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Franklin Electric introduces enhanced constant pressure drives

November 25th, 2014

FORT WAYNE, ind. – Franklin Electric Co., Inc. introduced the enhanced SubDrive family of constant pressure drives that provide easier setup and configuration through advanced features and Wi-Fi connectivity for simplified monitoring and troubleshooting. Featuring a NEMA 3R (Type 3) enclosure, the constant pressure drive is rated for both indoor and outdoor use, providing a degree of protection against falling rain or sleet. Its most innovative feature is Wi-Fi capability through the FE Connect mobile app.

The app is a more convenient way to set up and configure the drive in fewer steps. Once configured, it allows real-time monitoring of key system data, adjustment of advanced features and settings to optimize the system to your specific application, and access to your fault history of up to 500 detailed entries that can be emailed for enhanced troubleshooting capability. The new SubDrive retrofits to most pumping systems utilizing a Franklin motor, making the transition smooth and simple for current systems. Basic setup allows users to be ready to pump water with the flip of two switches.

In addition, the new Franklin Electric SubDrive family offers a numerical LCD display that provides important operation statuses and faults. An updated and improved electronic design includes front-facing terminal blocks and components for easy installation. A modular sensor input provides added lightning protection, while easy-to-replace components simplify overall maintenance. The SubDrive family also has a new naming system to better correlate with their respective motor capability. The new, quieter models are named the SubDrive15, SubDrive20 and SubDrive30 (replacing the SubDrive75, SubDrive100 and SubDrive150) and are compatible with Franklin Electric’s three-phase and single-phase three-wire motors. The new SubDrive family also includes the MonoDrive and MonoDriveXT. Sold as a standalone SubDrive or integrated into the market-leading Franklin Electric QuickPAKs (which include a pump and motor), there is a water system solution to fit your constant pressure needs.

The SubDrive constant pressure drives do exactly that: provide constant pressure by continually adjusting the speed of your pump to match water demand. Instead of draining and filling a large tank, the SubDrive pumps more or less water as you need it. It ensures that the user will never lose water pressure, even when using the shower, running the dishwater, doing laundry and watering the lawn – all at the same time. Ideal applications include residential homes, schools, restaurants, car washes, farms and landscape irrigation systems.

Franklin Electric is a global leader in the production and marketing of systems and components for the movement of water and fuel. Recognized as a technical leader in its products and services, Franklin Electric serves customers around the world in residential, commercial, agricultural, industrial, municipal, and fueling applications.


Nu Flow receives WaterMark Technical Specification

November 24th, 2014

SAN DIEGO – Nu Flow, a world-leading pipe lining manufacturer, installer and distributor announced that the Epoxy Barrier Coating System received the Australian WaterMark Technical Specification for use in water supply applications.

WaterMark Technical Specification WMTS – 511:2014 was prepared by industry and reviewed by the National Plumbing Regulators Forum (NPRF) and the WaterMark Technical Advisory Committee (WMTAC).

“Receiving this WaterMark is great news for the potable application that now has it’s own Australian and New Zealand standard. This is a huge accomplishment for Nu Flow as it’s the first of its kind ever,” said Ed Ahern, owner of Nuflow Technologies Australia.

The objective of this WaterMark Technical Specification is to enable product certification in accordance with the requirements of the Plumbing Code of Australia (PCA).


Unico adds BlueVolt’s Learning Management System

November 21st, 2014

PORTLAND, Ore. – BlueVolt, a leading full-service online training company specializing in growing business for manufacturing, service and channel-sales industries, launched Unico University for Unico, Inc., maker of small-duct, high-velocity heating and air conditioning systems. Unico University, powered by BlueVolt, offers extensive product training for Unico’s sales channel, wholesale distributors, and contractors.

Industry leaders, such as Unico, use BlueVolt’s award-winning Learning Management System to train their extended workforce and drive growth in their organizations through online training programs. Unico University features more than a dozen courses on the company’s HVAC products and services.

“We wanted to enhance our training program by implementing BlueVolt’s unique approach to online learning. The new Unico University will arm our sales channel with cutting-edge training while providing us with insight about our distributors’ product knowledge,” said Scott Intagliata, marketing director at Unico. “Our HVAC system leverages several innovative technologies for lowering energy output and increasing cost savings. It’s an important message and product training is integral to differentiating Unico in the market.”

Unico University participants take advantage of BlueVolt’s effective incentive program called $BlueBucks – dollar-for-dollar rewards earned by completing eligible courses. The rewards are redeemed for gift cards at hundreds of retailers.

