Industry News

Pressing technology approved for use on U.S. Navy surface combatants Broomfield, Colo. — Viega MegaPress CuNi and ProPress copper fittings are the first press fittings approved for use in Navy combat ships. After years of rigorous testing, the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) has approved the use of MegaPress CuNi mechanically attached fittings in sizes Read more

Pressing technology approved for use on U.S. Navy surface combatants

Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA)Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), Viega fittings, Viega MegaPress CuNi and ProPress copper fittings, PVFBroomfield, Colo. — Viega MegaPress CuNi and ProPress copper fittings are the first press fittings approved for use in Navy combat ships.

After years of rigorous testing, the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) has approved the use of MegaPress CuNi mechanically attached fittings in sizes 1⁄2″ to 2″ in surface combatants for a variety of systems, including chilled water, potable water, electronic freshwater cooling, seawater cooling, washdown countermeasures, drainage and many others. ProPress copper 1⁄2″ fittings were also approved for potable water and various drains.

“NAVSEA is arguably the toughest standard in the world and earning that approval has been a longtime goal of Viega. It’s an affirmation of just how reliable and durable our fittings are in even the most demanding circumstances,” said Viega LLC’s Director of Marine TJ Tracy.

Pressing pipe offers the Navy, its shipyards and contractors two enormous benefits.

The first is mitigation of fire. Fire is one of the greatest dangers in ship construction, repair and maintenance. There were more than 600 shipboard fires documented between 2017 and 2020. A recent analysis by the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers found more than half of the fires were caused by hot work, such as welding and soldering.

In July 2020, welding sparks ignited small fires on Navy ships at two separate shipyards. Though they were quickly extinguished, the fires prompted work shutdowns while safety measures were reviewed. That same month, the amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard burned for four days while pierside in San Diego. Repairs were estimated to take six years and cost $3 billion so the Navy was forced to decommission the ship 18 years ahead of schedule.

Because pressing does not require heat, flame or an external power source, it eliminates the danger of fire when joining pipe. It also makes it unnecessary to post a fire watch or to prepare job site for hot work.

The second benefit is cost and labor savings. Pressing can reduce installation time by 70 percent over traditional methods of joining pipe. When coupled with savings when testing the systems, due to near zero leaks, the cost and schedule advantages easily outweigh the investment. The National Steel and Shipbuilding Co. (NASSCO), which builds Navy ships, has done studies showing that testing pressed pipe fittings costs less due to fewer leaks, repairs and retesting.

“Viega has been helping commercial marine and other industries benefit from pressing for years and we’re excited to bring that technology to our defense partners. We’re proud and confident that our fittings will make pipe joining safer, faster and more efficient on Navy ships,” said Tracy.

The primary NAVSEA-approved fitting is MegaPress CuNi, a 90/10 copper nickel alloy specifically designed to withstand harsh marine environments. It can be used on Schedule 40 and Class 200 90/10 copper nickel pipe. The second is the ProPress copper fitting system, which offers more than 400 different configurations and three different sealing elements: EPDM, FKM and HNBR.

The Navy approval is only the latest marine-related approval for Viega products. The U.S. Coast Guard, American Bureau of Shipping, DNV-GL, Lloyd’s Register, Bureau Veritas and RINA all have previously approved the use of Viega fittings in marine environments.

Most annual winners ever announced and first time for multiple division winners   The Plastics Pipe Institute, Inc. (PPI) announced the winners of its Projects and Members of the Year program during its annual membership meeting, which was held virtually on May 12, 2021. For more than ten years, the association’s members have selected a Read more

Most annual winners ever announced and first time for multiple division winners  

The Plastics Pipe Institute, Inc. (PPI) announced the winners of its Projects and Members of the Year program during its annual membership meeting, which was held virtually on May 12, 2021.

For more than ten years, the association’s members have selected a Project of the Year and a Member of the Year for each of the five PPI divisions – Building & Construction, Drainage, Energy Piping Systems, Municipal & Industrial and Power & Communications.  PPI is the major North American trade association representing the plastic pipe industry.

The association said that this year it received the most submissions, and that it was also the first year in a decade of the program’s existence to have multiple project winners in two divisions.

Winning projects included the Florida installation of one of the largest horizontal directional drilling (HDD) of 54-inch diameter pipe, a new stormwater drainage system for a new soccer complex in Haiti plus the underground installation of electrical conduit to protect hot air balloons.  Two PPI company members shared the honors for a new pedestrian bridge in Utah, while two others were recognized for two separate oil field projects.

PPI members also recognized a Member of the Year in each divisions for outstanding support and contributions to the association and the industry.

