Lochinvar’s heritage of excellence dates back to 1939, when the company was founded. The introduction of the Power-Fin product line in 1986 revolutionized the industry and helped establish Lochinvar as the leader in advanced hydronics and water heating technology. Through the years, Lochinvar’s continued investment in research and development has produced many of the industry’s most innovative products and technology. Today, with company headquarters in Lebanon, Tennessee, Lochinvar is the leading manufacturer of energy-efficient water heaters, boilers, pool heaters and commercial solar thermal systems.
In our series of boiler reports, Mechanical Hub recently caught up with Jeff Vallett II, product manager, Lochinvar to talk Lochinvar boilers.
MH: Anything new with the company? Any new product offerings?
JV: In terms of new products, the most recent innovations are the ARMOR Wall Mount Water Heater and the redesigned SHIELD Commercial Water Heater.
The new ARMOR Wall Mount, which is available with inputs of 125,000 Btu/hr and 199,999 Btu/hr, offers up to 96 percent thermal efficiency with a 5:1 turndown and a compact, wall mounted design that fits the tightest installations. These new space-saving models are the latest addition to the ARMOR Commercial Water Heater family, which consists of floor mounted models that range from 150,000 Btu/hr to 800,000 Btu/hr and the ARMOR X2 with 1.0, 1.3 and 1.5 million Btu/hr inputs. ARMOR is known throughout the industry for its stainless steel heat exchanger technology with modulating/condensing combustion and superior energy efficiency.
Lochinvar also recently introduced Lock-Temp® Stainless Steel Storage Tanks in three new models with 60, 80 and 119 gallon capacities. The new units extend the offering of the Lock-Temp tank family, which includes glass and cement lined storage tanks with capacities ranging from 60 to 5,000 gallons. The Lock-Temp Stainless Steel Storage Tank is a fully welded and passivated stainless steel storage tank for potable water. The vertical tank is wrapped in a dent resistant polypropylene jacket and insulated with expanded foam that exceeds the ASHRAE 90.1 requirements for standby heat loss.
The updated SHIELD line now includes three additional models, extending the offering from 125,000 Btu/hr to 500,000 Btu/hr, and an extensive list of upgrades that are all designed to improve performance, accessibility and — ultimately — customer satisfaction. Providing easy access areas for simplified installation, all of the water, gas, air and vent connections are now located at the top of the unit. This key enhancement allows for an improved fit and increased flexibility, adding new options for installation footprints.
The Lochinvar team also continues to travel the country with the Product Showcase Road Trip. Designed to offer a first-hand look at the latest innovations in high-efficiency water heating, the mobile tour is making its way across the continental United States and into Canada, educating industry professionals along the way. The state-of-the-art, customized truck features a multi-media lab with numerous Lochinvar products installed inside. Visitors can experience first-hand the technology behind the CREST® Condensing Boiler, SYNC® Condensing Boiler, KNIGHT XL® Commercial Boiler, ARMOR® (both Floor Standing and new Wall Mount models) and ARMOR X2™ Commercial Water Heaters, the recently redesigned SHIELD™ Commercial Water Heater and AQUAS™ Commercial Pool Heater. Each model on display features its own flat screen television with product details, while a large touch screen television offers an in-depth look at Lochinvar’s overall product offering, product videos, control simulators and a corporate video that highlights the company’s core values.
MH: How does Lochinvar differentiate itself from other boiler manufacturers?
JV: Lochinvar is committed to ongoing research and development to deliver the most advanced control technology and high-efficiency operation. Since introducing the breakthrough KNIGHT® Heating Boiler in 2005, Lochinvarhas continued to take advantage of the outstanding performance of stainless steel heat exchangers. The exclusive SMART SYSTEM operating control continues to be unrivaled in the industry, offering advanced options and user-friendly features that simplify system setup and maintenance. With a steady stream of new product introductions adding to its extensive offering of boilers, water heaters, storage tanks and commercial solar thermal systems, Lochinvar has maintained the tradition of technological leadership that began with the Power-Fin Commercial Boiler more than 20 years ago.
MH: Can you describe the training program offered through Lochinvar?
JV: The annual Lochinvar University program is a trusted resource for industry professionals seeking expert information on cutting-edge Lochinvar products and technology, with courses designed to arm participants with the knowledge they need to size, select, install and service Lochinvar’s extensive line of high-efficiency water heaters and boilers.
This year, a new online training site, www.LochinvarU.com, was introduced. The free courses and training materials available at LochinvarU.com are designed to offer in-depth information about Lochinvar’s high-efficiency products for service providers, design engineers, building maintenance personnel and any other interested individuals. By taking advantage of the newly offered online training, participants can learn at their own pace and on their own schedule from any location. LochinvarU.com offers various interactive control simulators and product line courses in “Information Only” versions, as well as classes that include knowledge tests following the content to meet training requirements. When a participant successfully completes a knowledge test (s), they earn a certificate of completion while also fulfilling requirement to keep their company listed in the service provider locator at Lochinvar.com.
In addition to the new online courses, on-site Lochinvar University classes continue to be offered at company headquarters near Nashville, utilizing Lochinvar’s state-of-the-art training facility. For each participant, Lochinvar provides accommodations for a two-night stay in Nashville based on double occupancy, as well as all meals beginning the morning of the first school day. Lochinvar University offers various product-specific Service Schools, covering a wide range of Lochinvar’s commercial water heater and boiler models. In addition, Lochinvar offers a free, two-day Sizing and Application School for industry professionals involved in the selection, sizing and/or sale of water heaters.
