Industry News

 Ontario, Calif. — The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) on Thursday ratified the election of new officers and board members, formally concluding the association’s 91st annual Education and Business Conference, which was conducted virtually due to the COVID-19 global health crisis. David Gans, chief building official for the city of Oceanside, Calif Read more

 Ontario, Calif. — The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) on Thursday ratified the election of new officers and board members, formally concluding the association’s 91st annual Education and Business Conference, which was conducted virtually due to the COVID-19 global health crisis.

David Gans, chief building official for the city of Oceanside, Calif., was elected IAPMO’s 61st president and Steven Panelli, chief plumbing inspector for the city and county of San Francisco, was elected vice president.

Four new members of the board were elected to serve:

  • David Ledda, plumbing inspector for the city and county of San Francisco
  • Rick Garcia, senior mechanical inspector for the city of San Diego
  • Carlos Flores, assistant chief plumbing inspector for the city of Houston
  • Ray Boyd, United Association assistant director of Education and Training

Claudio Spagnuolo, plumbing inspector for the City of Brampton, Ontario, Canada, was elected to a second term on the board, and Steve Fernlund, plumbing inspector for the city of St. Paul, Minnesota, was appointed secretary/treasurer by President Gans.

“I want to thank IAPMO membership for its faith in placing Steve and me as officers and extending that faith to our current and newly elected members of IAPMO’s national board of directors,” Gans said. “Please know that we this take honor seriously will do our best to move IAPMO forward to future successes. Please reach out to us with new ideas on how we can make IAPMO even better.”

AB&I Foundry, leading American cast iron soil pipe manufacturer is proud to announce the launch of its newly redesigned website at www.abifoundry.com. The new site features a streamlined, modern design, improved functionality, and easy access to essential information to help customers navigate information about the product offering. “We are pleased to debut our new company Read more

AB&I Foundry, leading American cast iron soil pipe manufacturer is proud to announce the launch of its newly redesigned website at www.abifoundry.com. The new site features a streamlined, modern design, improved functionality, and easy access to essential information to help customers navigate information about the product offering.

“We are pleased to debut our new company website for our customers and visitors who are looking to understand the full breadth of the AB&I product offering,” said Michael Lowe, General Manager of AB&I Foundry. “This website redesign truly ties together everything our customers need in order to use and specify our products.”

AB&I Foundry, an Oakland-based company that manufactures cast iron pipe and fittings for the plumbing industry, has a long legacy of manufacturing in East Oakland. The company has been manufacturing quality cast iron soil pipe that is used to convey fluids out of commercial and residential buildings since 1906. Plumbing infrastructure is critical to public health and sanitation and there are only three (3) manufacturers remaining in the United States.  We remain OaklandSTRONG. Please follow us on www.ABIOakland.com, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to keep current with AB&I events and information.

The Plastics Pipe Institute, Inc. (PPI) is celebrating its 70th year.  Formed in 1950 as the Thermoplastic Pipe Division of the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI), PPI is now the leading North American trade association representing all segments of the plastic pipe industry, and is known for its research,  its work to develop industry Read more

The Plastics Pipe Institute, Inc. (PPI) is celebrating its 70th year.  Formed in 1950 as the Thermoplastic Pipe Division of the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI), PPI is now the leading North American trade association representing all segments of the plastic pipe industry, and is known for its research,  its work to develop industry standards and codes, advocacy and education.

“Since the very beginning, PPI has provided the vision and the leadership that has produced the establishment of uniform test and design criteria that became the foundation for all current applications of plastics piping,” stated PPI President David Fink.

PPI President David Fink

“PPI created the methodology for rating the long-term strength of pipe materials plus the concepts of pipe pressure rating, the establishment of standard dimensional ratios and the adoption of numbers to state those properties.  Our association staff and members also engineered the first code acceptances for plumbing, industrial, commercial and gas distribution applications for plastics piping, and provided the first industry-wide statistics.  Today, that work continues and includes telecommunications conduit, corrugated drainage pipe, along with pipe used in potable water, forced main sanitary sewer systems and building and construction projects.”

In 1950, when the group was first formed as the Plastic Pipe Manufacturers Association, plastic pipe was still in its infancy, having been developed during World War II as a way to insulate radar cables.  Solid-wall high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe began replacing metal pipe in oil- and gas-gathering systems in the late 1950s.  In the early 1960s, gas utilities started replacing failing iron pipe with polyethylene (PE) pipe, and because of its successful performance history,  95 percent of all new gas distribution systems installed today use PE pipe.  A few years later, corrugated HDPE pipe started to replace clay pipe in agricultural drainage systems.  In the late 1980s, large-diameter corrugated HDPE pipe began to replace metal and concrete in storm water culverts. The material has continued to evolve into what is now its third and fourth generation of development, each with improved performance capabilities.

