Centralized article management solution generates business value

RWC is a supplier of plumbing and heating systems with the goal of providing solutions that make life easier for everybody who uses their products. From the homeowner who changes a leaky valve under the sink to the professionals who are installing a water system in a high rise. One of RWC’s popular brands, Sharkbite, is a push to connect solution that allows for a practically toolless installation.

“We have a wide assortment of products that serve the water distribution system from water meter to water fixture”, says Rich Houle, Director of Codes and Standards.”

All of RWCs products are required to be listed to standards for quality, health and safety in order to be authorized for sale in the US. Currently they have 108 different listings and 10 000 SKUs, and the responsibility to make sure they are all up to date has been a joint responsibility of several people in the organization.

“It has been time-consuming, manual work to keep the listings updated, and the risk of human error has meant that we have never felt fully confident that everything is correct at all times.”

High price of errors

If an article is not included in the listing the consequences could be significant as they are not allowed to be sold. It could result in a fine, cause a delay of a construction project or that a contractor chooses to change suppliers.

“We needed an easy to maintain solution that would ensure that our sales staff always could answer the question if our products are compliant to the right standards and codes with a confident ‘yes’.”

Together with Pipeson’s development team, RWC listed the requirements for an extended version of the Approval Management functionality that would make it easy to maintain the current database as well as adding new articles and provide a clear overview of all the listings.

“In a nutshell it is a centrally managed, sustainable solution, that is not dependent on one person’s experience and know how, that ensures that the right person has the right information at their fingertips.”

Partnership and generous process

During the development process RWC and Pipeson have worked closely together to design an optimal solution for RWC, but also one that would add value to businesses in other industries where suppliers are required to make public listings with a third-party agency.

“It has very much been a partnership and a generous process where Pipeson has wanted to provide us with a solution that will make our lives easier. In turn we have offered honest feedback and made suggestions that would make the solution a good fit for other applications. From our perspective Pipeson has really delivered on their promises.”


Resource optimization and QC at LK Pex

The Swedish pipe manufacturer LK Pex primarily produces PE-Xa products for both heating and drinking water applications, and their production is running around the clock. In their in-house laboratory, they conduct quality control tests for the commercial products as well as supporting tests for material development and product approvals.

“We sell quality-controlled products used for pressurized applications with high demands for regular testing and inspections”, says Laboratory Engineer Mikael Hjort.

The main market is the Nordic countries, but LK Pex also has customers in other parts of Europe and the USA. Since there are no harmonized global or European regulations for these piping systems, there is a lot of administrative work involved in handling various product approvals. Since 2020, LK Pex has been using Pipeson Certification Manager to streamline the administration.

“Before we had Pipeson, the management of approvals was largely manual work. Today, I receive reminders when it’s time to take action, and I always feel that things are under control. It’s also convenient to have all documentation in one place, especially when we have third-party inspections or when we receive customer inquiries.”

Optimizes the use of resources

Åsa Linder works as a Development and Product Manager, and is responsible for the technical aspects of the commercial products and also for material and product development. She uses Pipeson Analyzer to coordinate, document, and evaluate pressure tests, and she appreciates the ability to directly transfer data between LK Pex’s pressure testing system and Pipeson’s system.

“It is easy to compare different tests with each other, and against various standard curves, or use models available in the system to perform lifetime calculations. Pipeson Analyzer allows me to stay up-to-date with various evaluations and facilitates working more proactively”, says Åsa.

LK Pex also conducts numerous tests at external test institutes, and previously they mostly received results via interim and final reports. With Pipeson’s software, they have greater ownership of the testing process, as they can access current data for ongoing tests at any time.

“With Pipeson’s help, we have the opportunity to detect any anomalies at an early stage, which is a significant advantage in development projects. We can choose to make adjustments, conduct additional tests, or halt the process, ensuring that we allocate our resources efficiently.”

“I also appreciate that we received assistance in entering our historical data during the implementation, making it easy and efficient to get started and work with the system. And if there is ever an issue, we can always contact Pipeson and receive prompt assistance.”

