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Coupling technology reduces costs, improves efficiency

21st September 2018 BY: Paige Müller
Creamer Media Reporter

Global mechanical pipe joining systems developer Victaulic says its grooved Quickvic coupling solutions offer significant cost savings to contractors working in the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) market.

Victaulic regional manager Marcel Ley tells Engineering News that the company’s Quickvic coupling solutions – while initially more costly – are a safer, cheaper, easier and faster coupling method, ideally suited to the safety-critical HVAC industry.

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“The Victaulic Quickvic coupling solutions replace the welding and threading of pipes in the HVAC industry,” explains Ley.

He states that welding and threading are conventional, yet highly labour-intensive methods of joining piping systems. These time-consuming methods also require highly skilled and costly labour, and are often dangerous when using reactive chemical compounds.

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Victaulic states that Quickvic – rigid coupling and flexible coupling systems – has undergone rigorous research and development, and is designed to be installed five times faster than conventional methods. The solutions also incorporate a groove system that allows for the full rotation of pipes and other system components before tightening so that pipe alignment can be optimised.

Further, Victaulic states that the Quickvic solutions are easy to maintain and replace, as every joint is a union. Ley adds that materials handling and energy consumption associated with instillation are also reduced.

The most significant benefits of Quickvic coupling solutions are the safety and cost-saving benefits associated with the ease and speed of installation, he adds.

“The coupling solutions are so simple to apply that skilled labour is not required. You just push the instillation-ready coupling onto a grooved pipe or component, add the second pipe and tighten with a standard hand tool.”

Ley states that this results in an average of 45% less labour hours required to install mechanical piping systems, as opposed to welding techniques which require a lot more effort to install. It also eliminates costly fire-watch requirements, and the presence of hazardous fumes and flames. He stipulates that fewer tasks on site result in cost savings for clients, as well as a reduced likelihood of incidents and injuries.

The Victaulic solutions can be used for a substantial range of HVAC installation requirements. The complete range accommodates the coupling requirements of ¾” to 60” piping systems and can be used for hydronic heating, glycol systems, boiler piping systems, dual temperature systems, fan coils, water source heat pumps, special coolant systems, chilled cooling water, condenser water, cooling towers, air handling units and ice chiller systems, besides others.

“When considering the numerous advantages, including the reduction in installation time, maintenance and staff costs, the financial benefit of the Quickvic range is staggering,” stresses Ley.

Conventional Method Pushback

Ley states that the Quickvic coupling solutions were initially launched in the international market in 2015 and have been well accepted by the company’s international subsidiaries.

However, he adds that the company has noted more hesitation in the local HVAC market, which was introduced to the product 18 months ago.

“While the Quickvic range has no doubt done well in South Africa, we have noticed that some engineers, owners and installing contractors have been hesitant to adopt the technology because they still consider it new and uncertain.”

Ley states that a large portion of South Africa’s HVAC industry is family owned and operated. He explains that, as a result, many HVAC companies are hesitant to venture away from the generational knowledge and techniques. Victaulic has had to prove that its coupling systems are, in fact, superior to conventional wielding techniques, he adds.

“However, new generations are entering the market and exploring new technologies

resulting in a shift towards the adoption of more effective technologies in the local market,” concludes Ley. 

EDITED BY: Zandile Mavuso Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Features
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