loyola College in Maryland. He will be based in Franklin Park, Ill.

Visit www.sloanvalve.com

Williams Comfort Products names new Sales VP

October 20th, 2014

COLTON, Calif. — Williams Comfort Products introduced James Gill as its new vice president of sales. In this role, Gill will be responsible for Williams’ worldwide sales operations including the company’s newest line of air curtains.

Gill comes to Williams Comfort Products with more than 15 years of sales and management experience. Most recently he served as the vice president of sales and marketing where he was responsible for the development of worldwide sales and distribution networks and a number of new product introductions in the HVAC and food service industries through plan and spec, wholesale and retail channels.

Gill has also served on Air Movement and Control Association (AMCA) Sales & Marketing Committee and as key vendor strategist on several customer committees.

Visit www.williamscomfortprod.com

TOTO launches facility in India as part of vision plan

October 17th, 2014

MORROW, Ga. – TOTO, announced that it has commenced manufacturing at its first plant in Southern Asia. The new 645,834 square-foot factory in Gujarat, India, which sits atop a 44-acre site, will produce 500,000 toilets annually to service the fast-growing Indian market and the company’s subsidiaries in Europe and the Middle East.

As it did in North America, TOTO entered the Indian market by investing heavily in the local economy and becoming a major provider of jobs for its citizens. The newly-minted TOTO India Industries, Ltd., will hire 500 Indian employees to staff the new plant.

Marketing to the Americas through its subsidiary TOTO USA, Inc., which marks its 25th anniversary this year, the TOTO Global Group will celebrate its centenary in 2017. As part of its corporate vision plan for the run up to its centennial, the TOTO Group has focused significant attention on its international housing products business through its subsidiaries worldwide. The company sees this market sector as a large contributing factor its future growth and has identified India for the establishment of its newest subsidiary.

Investing upwards of $57 million in this emerging market, TOTO began the design and construction of its first production plant in India in 2009. With the completion of the new factory, TOTO plans to establish itself as India’s primary plumbing manufacturer. The company will now set about to increase its nationwide sales network, which currently numbers 90 kitchen and bath showrooms.

Among the notables attending the new plant’s ribbon-cutting ceremony were Anandiben Patel, chief minister of the State of Gujarat; Takashi Yamauchi, executive vice president of Mitsui & Co., Ltd.; Madoka Kitamura, president and representative director of the TOTO Global Group; and Kazuo Watanabe, president of TOTO Asia Oceania, Ltd.

Addressing the assembled dignitaries, Kitamura said, “With production facilities in Southeast Asia, the Americas and China, TOTO has continued to draw on advanced manufacturing technologies developed in Japan to provide local customers with the very best in hygienic plumbing equipment.”

The new Indian plant will enable TOTO to provide its citizens with technologically advanced, water-efficient toilets.

Kitamura added, “to developing our business in partnership with the local community, so that we can establish roots here in Gujarat and earn the affection of people throughout India, now and in the future. I hope that everyone in India will come to know and love TOTO products and continue to use them as a hygienic part of their everyday lives for many years to come.”

Daijiro Nogata, CEO of TOTO USA, Inc., said, “We congratulate the management and staff of TOTO India on the launch of their new factory. The expansion of the TOTO Global Group’s production capacity is a great success story. We look forward to working along side our newest subsidiary as the TOTO Group continues to lead the international plumbing industry. Together, we will continue striving to contribute to the betterment of people’s lives throughout the world.”

Visit www.asia.toto.com

Morrison Supply acquires EP Supply

October 15th, 2014

FORT WORTH, Texas – Morrison Supply Company, LLC, a leading wholesale distributor of plumbing, HVAC, pipe, valves and fittings, and builder products, announced that it has acquired the assets of Tulsa, Oklahoma-based, Empire Plumbing Supply, Inc. (EP Supply). EP Supply and its predecessors have been serving the plumbing, PVF, and Industrial Supplies needs of customers in Tulsa, Okla., and surrounding communities since 1961. Morrison is committed to continuing this great tradition and becoming a supplier of choice in the future.