MH: Does Lochinvar offer any incentive programs?
JV: The VIP Contractor Program just kicked off on 10/1/13. The annual program offers participating contractors multiple ways to earn awards and accolades for their installations of Lochinvar’s residential boilers.
From Oct. 1, 2013, through April 30, 2014, approved VIP Contractors will receive a Visa® Reward Card for every eligible product they register. Qualified products include the high-efficiency KNIGHT® Boiler, Solution™ Boiler and, added to the program this year, the new Cadet™ Boiler. Each of these boilers, along with the Squire® Indirect Water Heater, has a VIP Contractor Registration Card shipped with the product. Contractors can also register purchases quickly and easily at knightheatingboiler.com. For every eligible boiler registration, the VIP Contractor will receive a Visa Reward Card pre-loaded with $25 value. Each registration of the Squire Water Heater will earn a card pre-loaded with $10 value. In addition, each registration card is entered into a monthly drawing for Lochinvar’s annual Nashville Experience weekend getaway. This year’s all-expenses-paid trip for two includes tickets to the world’s largest country music festival in June 2014. A total of 16 VIP Contractors will win the grand prize trip: seven winners from the monthly drawings, seven from the VIP Installation Showcase and two overall top performers.
Contractors can also compete to win spots on the Nashville Experience through the VIP Installation Showcase. Easily accessible on Lochinvar’s Facebook page, as well as at knightheatingboiler.com, the VIP Installation Showcase offers a platform where participants can share photos of their installations and interact with other contractors.
Each month from October through April, approved contractors can upload a photo and brief description of an installation of any qualified boiler or water heater to the contest interface. Once an entry has been submitted, it is featured in a gallery where Facebook users can vote for their favorite installation of the month. The top three entries with the most votes are selected as monthly finalists, and a panel of Lochinvar judges chooses the winner. The winning VIP Contractor for each month is awarded the Nashville Experience trip for two to Music City. New installations or repeat entries can be submitted each month for additional chances to win.
On top of the many rewards that VIP Contractors can earn as part of the program, participants also have access to a wealth of tools and training opportunities. All of these resources are designed to help VIPs increase their sales while decreasing their customers’ energy bills.
More information about the program, including a brief video, is available at www.knightheatingboiler.com.
MH: Where are the products produced?
JV: Many of Lochinvar’s products are manufactured at company headquarters in Lebanon, Tennessee. The company’s nearly 400,000 square-foot headquarters facility houses a distribution hub for several surrounding states. In addition, warehouses are strategically located in Chicago, Detroit, Tampa, Orlando, Pompano Beach, Dallas and Phoenix. A facility in Banbury, England services orders in the United Kingdom.
MH: Since MH is an online resource, does Lochinvar offer any online resources or apps for its company?
JV: At www.Lochinvar.com, users can easily access information for each product, including wiring diagrams, piping diagrams, literature, I&O manual, service manual, user manual, pump recommendations, replacement parts list, product summary, warranty information, plan view drawings, typical spec, technical service, etc.
Lochinvar also recently released a new online water heater sizing calculator – LochSpec, which uses job specific information to properly size the system. Information used in the sizing includes variables such as job type, number of plumbing fixtures, service water temperatures, ground water temperature, altitude just to name a few. This information is then plugged into industry proven formulas to determine equipment sizing and selection for the project.
Finally, as noted above, Lochinvar’s online learning platform is hosted at www.LochinvarU.com. Here, students such as contractors, distributors and engineers are able to attend online versions of the popular, industry-renowned Lochinvar University curriculum.
MH: What are two commonly asked contractor questions regarding Lochinvar & its products, and how do you address those questions?
JV: Is Lochinvar a foreign company? Lochinvar is actually the name of a knight found in Sir Walter Scott’s poem titled, Lochinvar. Many people think that with a Scottish name like Lochinvar, it must be a foreign entity. However, Lochinvar is proud to have roots in the Detroit, MI and Nashville, TN areas. Lochinvar is proud to be an American manufacturer with world headquarters located in Lebanon, TN, USA.
What kind of products do you make? Many contractors know us for one or two products within a specific product segment. The most common reaction is that of surprise when visitors to world headquarters see the breadth of Lochinvar’s product line. Lochinvar manufactures the most complete offering of residential and commercial water heaters, boilers, swimming pool heaters and solar thermal heating systems. Water heaters range from 2-gallon under the sink models to multi-million Btu/multi-thousand gallon water heaters used in commercial applications. Residential to commercial hydronic heating boilers and pool heaters are a core strength as well. Finally, Lochinvar also has customers covered with commercial solar thermal systems. With a product offering this full, nearly every project that involves heating water could also involve Lochinvar.
MH: What do you believe are the two toughest things facing contractors today and how are the problems rectified?
JV: Differentiation—it is a very competitive market with multiple contractors bidding on the same job many times. Finding a way to make your company standout can be a challenge. One way to differentiate your business from the competition is by offering quality, high-efficiency products from reputable manufacturers.
In addition, it’s essential to stay up to date with technology. There are new products being introduced constantly, and while keeping up to speed can be a challenge, it’s also extremely important in keeping your business ahead of the competition.
300 Maddox Simpson Pkwy
Lebanon, TN 37090