PMI: Resurgence of plumbing manufacturing

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Rolling Meadows, Ill. — Six CEOs from Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI) member companies presented a consensus view of a resurging U.S. plumbing manufacturing industry responding to consumer and environmental needs through product innovation at the recent PMI Fall Conference.

Speaking as part of the Executive Panel Discussion moderated by journalist and media personality Bill Kurtis, the CEOs agreed that aftershocks from the home equity and lending downturn are still resulting in consumer caution. However, they expressed optimism that innovative plumbing products resulting in water savings and sustainability will increasingly capture the interest of those considering remodeling projects.

Droughts occurring primarily in southwestern states such as California and Texas are sensitizing consumers to the importance of water savings and sustainability. The challenge for the plumbing industry is to help consumers and policymakers connect the dots between water savings and innovative plumbing products.

For example, replacing older, water-intensive toilets, showerheads, faucets and urinals with WaterSense® plumbing products can save 3 billion gallons of water a day, according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data. WaterSense® is a public-private partnership to bring high-performing, water-efficient plumbing products to consumers. Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI) urges policymakers, water utilities, installers and consumers to promote and use WaterSense® products as a simple way to save water in America.

The 2014 Fall Conference, held from Oct. 27-30 in Rosemont, Ill., enjoyed record attendance, with 138 total attendees and 20 event and exhibition sponsors. The CEOs participating in the discussion were Michael Sipek, CEO, Bradley; Jai Shah, President, Delta Faucet Co.; Chris Baldwin, President, Global Faucets, Kohler; David Lingafelter, President, Moen Inc.; Tim O’Keeffe, CEO, Symmons Industries, Inc. and Bill Strang, President, TOTO USA, Inc.

Other conference events and discussions focused on topics such as government affairs, grass-roots advocacy, technical aspects, industry trends, the WaterSense® program, water-efficient products, sustainability, rebate programs, and more.

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