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Supplier & Product

A. O. Smith Acquires Giant Factories Inc.

A. O. Smith Corp. recently announced that it has acquired Giant Factories Inc., a Canada-based manufacturer of residential and commercial water heaters.

A family-owned business founded in 1945, Giant markets its water heaters under the Giant brand and employs more than 300 people, primarily in Canada. Giant manufactures water heaters at two facilities in Montreal and sells water heating products across Canada.

The addition of Giant to A. O. Smith’s existing water heater operations enlarges the company’s presence in the Canada water heater market, which is characterized by a high percentage of replacement demand.

The acquisition of Giant also supports A. O. Smith’s decarbonization efforts by increasing the amount of water heating products in its portfolio that are supplied by a renewable energy grid as Giant’s end markets are mainly served by a grid that is primarily hydro-sourced and non-carbon intensive.

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Liberty Pumps Breaks Ground on Materials Center

Liberty Pumps hosted a ground-breaking celebration at the site of its upcoming Materials Center. State and local partners as well as Liberty employees attended the event. The 107,00-square-foot expansion will provide additional warehousing and added manufacturing space. It is anticipated to support 30 additional jobs at the family- and employee-owned manufacturer.

“Our growth continues to be very strong, and we are simply running out of space once again,” said Randall Waldron, vice president of sales and marketing. “This expansion will provide more efficient material storage, as well as provide additional manufacturing space to accommodate our continued strong growth. The added capacity to our facilities will put us in a position to better support our customers.”

The project breaking ground will be the third expansion by Liberty Pumps since 2000. Upon completion, Liberty Pumps will have approximately 350,000 square feet of facilities at its corporate campus in Bergen, New York.

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Matco-Norca Supports Plumbers Without Borders

Matco-Norca supports Plumbers Without Borders (PWB) and its mission “to increase access to safe water and sanitation by mobilizing and connecting volunteer plumbers and industry resources with organizations and projects dedicated to improving health in all communities worldwide.”

With so many options for charitable donations, finding the one that aligns well with Matco-Norca took some time. “For us, it was more than just donating once or twice to a cause. We wanted to partner with an organization so we could roll up our sleeves and make a difference beyond simply writing a check,” said Amy Zucchi, director of marketing. “When you work with PWB, you get to have input into the initiative you are supporting.” PWB is a growing organization and by empowering sponsors and supporters to contribute ideas to their causes, more can get done faster.

Domenico DiGregorio, co-founder of PWB, credits plumbers around the world: “The generosity of plumbers, everywhere, is astounding…with so many wanting to contribute their skills and time to help where needed most. Our quest is finding projects that can best utilize and leverage the value of professional plumbers.”

Matco-Norca’s sponsorship will support an important industry initiative to bridge gender-parity in the trades and close the skills gap worldwide. “We will work with PWB on a detailed strategy that includes digital, traditional and event marketing to reach a larger, more targeted audience. Our employees are looking forward to rolling up their sleeves and getting involved on multiple levels,” said Zucchi.

Matco-Norca has long-standing business relationships that it can share PWB’s mission with. A main priority is relief efforts for those impacted by the Tornadoes in Kentucky and surrounding states. “In addition to our long-term plans, we will use our social platforms to help make the industry aware of PWB’s Tornadoes USA Fund,” said Jack McDonald, president of Matco-Norca. With distribution centers, rep agencies and customers throughout the United States (and aboard), Matco-Norca can reach thousands of companies equipped to support PWB’s efforts.

For more information about PWB, to donate or to volunteer, visit For more information about Matco-Norca, visit

Midland Industries Acquires Century Brass

Midland Industries recently announced the acquisition of Century Brass Products, a distributor of primarily machined brass fittings and valves to the plumbing industry across the United States.

“The acquisition of Century Brass strengthens our team and product offering while expanding our customer base and footprint in the plumbing wholesale space,” said John Gerber, CEO of Midland. “We welcome Terry Klein and his team to the Midland family and look forward to learning from their years of history and deep product knowledge, enabling us to continue providing our customers a distinct advantage in the marketplace.”

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PRIER Honored with Sustainability Award

PRIER Products was honored with a Sustainability Award for its efforts to reduce unnecessary waste and implement ways to protect the planet. Each year Kansas City Industrial Council (KCIC) recognizes local businesses.

“We work hard to reduce waste and take necessary steps to create a cleaner and more sustainable company,” said Vice President of Manufacturing Brady Poskin. “Our team and partners identified ways we could make a significant impact. We began implementing changes and quickly realized the results from our efforts.”

Efforts that led to the award include:

  • PRIER installed solar panels on each of its buildings allowing PRIER to significantly cut its carbon footprint. Motion-detected LED lighting is used throughout the warehouse and offices to further reduce energy costs. PRIER saves more than 330,000 kilowatt hours per year; enough to power 30 houses for more than a year.
  • In the past year, PRIER recycled more than 150 tons of brass, six tons of copper and other metals and 25,000 cubic feet of cardboard. PRIER’s products are manufactured in the heartland of the United States, reducing the transportation costs and minimizing environmental factors associated with shipping, especially from manufactures based outside the United States.
  • All of PRIER’s products are designed to the highest standards developed by the American Society for Sanitary Engineers. Through engineering and design modifications, PRIER reduced the number of SKUs stocked by customers by more than 50%.

