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Aquatherm pipes its roots into Lindon

By Karissa Neely daily Herald - | Apr 7, 2017
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From left, Lindon Mayor Jeff Acerson, Jordan Hardy, Dirk Rosenberg and Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox “cut the ribbon” during a ceremony of the grand opening of the new headquarters Tuesday, April 4, 2017, at the new Aquatherm North America headquarters in Lindon. DOMINIC VALENTE, Daily Herald

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People clap during a ceremony of the grand opening of the new headquarters Tuesday, April 4, 2017, at the new Aquatherm North America headquarters in Lindon. DOMINIC VALENTE, Daily Herald

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Lindon Mayor Jeff Acerson speaks during a ceremony of the grand opening of the new headquarters Tuesday, April 4, 2017, at the new Aquatherm North America headquarters in Lindon. DOMINIC VALENTE, Daily Herald

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Dirk Rosenberg poses for media photos during a ceremony of the grand opening of the new headquarters Tuesday, April 4, 2017, at the new Aquatherm North America headquarters in Lindon. DOMINIC VALENTE, Daily Herald

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A pipe with a U.S., Canada and German flag is fused together as a "ribbon cutting" during a ceremony of the grand opening of the new headquarters Tuesday, April 4, 2017, at the new Aquatherm North America headquarters in Lindon. DOMINIC VALENTE, Daily Herald

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Jordan Hardy, Dirk Rosenberg and Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox "cut the ribbon" during a ceremony of the grand opening of the new headquarters Tuesday, April 4, 2017, at the new Aquatherm North America headquarters in Lindon. DOMINIC VALENTE, Daily Herald

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A pipe with a U.S., Canada and German flag is fused together as a "ribbon cutting" during a ceremony of the grand opening of the new headquarters Tuesday, April 4, 2017, at the new Aquatherm North America headquarters in Lindon. DOMINIC VALENTE, Daily Herald

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Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox speaks during a ceremony of the grand opening of the new headquarters Tuesday, April 4, 2017, at the new Aquatherm North America headquarters in Lindon. DOMINIC VALENTE, Daily Herald

Aquatherm Worldwide is not as well-known around Utah County, but with this week’s opening of its new 82,000 square foot Lindon building, it’s bound to get a bit more attention.

Aquatherm manufactures and supplies polypropylene-random, or PP-R, pipe systems around the world. Resting on a lot just off Geneva Road in Lindon, the new Aquatherm building is the company’s North American headquarters and fabrication facility, all rolled into one.

Jim Paschal, company chief technology officer, and Jordan Hardy, CEO, couldn’t be more happier about Aquatherm’s accomplishments and future.

The company started in 1973 in Gerhard Rosenberg’s garage in Germany. According to Hardy, it’s the standard pipe material product for much of Europe, and only recently has made its way across the pond. It sells in 80 countries, but 2006 was the first year Aquatherm made it to Canada, and the United States opened up in 2007.

“This building, its inventory, and the services Aquatherm North America can now provide in a more comprehensive way, is proof of this commitment to our partners and customers. This building also stands as evidence of Aquatherm Worldwide’s commitment to remain the market leader in PP-R pipe systems in North America,” said Aquatherm Worldwide Co-Managing Director Dirk Rosenberg at Tuesday’s grand opening celebration.

Paschal said the United States was one of the last markets to interest Aquatherm executives, because of the country’s business and environmental regulations. He worked for five years prior to the 2007 launch just to weed through all the regulatory processes. When the company finally earned its approvals, Paschal, Hardy and the executive team chose Utah as its headquarters because of its business-friendly atmosphere, despite being many miles from a seaport.

“Can I say this? We selected Utah because it’s not California. The code issues, the weather, the workforce — it all made Utah rise to the top,” Hardy said.

Despite the company’s long history in Europe, it is only just getting started here in America. Hardy explained that, in America, the industry they are trying to take over is the steel and copper piping market.

“All competing materials require glue or mechanical joints,” Paschal said. “Our pipes are heated and joined together.”

That process is originally what brought Hardy to the table.

“I fused two pieces of pipe together and I was hooked,” Hardy said. “In other materials, that pipe joint is the weakest, most leak-prone point. With Aquatherm, that link becomes a strong point. People get so excited about it, because it’s solving so many issues in the plumbing, heating and cooling, and mechanical industries.”

Hardy demonstrated how a plumber can drill into an Aquatherm pipe, create a joint, and within a short time, heat and seal the new joint together. This same action, he said, requires hours and multiple adhesives and tools with steel or copper.

PP-R is a recyclable material that does not become brittle like PVC pipe, does not corrode or rust, and can handle both heated and cooled water. The product’s applications span residential and commercial piping needs to radiant heating and cooling processes.

For Aquatherm to make its mark in the United States though, Hardy and Paschal know they have a lot of legwork in making distributors aware of the Aquatherm benefits.

“We’re still establishing ourselves in the North American environment,” Hardy said. “One of our biggest hurdles is education and training. We need to make them aware of what it can do, and make sure it’s installed correctly.”

Pointing up to Aquatherm pipes running through the Lindon building, Hardy explained, “when it’s installed correctly, well, it’s going to look like this till the building’s dead.” Hardy expects the company to grow exponentially in future years from its Lindon headquarters.

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