“PPI has always been ‘member-run, member-led,” Fink stated.  “The continuing success and growth of our association is a direct result of the enthusiastic work by those members.  One indication of how our members view their association can be determined by the many people who have participated for several decades.”

Jim Craig, PPI Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

Frequently, PPI presents its Lifetime Achievement Award to a member who provided exceptional devotion and dedication to the industry.  Jim Craig was honored in 2013 for his 40 years of service to the industry and said, “I am proud to be a lifetime member of PPI.  It is a great organization with a super staff to help the members accomplish great gains in the plastic pipe markets. I joined PPI in the 1980s, while working for McElroy Manufacturing in Tulsa, OK.  I quickly learned that this organization was great at getting people and organizations together to grow the PE industry in general.  We had pipe manufacturers, resin manufacturers, fitting manufacturers, joining manufacturers and distribution organizations take on projects, do testing, and develop technical notes and reports with everyone working together to accomplish our goals.”

“Unfortunately, Jim passed away soon after providing his thoughts about PPI,” explained Fink.  “His contributions and devotion to PPI and the industry is his legacy that will always benefit others.”

George Zagorski, PPI Lifetime Member

Another Lifetime Member, George Zagorski, now retired from Blue Diamond Industries (Lexington, KY), offered, “I was a somewhat “reluctant” young volunteer when Blue Diamond first joined PPI some 15 years ago.  What I discovered was like-minded professionals, who would debate and cooperate for the betterment of the overall plastic piping industry.  Along the way, my voice was always heard and considered.  In the end, I’ve developed not only professional relationships, but lifelong friendships.”  Zagorski also served on the PPI Board of Directors from 2011 to 2017 as vice chair, chair and past chair plus numerous other committees and task groups.

In 1963, Phillips Petroleum, the company that brought a new manufacturing process to the industry for making HDPE and discovered how to make polypropylene 1951, now another popular pipe resin, and in 1963 established its pipe division, Driscopipe, which is now known as Performance Pipe.  Harvey Svetlik, another long-time PPI member who started his career with Phillips Driscopipe and recently retired from PPI-member company Georg Fischer Central Plastics LLC, said, “PPI is the leader in the polyolefin pipe industry specifically and in the plastic pipe industry generally. PPI is not so much about what it has accomplished in the past, as it is about our polyethylene brotherhood and our commitment to future accomplishment.

“We have watched the industry grow from using 80 million pounds in 1980 to almost a couple of billion pounds annually for all its applications and all its pipe types.  The next 40 years will witness a doubling yet again, as polyethylene pipes and fittings take their place as a dominant leak-free system in the drinking water sector. The North American population will double in this timeframe, creating the demand, along with the need to replace half of existing water distribution pipes due to their deterioration.  PPI has led and will lead the market in plastic pipe technology, standards, and associations.”  Svetlik received his PPI Lifetime Membership in 2019.

In 1975 the Corrugated Polyethylene Tubing Association was created.  Later known as the Corrugated Polyethylene Pipe Association it became the Drainage Division of PPI in 2019.  It focuses on the use of corrugated pipe that can be found up to 60 inches in diameter for stormwater and gravity sewer systems.  “The members of this division are some of the largest users in the United States of recycled plastic,” Fink said.  “One company processes more than 550 million pounds of post-consumer recycled plastics for its pipe products.  Keeping this large amount of material out of landfills is possible because of the growing demand for this type of pipe.”

PPI bestowed an Honorary Lifetime Membership to James Goddard, P.E.

In 2011, PPI bestowed an Honorary Lifetime Membership on Drainage Division member James Goddard, P.E. recognizing his more than 30 years of contributions and industry innovations.  Goddard retired from Advanced Drainage Systems, Inc. (ADS) as the company’s Chief Engineer.

“Now with a uniform, consistent voice, PPI and specifically the Drainage Division, can go out to federal agencies such as the U. S. Department of Transportation, EPA, Army Corps of Engineers, and others plus state agencies, such as Departments of Transportation, as well as significant organizations such as AASHTO with a common voice technically and that has helped the industry to grow and prosper and has significantly benefited our nation.”

Fink and his organization foresee increased use for plastic pipe.  “The trend to create more applications along with enhanced grades of resin and even new resins continues to accelerate at a rapid rate,” he stated.  “And we fully expect this continue for the next 70 years.  PPI’s first 70 years has been an exciting journey.”

Additional information can be found at www.plasticpipe.org.