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T&S Debuts Sensor-Operated Bubbler for Touch-Free Water Fountains

T&S Brass and Bronze Works has introduced the industry’s first sensor-operated water fountain bubbler.

The sensor bubbler is designed to easily retrofit onto existing water fountain bases, using the standard hole size, to offer a hands-free operation solution.

The bubbler is easily activated when a user’s face comes within range of the sensor, which is located just below the dispensing nozzle. The sensor bubbler can be plugged into a nearby power outlet or powered by battery if an outlet is not available.

Featuring a chrome-plated body and rubber mouthpiece, the bubbler includes a variety of adjustable settings, including a flow control valve to set the appropriate water stream for the application. An optional water filtration kit is also available.

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T&S Brass Marks 75th Anniversary

T&S Brass and Bronze Works, a manufacturer of commercial foodservice plumbing products, is proud to mark its 75th anniversary in 2022.

T&S was founded in 1947 when it introduced the industry’s first pre-rinse unit, and it has continued this legacy of innovation ever since. From firsts like the foot pedal valve and the electronic glass-filling faucet in the 1950s to DuraPull and T&S WaterWatch in recent years, T&S has remained on the forefront of problem-solving plumbing innovation.

For 75 years, T&S has been recognized for designing and building plumbing products that are well-built, long-lasting and reliable.

“My father wanted the T&S Brass name to stand for quality, and that’s something we’re proud to continue honoring 75 years later,” said Claude Theisen, T&S president and CEO and son of co-founder George Theisen. “It’s remarkable that the company that started humbly in a garage has grown and flourished to become a respected global leader in plumbing. We’ve done it by recognizing and upholding the values that charted our path while embracing the innovative, trailblazing spirit that will guide our future.”

Originally founded in New York, T&S relocated its headquarters and U.S. plant to South Carolina in 1978. Today T&S employs hundreds around the world at facilities in three countries. The company’s leading plumbing products can be found in restaurants, hospitals, schools, hotels, stadiums, office buildings and more on nearly every continent.

T&S’ year-long 75th anniversary celebration will include events and recognition for employees, customers and partners.

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NAPCO Pipe & Fittings Now Westlake Pipe & Fittings

Westlake Pipe & Fittings, formerly NAPCO Pipe & Fittings, is excited to announce its new name to reflect the true value its customers receive from its extensive product portfolio backed by the brand equity of Westlake Corp., a Fortune 500 Company.

“As Westlake Pipe & Fittings, we are refining our collaboration with customers to continually advance our pipe and fittings products and systems as well as innovate and reinvent solutions with the latest technology,” said Andre Battistin, vice president of Westlake Pipe & Fittings. “We want to lead in developing increasingly more sustainable products engineered to last while delivering the high-quality essential products customers need for their business every day.”

Westlake Pipe & Fittings offers numerous pipe and fitting innovations that transform PVC water systems, including Certa-Lok®, Certa-Lok® CLIC™, Yelomine®, Certa-Set®, and Certa-Flo®, and a new portfolio addition, molecular-oriented PVC (PVCO).

Additionally, the recent acquisition of LASCO Fittings Inc., has allowed the company to provide a wider array of injection-molded fittings to current market segments and expand into new market segments including pool and spa, aquarium and waterpark and golf irrigation.

With the company’s growing presence, Westlake Pipe & Fittings’ commitment to delivering high-quality products and elite engineering support is paramount. The company’s rebrand is merely the first step in a focused approach to enhancing the customer experience from start to finish.

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Gerber® Expands Satin Black Product Offering

Gerber Plumbing Fixtures recently announced the expansion of the Satin Black finish. With nearly 50 new items arriving in Satin Black, sink into luxury with endless options for bathroom and kitchen designs with this unabashedly rich finish that transcends boundaries of style.

“This expansion of Gerber’s Satin Black offering aligns with our commitment to design and value. We are excited to provide our customers with trend-relevant black options in a variety of styles and price points,” said Katie Hayes, director of product - fittings. “Our new Satin Black faucets provide style options to complete any project, from a simple powder room refresh to a new chef-inspired custom kitchen.”

Satin Black in the Antioch® Pull-Out Kitchen Faucet and the Selene® Pull-Down and Prep Kitchen Faucets offer stylish versatility and value. The finish is also expanding to most of the Parma® kitchen collection, including the classic Parma Single Handle Faucet with Sidespray and the minimalist Parma CafĂ© Pull-Down Faucet. Both the Parma and Antioch bath collections are growing to include the Satin Black finish in everything from bathroom sink faucets and tub and shower trim kits to roman tub faucets.

In the Parma bathroom collection, the full 3/4” thermostatic trim and custom shower components are also now available in Satin Black to design a custom shower. A shower hose, ceiling-mounted shower arm, handshower and a supply elbow are just a few of the products available to deliver a truly custom shower experience with the reliability and value expected from Gerber.

The full line of round and square 8” or 10” Drench™ showerheads, a key component for many custom or semi-custom showers, is now available in all of Gerber’s finishes: Chrome, Brushed Nickel, Brushed Bronze, or Satin Black.

Easy to pair with any style and easy to clean, Satin Black is the classic yet modern take on color; a finish that is uniquely vivid but can turn the tables and be a neutral part of a palette. It grounds a room’s design and allows for perfect coordination for metallic finishes. Whether a modern loft with a decked out custom shower, or a minimalist farmhouse kitchen with poise and a purposeful featured faucet, Satin Black will be the linchpin tying the space together.

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