“We are excited to welcome Unico to the BlueVolt ecosystem. They are now connected with distributors and associations who are using our learning management software to drive sales growth through online training,” said
Douglas Gastich, president and general manager at BlueVolt.


Thos. Somerville Company announces staff changes

November 20th, 2014

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. — Thos. Somerville announced, effective January 1, 2015, Doug Riley will be promoted from Northern vice president  of sales to president. He will replace Pat McGowan who has 33 plus years with Thos. Somerville. McGowan will transition into retirement by relinquishing the president role to Riley in 2015 and then the CEO position in the middle of 2016.

Riley began his career with Somerville in 1986, following a temporary summer position the previous year. He worked through every level of the organization throughout his tenure.

In addition, Dan Kelly has been promoted to executive vice president to oversee several areas of focus (showrooms, marketing, purchasing, central distribution, expansion, recruiting and training). Kelly began in sales in Washington, later becoming a manager and general manager before his role as Southern vice president of sales.

Ray Mikell, in HVAC/hydronics, and Joe Pioli, in plumbing, will both be taking on president of sales positions. HVAC sales and product manager and the Forestville branch manager positions were given to Tim Holmes and Travis Mullins. Todd Griffin will become the York branch manager, and Jesse Taylor will take on the role of Annapolis branch manager.

Somerville also promoted Andrew Mohr to branch manager of the Berlin, Md. location, George Howell to manager of the Chantilly branch, Rob Cockrell to satellite manager of the new Sterling, Va. location, and Tricia Stecklein to manager of the Kohler Store scheduled to open soon in Baltimore.


Results of Hansgrohe + Axor Das Design Competition announced

November 19th, 2014

ALPHARETTA, Ga. — Hansgrohe Inc. announced the results of its first-ever Hansgrohe + Axor Das Design Competition, which attracted outstanding entries from around the country. The award pool comprises four Winners, three Honorable Mentions and a Special Mention as determined by a jury of media and representatives from the A&D community and Hansgrohe USA.

Open to architects and designers across the U.S., the Das Design competition celebrates excellence in design, sustainability and installation of Hansgrohe and Axor products in real-world projects. It demonstrates the range and versatility within the two brands, from contemporary classics to the more cutting-edge, through intelligent and inspiring interiors, and in the process, honors the work of the brands’ industry partners and its impact on two of the most important spaces in a project—the kitchen and the bath.

Hansgrohe USA President Erik Christensen said, “We’re absolutely thrilled and encouraged with the level of participation by architects and designers from around the country. The caliber of submissions and degree of thought behind the specification and integration of Hansgrohe and Axor product within each scheme is remarkable. We look forward to building on the success of our first Das Design competition in the years to come.”

The jury found the overall quality of submissions to be very high and was impressed with the wide range of products specified. The winning projects gave careful consideration to the use and application of each of the products within the context of their design brief and clients’ needs.

Michael Reiman, international projects consultant for the North East at Hansgrohe, said, “It was great to see the breadth of ideas within individual projects as well as the hard work that went into the materials for each entry in our inaugural competition—in that sense, they were all winners.”

The winning architect or designer of each category will receive a round trip to Germany—home of Hansgrohe and Axor— and be part of a VIP delegation attending ISH, the world’s largest tradeshow for the combination of water and energy in building solutions, in Frankfurt in March 2015. They will also take part in local cultural activities in the region.

The inaugural Das Design Competition results are:


Firm: HOK

Project: Five-Star Luxury Suite
Architect: Christina Hart, Senior Principal, Director of Hospitality Interiors
Distributor: Grande Central Showroom on 56 St
Contractor: Pace Plumbing


Firm: Cheryl Chenault Interiors, Inc.
Project: The Retreat
Distributor: The Bath + Beyond
Contractor: Brown & Read Engineering

Project: Phillips Apartment New York
Contractor: Kornel Borbely

Firm: PSModern, LLC
Project: Rose
Distributor: Keenan Supply, Hajoca Corporation
Contractor: Dean Kurtz Plumbing


Firm: Nar Fine Carpentry
Project: Zen Bathroom
Distributor: PBK Premier Bath & Kitchen
Contractor: Nar Fine Carpentry

Firm: MMID Corp.
Project: Green Diamond
Distributor: Farrey’s
Contractor: Pedro’s Plumbing

Firm: AA Studio & MA Architects
Project: 250 Bowery
Architect/Designer: Aldo Andreoli & Morris Adjmi
Distributor: AF New York
Contractor: Ariel Mizrahi at Best Plumbing & Heating Inc.


