Monday, September 21, 2020

Interview - Pankaj Soni (Victualic India)

Our grooved pipe joining technology is rooted in sustainability



Victaulic is a leading global producer of mechanical pipe joining and fire protection systems. PANKAJ SONI, COUNTRY MANAGER, VICTAULIC INDIA responded to SHRIKANT RAO’s queries on his organisation’s role in contributing to sustainability in the green buildings sector.




On his company’s emphasis on building energy efficiencies:


Sustainable design should involve more than just site orientation and energy-saving construction techniques. What goes into a building in the way of infrastructure is equally important. Well-planned plumbing, HVAC, and other mechanical engineering systems are essential to making a building sustainable throughout its life cycle. Energy costs typically represent 30 percent of a building’s annual budget and are the single largest operating cost (Energy Star). The Energy Systems Lab at Texas A&M University indicated that energy use in buildings could be reduced from 10 to 40 percent by improving operational strategies in buildings, including maintenance strategies.  With welded and flanged piping systems, accessing valves, strainers, pumps and water softeners is often a time-consuming and inconvenient process due to system shutdown and drainage. The more difficult the process the more likely the maintenance will be deferred. Less deferred maintenance means peak energy efficiency and operation of buildings, and reduced overall costs. Repairs for equipment and buildings that have not been well-maintained are often far higher than the estimated maintenance costs.




On Victaulic's energy efficient products and technologies in the Indian market:


Victaulic grooved mechanical pipe joining systems provide an attractive alternative to welding and flanging for engineers, installers and owners alike. They allow quick, easy, safe installation and maintenance to meet compressed project schedules, along with maximum operating efficiency and built-in sustainability. In addition, Victaulic products are manufactured from 90 per cent recycled materials. A mechanical joint is comprised of four elements: grooved pipe, a gasket, coupling housings, and a pair of nuts and bolts. The pipe groove is made by cold forming or machining a groove into the end of a pipe.

The key section of the coupling housings engage the groove and the bolts and nuts are tightened with a socket wrench or impact wrench and hold the housings together. The coupling housings engage in the groove around the circumference of the pipe and encase the gasket. A pressure responsive gasket then creates a seal unified joint that is enhanced when the system is pressurised. The benefits combine to give a lower total installed cost over the life of the system and can be found globally in plumbing, HVAC, fire protection, water and wastewater, and other industrial and demanding fluid-handling applications globally. Grooved pipe joining technology is
rooted in sustainability; its inherent qualities naturally make it environmentally friendly.

Even before the evolution of green building the grooved piping system has been providing a more efficient, cleaner and safer system when compared with other pipe joining methods, such as welding, soldering or brazing.




On the key projects in which Victaulic's solutions have been used:


Victaulic mechanical pipe joining systems can be found in projects as diverse as Tetra Pak in Pune and the IOCL Naptha cracker plant at the Panipat Refinery in Haryana. Victaulic provides sustainable solutions and is a member of the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC). The company is involved with BREEAM and other international initiatives.

Victaulic piping systems have been installed in numerous Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum and LEED Gold rated buildings including Manitoba Hydro Place in the US, Eighth Avenue Place in Canada, and the Park Hotel Hyderabad, which utilised the company’s large diameter Advanced Groove System (AGS) piping solution to reduce the need for onsite welding.




On manufacturing plants, their current capacities and planned expansions:


Victaulic recently announced the opening of its new facility and distribution centre in Pune, which follows new locations in Dalian, China; Queretaro, Mexico; and Chihuahua, Mexico. Victaulic has 15 production facilities and 28 branches globally and the investment in Pune strengthens its distribution capability to better serve an expanding customer base in India.

The new 40,000 square foot/3,700 square metre facility includes extensive storage and local operations offices as well as visitor demonstration areas that will increase capabilities for customer demonstrations and installer training. The Victaulic Mumbai branch continues to handle other aspects of business, including project design, technical and financial analysis, 3D modelling, installation plans and project management.




On the outlook for the green building products sector in India:


Victaulic is a founding member of the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) and is involved with BRE Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) and other international initiatives. Sustainable building materials are extremely important to India.

Given the busy agendas and budget constraints in India today, it is easy to see why familiar procedures are replicated. But in reality, tried and tested alternatives techniques can have huge impact on both the immediate and future economic and sustainability returns.



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