EP Supply will be re-branded Morrison but the EP Supply personnel team will transition to Morrison and will continue to provide exceptional customer service. Sam Beakey, and all of the other current associates will continue to operate in the same successful format they have today while adding new products including Kohler and other well-known brands.

Stan Allen, president of Morrison said, “We welcome the EP Supply team to Morrison and look forward to working with them to provide customers with exceptional service and value. Morrison has been targeting the Tulsa market and we are excited to work with the EP Supply team as the launching point for Morrison to the Tulsa, Okla., and surrounding markets.”

Beakey said, “This is a great day in the history of EP Supply. We have been a fixture in the Tulsa, Okla., market for over 50 years, serving the needs of our customers and the growing community. We will continue to be dedicated to the growth of our employees and to being a good corporate citizen. On a personal level, I am excited to join the Morrison team as I have observed their growth, company spirit, and most importantly dedication to their associates over the past several years. Morrison’s commitment to their associates, their customers, and the community aligns with my personal values and goals. I look forward to working with Morrison to continue to grow in the market, to continue to provide exceptional customer service, and to expand our product offering, thus enhancing our service to our customers. Our success would not have been possible without our great employees, our loyal customers and our vendors – for this, I say thank you!”

Morrison’s acquisition of EP Supply expands the company’s footprint in Oklahoma, adding to existing Oklahoma Morrison locations in Oklahoma City, Norman, Lawton, and Edmond. About Morrison Supply and Morrison’s parent company, Morsco.

Morsco operates four companies, including Morrison, Farnsworth Wholesale Supply in Phoenix and Tempe, Ariz., Express Pipe and Supply in Southern California, and Wholesale Specialties, in Denver, Colo. Morsco continues to grow and expand its presence as it strives to be your go to family of distributors. Morsco is based in Fort Worth, Texas, and has enjoyed 97 years in business.

Visit www.morsco.com

Mestek announces The Reed Institute Educational Center

October 13th, 2014

WESTFIELD, Mass. — Mestek  announced the re-branding of the Mestek Institute to The Reed Institute Educational Center in honor of  founder, hydronics industry pioneer, John Reed, who passed away in 2013. This change takes place as Mestek celebrates the 20th anniversary since first opening the doors to its training facility and follows a year-long process of updating the facility, programs, website and supporting materials.

The center is home to the dynamic and modern industry trends covering hydronics and HVAC for all Mestek companies including RBI, KN-Series, Sterling HVAC, SpacePak, Sterling Commercial Hydronics. In order to better accommodate our expanded training offerings Mestek also announced a new website, www.TheReedInstitute.com, which offers full class descriptions, registration information, instructor bios as well as links to literature libraries.

The Reed Institute Education Center will honor the memory of John Reed by upholding his vision to make the industry stronger through education. Each year approximately 1,500 students pass through the doors of the Reed Institute. While the majority of students visit to attend training classes, the facility is available to provide a wide variety of educational opportunities for an equally varied audience.

In the past several months alone, Mestek has hosted an AHRI chapter meeting as well as a Hydronics Systems seminar taught by industry icon John Seigenthaler. Young visitors come to learn about manufacturing through an elementary school program taught by the World Is Our Classroom, a nonprofit organization aimed at taking education beyond school walls.

Visit www.mestek.com

KN Series upgrades make boiler line more effective

October 10th, 2014

WESTFIELD, Mass. – In today’s commercial boiler market, efficiency is everything. Architects, engineers, building owners, contractors, and others are seeking systems that offer both top-notch performance and a reduced environmental footprint. To answer that need, the KN Series by Advanced Thermal Hydronics (ATH) has improved upon their industry leading digital control platform, HeatNet 3.0, and their innovative fuel-air flow management system, Tru-Flow, which allow KN boilers to reach operating efficiencies as high as 99 percent.