About LK Pex

LK Pex is located in Ulricehamn, Sweden, and specializes in the development, manufacturing, and sales of plastic pipes designed for heating and drinking water applications within buildings as well as in district heating. The products are primarily cross-linked PE-Xa pipes, which offer a combination of high flexibility and strength, and PE-RT and pipe-in-pipe solutions.

LK Pex is a part of LK, a family-owned Swedish company group that was established back in 1910. The various LK companies now have customers world-wide in the heating and sanitary industry. The guiding principles for LK are curiosity, fearlessness, long-term thinking, and doing it with joy. We continuously learn and improve – always with the aim to simplify our customers’ everyday lives and contribute to an even smarter future.

Wavin Technology & Innovation

Wavin Technology & Innovation has over 40 years of experience in plastic products and manufacturing processes. Wavin T&I manages and executes product and process development from first idea to production start. The laboratory of Wavin T&I offers specialized services and facilities for testing of plastic materials, products and systems in accordance with national and international standards. In 1991 the laboratory was accredited by the Dutch Council for Accreditation (RvA), this accreditation is based on the standard ISO/IEC 17025. This means that the laboratory is independent and that the test results are traceable, reliable and confidential. Wavin T&I has been a Pipeson partner since 2009.

Wavin T&I manages and executes product and process development in the area of plastics; all the way from the idea stage to production.

”Pipeson Analyzer makes us more efficient and innovative. We also appreciate that Pipeson continuously works to develop the software to meet our specific needs”, says Marc Bunskoek, Laboratory Wavin T&I.

Materials to meet standards

Wavin uses Pipeson Analyzer for full ISO 9080 evaluations of new materials and also to make preliminary lifetime predictions based on limited data sets.

”Pipeson Analyzer provides us with a good overview of all the requirements for the different standards. One of the most significant benefits of the software is that the regression lines can be saved in the Line manager and applied in the Line lifetime view and Compare view”, says Marc. ”After the data evaluations have been completed it’s very convenient to use the automatically generated tables and graphs for our reports. All data and settings are saved in the file, so we can also use the file to distribute project information between different Wavin sites and departments”, he continues.

Optimized workflow

In 2014 Wavin implemented the Pipe Data Flow System.

“Following the implementation we have achieved a new level of efficiency. We manage both current and historical data in the Pipeson Data Manager making it readily available to the people who need access to it. We set up new projects in IptDataLogging and use Pipeson Data Manager to make automatic data updates. This saves us a lot of time and we know that all the data is correct.”

Higher In-House Efficiency

Henco Industries’ success story started with the vision of successful entrepreneur Louis Hendrickx. Louis started his first company in 1956 and was very successful in panel radiators. In 1992 he founded Henco Industries and the Henco multilayer pipe was born. Henco is today a member of Aalbers group and a complete system supplier producing multilayer pipes, fittings, manifolds, valves and more. In 2009, Henco started to work with Pipeson Analyzer.

”As a result of implementing Pipeson Analyzer we can do more of the work in-house. We still work closely with the institutes, but can also make our own calculations”, says Dirk Vroman Technical and Quality Manager of Product Certification at Henco Industries that among other things produce multilayer pipes, fittings, manifolds and valves.

Time saving web training

Henco got started using Pipeson Analyzer via the web based training.

”The training was short and effective, and provided us with all the knowledge we needed to get started. Any questions we have had since then have been answered quickly, and our suggestions have been used in the development of new functionalities that have speeded up our workflow even more”, says Dirk Vroman.

Logical and accessible

As a system supplier, Henco uses Pipeson Analyzer to work with the design of new products, certification of new products and quality control.

”Now we have most test data in Analyzer files and the linearized regression lines in the Line manager. We know how to apply the different functions for multilayer pipes and it is no problem to understand the logic of the new functionality. With the Kiwa Online system we also have full access to our ongoing projects at Kiwa”, says Dirk.