PPI Building & Construction Division Projects of the Year

  • Utah Valley University (UVU) Pedestrian Bridge Snow and Ice Melting Project
  • PPI Member Companies: REHAU (Leesburg, VA) and Uponor Inc. (Apple Valley, MN.)
  • Texas Military Base, Training Center 5 and 6
  • PPI Member Company: Asahi/America (Lawrence, MA)

Utah Valley University (UVU) Pedestrian Bridge Snow and Ice Melting Project

The new 970-foot pedestrian bridge at the Utah Valley University (UVU) campus was in need of a reliable snow and ice removal solution that didn’t include salting or sanding surfaces or moving equipment across the structure to eliminate the snow.  The 305-foot-long, 17-foot-wide elevated bridge section suspended up to 35 feet in the air used some 35,000 feet of ⅝” REHAU RAUPEX® O2 Barrier PEX tubing for the snow melting loops embedded in the concrete pathway. The PEX tubing is supplied with heated antifreeze through 1,900 feet of 2 ½” to 4″ Uponor PP-RCT supply-and-return piping.  The bridge is the first large-scale use of Uponor PP-RCT in North America.

Texas Military Base, Training Center 5 and 6 Project

The large multi-storied facilities at this base required large diameter pipe and fittings to move water effectively throughout the campus.  Installation locations included crawl spaces, underground, and in riser locations.  The project’s piping ranged in size from 4 through 18 inches and consisted of both SDR 11 and SDR 17 wall thicknesses.  More than 6,000 feet of Asahitec™ PP-RCT pipe was used for hot and cold potable water, non-potable and chilled water plus HVAC heating water and HVAC condenser water.

Asahitec PP-RCT was used instead of carbon steel pipe because polypropylene piping  (PP-RCT in this case) provides long term performance and maintenance advantages over steel pipe.  Due to its light weight, ease-of-maneuverability, and faster and safer welding methods than steel pipe, installing PP-RCT provided several benefits to the installers.

PPI Drainage Division Project of the Year

  • Project Living Hope Soccer Complex – Camp Marie, Haiti
  • PPI Member Company: Pacific Corrugated Pipe Company, Hubbard, OR

Project Living Hope, a charitable organization, has a vision to create a social center in rural Haiti supporting underprivileged youth in the area.  This includes creating a massive sports facility with soccer fields, a housing complex, a vocational center and a large community hall.  After the drainage requirements were identified for the soccer field, it was determined that the low material and installation costs associated with corrugated high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe provided the best solution compared to other piping alternatives, and allowed the Project Living Hope to complete the soccer field drainage improvements in its entirety, rather than in phases.

Some 1,500 linear feet of Pacific Corrugated HDPE pipe was used in diameters ranging from six to 36 inches.  Without this drainage system, the fields of Camp Marie would have standing water following storms that would take a week of clear weather to dry.  Now, rainwater is effectively diverted, leaving the soccer fields clear and available for daily use.

PPI Energy Piping Systems Division Projects of the Year

  • Crestwood Equity Partners: Delaware Basin Saltwater Network Buildout, West Texas
  • PPI Member Company: Dow Chemical Company and Performance Pipe
  • Crestwood Midstream Partners LP Gondor Salt Water Disposal Facility, McKenzie County, ND
  • PPI Member Company: Victaulic Company, Easton, PA

Crestwood Equity Partners: Delaware Basin Saltwater Network Buildout, West Texas

This project brought a high temperature saltwater disposal system to the Delaware basin that used more than 88,000 feet of 12, 18 and 20-inch PE-RT HDPE.  Because of the lack of infrastructure and a boom in drilling, a high number of trucks were required to transport the saltwater to the disposal units.  The pipe network provided the way to move the salt water, typically between 140-180 °F.  The high temperatures left the engineers with expensive options to cool the produced water, or to find a corrosion resistant pipe that could handle the temperatures.  They identified Performance Pipe’s PlatinumStripe® 1800 Series Piping Products, manufactured using Dow INTREPID™ 2499 Polyethylene Raised Temperature (PE-RT & PE4710), as a viable solution.

Crestwood Midstream Partners LP Gondor Salt Water Disposal Facility, McKenzie County, ND

Permitted to accept up to 50,000 barrels per day (b/d) of produced water, the Crestwood Gondor Saltwater Disposal facility features two wells, two separators, two oil storage tanks, and 10 produced water storage tanks across nearly three acres.  The project, which was constructed using both onsite installation and in shop fabrication, consisted of 12 inch and smaller HDPE pipe.