Ken Cohen, lead design engineer for the KN series, explained that the high efficiency cast iron boilers has been specifically engineered for premium performance and environmental sustainability.

“By further enhancing the KN series with our HeatNet 3.0 digital boiler control software and improved fuel-air management system, we’ve added tremendous value and cost savings to the proven performance of our condensing cast-iron heat exchanger products,” Cohen said. “Plus, ease of set-up, diagnostics with touchscreen programming, and remote system monitoring capabilities keep owners and property owners alerted to out-of-tolerance operation.”

The integrated HeatNet 3.0 boiler management system works in tandem with the improved Tru-Flow Fuel/Air Coupling boiler control system with whirlwind technology, which allows for reduced vent sizes, translating into lower installation costs and application flexibility for the end-user. HeatNet 3.0 is the latest version of the well-known HeatNet control system, designed for precise digital boiler system control and increased energy efficiency. In addition to its touchscreen interface and real-time remote monitoring of boiler temperatures, limit circuit inputs, and overall system demands, HeatNet also provides seamless boiler-to-boiler communication in all applications, including hybrid designs, and optimizes system efficiency by prioritizing the firing rotation of all boilers within the system. A single HeatNet-enabled boiler is capable of controlling up to 16 boilers and can easily integrate with most building management systems; HeatNet 3.0 can also issue e-mail alerts to supervising personnel.

Key features of HeatNet:
• Touch Screen Programming
• Lead/Lag Cascade (16 Units)
• Adaptive Modulation
• Circulator Pump/VFD/Valve Control
• BMS Integration
• Freeze Protection & Delta T Monitoring
• Hybrid / Base Load Capability
• Priority Boiler Control
• Domestic Hot Water Communication
• Flash Drive Update available

New 3.0 enhancements:
• Web-based remote monitoring / dashboard
• Diagnostics
• Troubleshooting
• Set points
• Service logs and Test data
• Operational scenarios
• E-mail alerts

Cohen added that the Tru-Flow Fuel/Air Coupling boiler control system developed to keep KN Series cast-iron boilers running cleanly and efficiently, has been improved to additional application venting flexibility while maintaining its precision fuel/air premix.

“Enhancing the Tru-Flow with whirlwind allows for reduced vent diameters and longer vent runs for increased application flexibility at installation; a real savings for the building owner,” Cohen said, noting that all KN Series boiler units are also prepackaged for simple installation, peak mechanical system performance, and easy serviceability. “They’re the first commercial boilers to achieve the high efficiency of condensing applications utilizing durable cast iron, which is both condition tolerant for durability and heat retentive for performance.”

Visit www.knseries.com

Hercules Industries receives ‘Top Company’ award

October 9th, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Heating Air-conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) announced that Hercules Industries, a Colorado-based HVAC manufacturer and distributor, has been honored as a 2014 “Top Company” in Manufacturing by Colorado Biz Magazine. The award is considered one of the most competitive professional awards in the state. With winners in 13 business categories, this award picks the best of the best. Winners are judged on financial performance and growth, community service, operations, timing, sustained excellence, competition within the market, perseverance, and noteworthy achievement.

“I am particularly proud of this award because they encompass the collective effort of all of our employees,”said Andy Newland, president of Hercules Industries. “Our employees are committed to a safe work environment, as well as standards of excellence that have allowed us to grow while making a positive impact in the communities that we serve.”

Hercules Industries is dedicated to streamlining its business and staying competitive in the market, while maintaining high standards on product and service. Additionally, Hercules counts around 360 employees and places a high emphasis on their work satisfaction by offering generous benefits, superior job training and health and fitness amenities.

For over 50 years, Hercules has maintained the level of care and service you would expect from a family owned company, while supporting impressive growth and meeting the demand of the marketplace. Hercules Industries is one of America’s most efficient and dependable manufacturers and distributors of high-quality HVAC sheet metal products and equipment. Hercules Industries is now one of the largest companies of its type in the Western and Midwestern United States and operates manufacturing facilities in twelve states.

Visit www.herculesindustries.com

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