As innovative technologies impact almost every sector of today’s market, the construction management industry has dynamically evolved and is implementing solutions that improve both communications and efficiencies on the jobsite. From on the site job management to scheduling and ordering inventory, the plumbing industry is one sector that also has become reliant on real-time data and new innovations that improve connectivity, productivity and mobility needs.
At KNAACK®, we are able to identify key user insights that help us improve the overall experience and productivity on the jobsite. One challenge we see consistently is the need to bring information, tools and job supplies closer to the work in the field.
In the past year, we’ve introduced two new products that are targeted specifically at specialty trades, like the plumbing industry. Both products help increase efficiencies, productivity and mobility for plumbers.
Products Developed Based on Application Need
Introduced in 2015, the DataVault™ Mobile Solution, Model 118-M, is a fully protected digital plan solution for onsite job management and is ideal for the plumbing industry. When coordinating construction and fabrication drawings and developing accurate and efficient take-offs and estimates, it is important to have your software and tools easily accessible and this all-inclusive storage system facilitates that need.
The DataVault Mobile™ allows for easy integration with Business Information Modeling (BIM), a proven construction management system. Because building codes and application needs are constantly changing, the DataVault Mobile™ offers file and document management to new and existing building information. The portable design connects jobsite professionals to critical, real-time information, while providing the storage needs for tools and job materials.
Working During Temperature Fluctuations
Along with the secure storage needs of a plumbing professional, we also know that it’s critical to keep tools and supplies at an optimal temperature during working hours. Working in cold conditions can cause damage to tools, and keeping chemicals at the right temperature – like PVC glue, flux, duck butter, caulk and firestop or other sealants – is crucial. Because of this need, the KNAACK® THERMOSTEEL™ was launched this month at World of Concrete.
The THERMOSTEEL™ is a heated storage unit that saves money by reducing downtime and preventing damage to tools and materials due to cold temperatures. By simply plugging in the heating element (when the temperature drops below 40-degrees), users can ensure tools are safe from extreme temperatures. With the heating feature, not only will tools stay warm, but also all chemicals and sealants will stay at the desired temperature and alleviate any issues that cold environments can bring to productivity on the jobsite.
More importantly, keeping these products at the right working temperature is necessary in order for the job to be executed correctly. For example, duck butter is needed for lubricating pipe joints and if it is exposed to cold environments, it can become difficult to work with, making the plumber’s job all the more stressful.
Sealants are another product used frequently in the plumbing industry that must stay at an optimal temperature. Many sealant brands recommend that the sealant be stored in no lower than a 40-degree climate. When temperatures drop below 32-degrees, the cold conditions can affect the overall chemical properties and performance of the sealant.
Lastly, flux paste, used for soldering pipes, is a crucial tool in the plumbing industry but can also become ineffective when exposed to extreme cold. When temperatures drop too much, flux can crystallize or even solidify, making it difficult to use.
At KNAACK®, we will continue to innovate and bring products to the market based on the application need and the feedback we hear from our customers in the field. The plumbing industry is always looking for new solutions to improve work productivity and we are dedicated to that challenge.
Mike Bykowski is a Senior Product Manager at KNAACK, LLC, in Crystal Lake, IL. He is involved in all aspects of the product development life cycle, including strategic planning, business development, marketing, promotions, product pricing, packaging and value stream mapping. Mike has extensive experience in the manufacturing business as well as first-hand customer knowledge from being a professional in the industry that Knaack, LLC targets.