Leading merit shop industrial mechanical contractor holds official grand opening of new headquarters in Northwest Indiana, bringing 80 new, good-paying jobs to the community. East Chicago, Ind. — Manhattan Mechanical Services celebrated the grand opening of its new East Chicago facility on Thursday, November 5, 2020. This new building comes on the heels of strong Read more

Leading merit shop industrial mechanical contractor holds official grand opening of new headquarters in Northwest Indiana, bringing 80 new, good-paying jobs to the community.

East Chicago, Ind. — Manhattan Mechanical Services celebrated the grand opening of its new East Chicago facility on Thursday, November 5, 2020. This new building comes on the heels of strong growth for the Manhattan, Illinois-based mechanical contractor since its initial startup in 2011. The 20,000-square-foot structure will serve as the headquarters and features a 50-by-200-foot fabrication shop, a craft training center, a warehouse and corporate offices. “We’re very pleased to announce the opening of our new location in East Chicago,” said Michael Uremovich, President of Manhattan Mechanical Services.

“This is not only an opportunity to bring more jobs to the area, but the new location offers proximity to major refineries, making our services more accessible to customers and partners in Northwest Indiana.”

Michael Uremovich, President of Manhattan Mechanical Services

The virtual grand opening event featured a behind-the-scenes facility walk-through, a pipe-cutting and beveling demonstration, and a look at the company’s new Superheat SmartFurnace™ II. The facility also has a computer lab to serve as a training center. With welding booths, overhead cranes, pipe-cutting machines and heat treatment equipment located inside the fabrication shop/warehouse, Manhattan Mechanical has the ability to prefabricate process piping, erect scaffolding, structural steel and more.

Uremovich noted that the company’s goal is to create 80 new jobs in East Chicago in the next three years and that Manhattan Mechanical’s accredited training program through NCCER takes four to five years to complete. “We are committed to building a trained and certified workforce of craft professionals who can provide support to our customers in multiple craft areas,” he explained. According to Uremovich, entry-level pay is $16 per hour, but that once the apprenticeship ends, a worker will be in a position to earn a six-figure annual wage.

“Through strategic initiatives like this new facility, Manhattan Mechanical Services can remain at the forefront of the industrial market by providing outstanding mechanical services to both our current and prospective partners.”

West Lafayette, Ind. – New autonomous sensor technology may help businesses monitor refrigeration and heating systems in real time much faster and easier than current options. Researchers at Purdue University developed the sensor to monitor the oil circulation ratio in real time for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration systems. The oil circulation ratio provides Read more

Researchers at Purdue University developed a sensor to monitor the oil circulation ratio in real time for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration systems.

West Lafayette, Ind. – New autonomous sensor technology may help businesses monitor refrigeration and heating systems in real time much faster and easier than current options.

Researchers at Purdue University developed the sensor to monitor the oil circulation ratio in real time for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration systems. The oil circulation ratio provides data on the health and functionality of the overall system.

“Our technology is needed as more businesses use variable-speed HVAC systems,” said Orkan Kurtulus, a senior research engineer at Purdue’s Ray W. Herrick Laboratories. “The ability to measure the OCR is critical to ensure the system is using the correct amount of oil for effectiveness and efficiency. Our sensor allows businesses to check the oil circulation without disrupting the system or requiring the tedious process previously used to monitor circulation.”

Capacity control in HVAC&R systems is being used by a growing number of businesses because it increases the efficiency and reduces costs by slowing the speed and energy level when a system does not need to operate at full capacity.

“Our cutting-edge approach for OCR quantification allows otherwise immiscible refrigerant pairs to be separated and analyzed by a sensor in the suction line of HVAC&R systems,” said Vatsal Shah, a research assistant at Herrick Labs. “There remains an unmet need to mitigate oil retention in vapor compression systems, as this can cause inefficiency and even shorten the lifetime of HVAC&R equipment, especially in lieu of new variable speed and tandem compressor technologies, which implement repeated cycles.”

The Purdue team verified the autonomous sensor method using the latest standards from ASHRAE.

The other members of the Purdue team are James Braun, the Herrick Professor of Engineering; Eckhard Groll, the William E. and Florence E. Perry Head of Mechanical Engineering; and Travis Horton, an associate professor of civil engineering.

The team worked with partners in the Ray W. Herrick Labs and the Center for High Performance Buildings. Founded in 1957, Herrick Labs supports world-class mechanical engineering research for students, faculty and industry. Among the facilities in the 83,000 square feet of space are HVAC&R and indoor air quality labs; advanced engine test cells; acoustics, noise, and vibration testing; and unique perception-based engineering labs.

The Purdue innovators worked with the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization to patent this technology.