Project: Ronald McDonald House of Long Island
Architect/Designer: Various


NKBA presents 5 ways to make the most of KBIS

November 18th, 2014

HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. — From new product debuts to trend forecasting—not to mention networking and professional development opportunities—seasoned KBIS attendees know the key to a successful experience is smart, advanced planning. The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA)has developed a plan to help attendees fully experience the 2015 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS). The five steps for the plan follow.

1. Make a plan
Whether it’s your first year at the show or you’re into double-digits, goal setting can help you plan your time on and off the trade show floor. Align with your 2015 business objectives to determine which seminars and courses to attend and which booths to visit. It’s impossible to do it all.

2. Arrive early
Maximize the trip by building in time for professional development before KBIS officially starts. This year, NKBA University will offer 11 courses—10 of which are exclusive to KBIS. Seven are offered the Monday before KBIS officially starts, and four are offered that Wednesday. Can’t-miss courses include: “DiSCover Your Selling Style,” “Born to Buy – Growing Your Kitchen & Bath Business with Multigenerational Clients” and “Recruiting and Hiring for Success.”

3. Schedule power breaks
Give your feet a break from the trade show floor at a “Voices from the Industry” seminar. Over 90 one-hour sessions are offered from January 20, 2015 to January 22, 2015.

4. Come ready to network
Networking is a huge part of the KBIS experience; prepare to make the most of it. Research businesses in other parts of the country that are complementary to yours, whether it’s a potential partner, vendor or client. Make an introduction before KBIS via email, LinkedIn or Facebook to see if they’ll also be attending. A morning coffee or cocktail at The Bash can help forge rapport that will last long after the show ends—busting the “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” myth. The research you do upfront will help you make the most of your meeting, accelerate your relationship and make the connection more effective.

5. Make the NKBA booth home base
NKBA’s Center Stage will host more than 11 events throughout KBIS, including the NKBA U Professional of the Year Finals and 30 Under 30. In addition to carving out time to attend a session happening on Center Stage, making the NKBA booth your home base or meeting point means you’ll have greater opportunities to check out what you might have missed otherwise.


Viega expands manufacturing capabilities in Kansas

November 17th, 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 broke ground 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, 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 United States. 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.


Taco Inc. announces collaboration with Askoll

November 14th, 2014

CRANSTON, R.I. – In the company of invited guests, including Phc News, Italian and State of Rhode Island officials, and company employees, Taco, Inc. announced a strategic partnering agreement with Askoll. Askoll is an Italian manufacturer of pumps used in a variety of industries (including indoor space heating). The announcement took place at a ceremony held in Taco’s Innovation and Development Center.

Under the terms of the agreement reached between Taco and Askoll, the two companies will collaborate on research and development relating to new circulator pump designs and on other joint product and marketing initiatives. Taco has already begun assembling a new high efficiency circulator for residential and light commercial applications, the VR1816, which employs Askoll’s variable speed technology, at its Cranston, R.I. plant, and future plans call for the VR1816 to be manufactured entirely by Taco.

The VR1816 is an extension of Taco’s Viridian line of circulators. It is a wet rotor circulator with an ECM permanent magnet motor that uses up to 85 percent less electricity. It features an infinitely variable speed setting capability for fine-tuning the flow of any hydronic-based system, and 6 pressure presets to fit the job.

Askoll, headquartered in Dueville, Italy, employs some 3,000 people in 11 companies focusing on advanced electric-motored pumps that are used in aquariums, ponds and terrariums, industrial automation, heating, and home appliances. The company was founded in 1978 by Elio Marioni.

“We are proud and excited to have embraced this new professional opportunity with Taco, a strong and serious company that shares our view and ethics. Askoll believes in technological evolution and alwayts strives for innovation,” said Elio Marioni, president of Askoll. “Innovation is in our DNA. In 30 years, we have registered over 800 patents and developed a company fully dedicated to research. Our mission is to reduce raw materials and energy waste and to increase the performance of domestic appliance and heating systems, thereby contributing to environmental sustainability and people well-being.“

“Taco’s path for future growth lies in strategic relationships with world-class companies like Askoll,” said John Hazen White, Jr., president and CEO of Taco. “We have longed searched the world for the best suppliers of castings and raw materials for our products, and now we are doing the same for the best and brightest technology partners. We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial working relationship with Askoll.”


Watts releases IntelliFlow

November 13th, 2014

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Watst announced that it released its next generation Intelliflow A2CM1 automatic washing machine shutoff valve designed to meet the requirements of today’s washing machine technology. The latest model provides enhanced performance and a simplified product set-up procedure.