Selecting HDPE over metallic piping systems allowed Crestwood to complete the Gondor Saltwater Disposal facility on time and within budget.  Victaulic assisted with the design and fabrication of the Gondor project, cutting weeks off of the original construction estimate.  The HDPE couplings were installed with minimal effort, and onsite assembly required only simple hand tools, without the risk of weather delays.  The Victaulic couplings eliminated challenging fitting-to-fitting connections, and vertical and overhead installation was quickly and easily accomplished

PPI Municipal & Industrial Division Project of the Year

  • City of Fort Lauderdale’s Redundant Force Main Project, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
  • PPI Member Companies: JM Eagle, Los Angeles, Calif. and AGRU America, Inc., Georgetown, S.C.

Construction of a new 7.5-mile redundant forced main sewer required two contractors using horizontal directional drilling (HDD) to install the 54-inch diameter HDPE pipe.  Murphy Pipeline Contractors, Inc. (Jacksonville, FL) ran from the north while David Mancini and Sons (Pompano Beach, FL) came from the south.  Both companies are contractor members of the Municipal Advisory Board, an independent, non-commercial adviser to the Municipal & Industrial Division of the PPI.

This $65 million wastewater transmission line from the G.T. Lohmeyer Wastewater Treatment Plant to the wastewater lift station was completed in February 2021, months before it was expected.  The project was undertaken due to the city’s existing 50-year-old force main, which has experienced frequent breaks during the past several years.  It will enable the city to repair the existing force main.

PPI Power & Communications Division Project of the Year

  • Pacific Gas & Electric – Napa Valley Balloons Installation (Napa, CA)
  • PPI Member Company: Southwire Company, (Carrollton, GA)

The Napa Hot Air Balloon Company wanted to underground existing overhead conductors primarily for safety at the launch location of its balloons.  To address the customer’s concerns, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) turned to cable-in-conduit (CIC).  The goal was to get the trench dug, CIC installed, and filled again with little traffic interruption for a nearby winery.  The use of 13,000 feet of Southwire cable-in-conduit by PG&E for this unique need was an overwhelming success.  In addition to time and cost savings, PG&E now has a permanent raceway available in case a need arises to replace or upgrade the cables.  PG&E is now considering CIC as a solution for future grid hardening, safety, and fire mitigation projects.

PPI Members of the Year

PPI Building & Construction Division Member of the Year

  • Rick Stock, Uponor, Apple Valley, MN

PPI Drainage Division Member of the Year

  • Joe Babcanec, P.E. Advanced Drainage Systems, Inc., Hilliard, OH

PPI Energy Piping Systems Division Member of the Year

  • Chris Ampfer, WL Plastics, Ft. Worth, TX

PPI Municipal & Industrial Division Member of the Year

  • Barb Donaldson, WL Plastics, Ft. Worth, TX

PPI Power & Communications Division Member of the Year

  • Randy Kummer, Southwire Company, Carrollton, GA

PPI is the major trade association representing the plastic pipe industry.  More information can be found at www.plasticpipe.org.

New Program provides $250,000 in scholarship funding to SkillPointe Foundation for next gen tradespeople. Atlanta — The Home Depot Foundation is expanding its $50 million trades training commitment with the launch of the Path to Pro scholarship program to train the next generation of skilled tradespeople. The scholarship program will grant $250,000 in financial assistance Read more

New Program provides $250,000 in scholarship funding to SkillPointe Foundation for next gen tradespeople.

Atlanta — The Home Depot Foundation is expanding its $50 million trades training commitment with the launch of the Path to Pro scholarship program to train the next generation of skilled tradespeople.

The scholarship program will grant $250,000 in financial assistance to high school seniors and graduates entering or currently enrolled in building construction trade programs. Scholarships will be awarded by The Home Depot Foundation’s nonprofit partner, SkillPointe Foundation, and will be selected based on requirements including:

  • Candidate must be a current high school senior, high school graduate or have a GED equivalent planning to attend an accredited building construction trade college or postsecondary program in the U.S.
  • Candidate must be intending to enroll or currently enrolled in an accredited building construction trade college or postsecondary program in the U.S.
  • Candidate must be currently enrolled in a building construction trade college or postsecondary program in the U.S.

To learn more about The Home Depot Foundation’s Path to Pro scholarship program and to apply, please visit www.myscholarship.app/home-depot-foundation.

“Over the past three years, we have introduced more than 15,000 to the skilled trades and certified more than 5,000 to work in the trades,” said Shannon Gerber, executive director of The Home Depot Foundation. “Through financial assistance to aspiring students, expanded grants to our existing program and exciting new partnerships to support social equity through career readiness, our commitment to filling the skilled labor pipeline is stronger than ever.”

Presently, the growing labor shortage in the construction industry has nearly 300,000 career openings offering competitive incomes. The Path to Pro scholarship program is intentionally designed to help remove financial weight for students entering the skilled trades while preparing them for the diverse available career paths.

Earlier this month, The Home Depot Foundation granted $30,000 in scholarships for SkillsUSA’s National Signing Day to celebrate students who have chosen to pursue a career in the skilled trades.

Fujitsu General America, Inc. has recently committed to supporting two national charities; Make-A-Wish® and Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP). Make-A-Wish is a 40-year-old nonprofit organization that has granted over 330,000 wishes to children with critical illnesses. When a wish is granted, a child gets a piece of their childhood back, and every child deserves a childhood Read more

Fujitsu General America, Inc. has recently committed to supporting two national charities; Make-A-Wish® and Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP).

Make-A-Wish is a 40-year-old nonprofit organization that has granted over 330,000 wishes to children with critical illnesses. When a wish is granted, a child gets a piece of their childhood back, and every child deserves a childhood. Furthermore, research shows that a wish can help kids build the physical and emotional strength needed to fight a critical illness. Fujitsu’s support helps provide experiences of hope for children and families when they need it most.

WWP honors and empowers injured veterans and their families. Since 2003, WWP has been a tireless advocate for our nation’s finest, improving the lives of millions of warriors and their families. Fujitsu’s sponsorship of WWP’s annual virtual Carry Forward® 5K provides support for WWP’s free services in mental health, career counseling, and long-term rehabilitative care.

“Fujitsu is known as a global leader in ductless mini-splits, but we’re actually much more,” said President and COO, Matt Peterson.  “We also supply VRF, unitary ducted, and commercial rooftops as a full line equipment supplier.  But we’re also much, much more than that.  We support causes that are near and dear to our hearts.  One of them is the Wounded Warrior Project and the other is Make-A-Wish.  If you know our culture, supporting those that have fought for our country and children with critical illnesses is a no-brainer to us.  It’s the right thing to do.  We hope you will find a way to join us in these incredible causes as we strive to make the world a better place.”

For more information, please visit www.fujitsugeneral.com/cares

Plumbers, heating and ventilating engineers, bricklayers, painters and decorators are just a few of the trades that the UK relies on, but a new report has revealed a decline in the number of workers in these trades. The trade trends report 2021 released by Skills Training Group has analyzed 16 years worth of data from the Office for Read more

Plumbers, heating and ventilating engineers, bricklayers, painters and decorators are just a few of the trades that the UK relies on, but a new report has revealed a decline in the number of workers in these trades.

The trade trends report 2021 released by Skills Training Group has analyzed 16 years worth of data from the Office for National Statistics to assess the state of the UK workforce.

In the report, it revealed multiple key trades on the decline, plumbers and heating and ventilating engineers fell by 4.19% from 157,400 to 150,800, while bricklayers & masons declined by 35.30 per cent (105,100 to 68,000) groundsman and groundskeepers by 25.85% (32,500 to 24,100) and painters and decorators by 17.80% (138,200 – 113,600).

Steel erectors took the largest hit of all trades analyzed, between 2004 and 2020 workers in the trade fell by 47.93 per cent from 12,100 workers to 6,300.

Using the data, the team at Skills Training Group were able to forecast ahead to reveal what the future may look like for these trades if the average decline continues.

By 2049, the picture for workers in the plumbing and heating trade looks completely different:

Commenting on the research and why young people may be the key to turning the tide for these industries, Mark McShane, managing director at Skills Training Group said:

“For many industries, young people entering the workforce early in their careers means they can learn the craft and make it a long term career – with many being business owners by the time they are 30. But, in order to encourage young people to make these choices, businesses in the industry need to engage with young people, sharing their success stories to encourage a new workforce.

“While many young people may enter into a skilled trade through college and apprenticeships, a missed opportunity may be those that have opted to continue studying for A-Levels. For these students, the general direction is to head off to university, so it’s no surprise that many may not have even considered a career in specific trades – this is where recruitment outside of the usual routes can prove fruitful.

“Communication and marketing needs to be a big part of each of the different industry’s goals – young people will better engage with clear and smart communication. To attract and recruit new talent to the industry, its image needs to adapt as well. Companies and industries that make noise, engage with social media and shout about what makes their trades great will see the tide change in the amount of people wanting a job.”

It’s not all bad for every trade, the data also shows that between 2004 and 2020 some trades thrived.

Roofers, roof tilers and slaters increased by 14.06 per cent, Gardeners and landscape gardeners (23.9%) and farmers (28.64%).

Read the full report and insights from it here – https://www.skillstg.co.uk/blog/the-trade-trends-report-2021/