When the washing machine starts a cycle, the IntelliFlow senses the electric current flowing to the machine and opens the supply of water. Upon completion of the full wash cycle, the machine shuts off and returns to the original current level. IntelliFlow senses the low current and closes both the hot and cold water supplies, relieving pressure on the hoses.

By reducing the likelihood of flood problems, the IntelliFlow addresses one of the leading reasons for insurance claims in North America: water damage caused by burst washing machine hoses. A burst washing machine hose can discharge up to 500 gallons of water in only one hour.


TOTO verifies commercial products’ environmental performance

November 12th, 2014

MORROW, Ga. – TOTO announced that it has strengthened its position as a leader in sustainable product design and marketing by introducing ten new Sustainable Minds (SM) Transparency Reports for select high-efficiency commercial products. The company’s new SM Transparency reports showcase 15 products across four categories—toilets, sensor faucets, sensor flush valves, and ultra high-efficiency urinals.

Harnessing the life cycle assessment (LCA) results of TOTO’s new commercial products, TOTO’s SM Transparency Reports are the first to demonstrate this innovation in the design of ISO 14025 Type III environmental declarations. The objective of ISO 14025 environmental declarations is, “to encourage the demand for, and supply of, products that cause less stress on the environment, through communication of verifiable and accurate information that is not misleading, that stimulates the potential for market-driven continuous environmental improvement.”

To truly achieve this goal, SM Transparency Reports provide comprehensive information about a product, not only the required LCA and environmental data. They present functional and environmental performance information together in a comprehensive and concise three-page, cloud-based report. The environmental performance and LCA data is presented in an understandable format and made meaningful by enabling TOTO to describe what the company is doing to reduce its products’ impact on the planet. They are credible and effective strategic marketing tools that bring consistency and standardization to environmental product transparency reporting.

“Our product development process includes rigorous assessment, then concrete action to reduce our products’ impact on the environment, with the goal of continuous improvement,” said Bill Strang, president of operations for the Americas. “We must be able to transparently provide the design-build community with accurate scientific data in an easy-to-understand, standardized format, so they have information they can trust and are empowered to make sound decisions when implementing environmental performance improvement strategies for their projects. SM Transparency Reports enable us to meet this market demand.”

NSF International verified, TOTO’s new SM Transparency Reports for select commercial products enable the company to accurately describe to the design-build community what it is doing to improve the environmental performance of its products across their life cycle from cradle to grave – from product design and raw material selection to manufacturing, use, logistics, and end of life.

Armed with this information, the design-build community can evaluate and compare plumbing products from TOTO’s portfolio (and in the future, from others in the plumbing industry when they report on product transparency) and make well-informed greener purchasing decisions that help improve the environmental performance of the buildings they erect.

“When selecting products for a building project, owners, architects, designers and other members of the design-build community do not have time to wade through and interpret the highly technical kinds of information provided in traditional environmental product declarations (EPDs), which rarely include much needed product marketing information or substantiation of what the company is doing to make its products greener,” said Jason Fitzsimmons, vice president of sales for the U.S. “Further, the presence of an EPD does not mean the manufacturer has a greener product or has made improvements. It only means they’ve done an LCA, according to industry requirements. Our commercial products’ new SM Transparency Reports convey all the needed information in a clear, concise and transparent manner and demonstrate that TOTO understands the impacts of its decisions. They offer a manageable approach for the design-build community to do their due diligence when specifying products.”

This year, TOTO has developed SM Transparency Reports for its popular high-efficiency commercial toilets, EcoPower sensor faucets and flush valves, and ultra high-efficiency urinals.

TOTO’s new SM Transparency Reports may be viewed in the TOTO Showroom , in the Sustainable Minds’ Manufacturers Showroom, where visitors found the SM Transparency Reports for select high-efficiency toilets the company introduced last year.

“The green building rating systems have been smart to incentivize manufacturers to provide LCAbased information for decision-makers to earn credits for making greener product decisions. But even with the increasing demand for product transparency, manufacturers will not engage if they cannot see a clear correlation to business benefits. Last year at this time, SM and TOTO introduced Transparency Reports. This year we’re introducing the SM Transparency Report Program, a step change innovation in the PCR/EPD process designed to standardize, harmonize and make product transparency reporting understandable and meaningful. It’s faster, scalable, cost efficient, user-friendly and the first comprehensive program for product manufacturers to design and market greener products and create a continuous improvement loop. TOTO’s leadership in developing and demonstrating the SM Transparency Report Program is highly valuable to stakeholders not just in the plumbing industry, but in all industries,” said Terry Swack, founder and CEO ofSustainable Minds.


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