Viega, the global leader in plumbing, heating and pipe-joining systems, began production of its high-quality FostaPEX tubing system in the United States in November 2009. FostaPEX balances stability with flexibility with a combination of PEX, aluminum and PE layers.
Producing FostaPEX at the Manufacturing and Distribution Facility in McPherson, KS, Viega is able to improve quality and increase product availability. Vice President of Supply Chain Operations Robert Boots commented on the convenience of having FostaPEX readily available. “We used to order huge inventories in order to have enough on hand,” he said. “Now, we’re able to produce it as needed.”
By making FostaPEX domestically, Viega is able to set the standards for quality and design of the FostaPEX system. “We have a lot higher control over the quality and consistency of the product now,” Boots said. “We do a welded seam as opposed to an overlapped glued seam on the aluminum layer.”
A distinctively versatile product, FostaPEX balances stability with flexibility with a combination of PEX, aluminum and PE layers, creating a unique form-stable tubing that not only bends with ease but also holds its shape. This gives FostaPEX a professional appearance in installations while simultaneously extending UV protection. FostaPEX applications include potable water and hydronic heating and cooling.
PureFlow® Product Manager Jeff Courtney explained the difference between Viega’s FostaPEX and other multilayered tubing options. “Most PEX-AL-PEX products are limited to heating applications,” Courtney said. “Many imported products come in metric sizes which require special tools and fittings. FostaPEX is the only product on the market with a fully dimensional PEX tubing wall, allowing it to be used with our standard Viega PEX Press fitting system. Other PEX-AL-PEX tubing products require special fittings.”
FostaPEX also has a low coefficient of expansion compared to standard PEX products and, since one fitting system connects to all types of ViegaPEX™ tubing, including FostaPEX, distributors need only one inventory and contractors need only one tool set.
“Since its introduction almost a decade ago,” Courtney said, “FostaPEX has been viewed by the market as a premium product. And the fact that it is a product of Viega implies that it must adhere to the highest quality standards.” FostaPEX has been a popular product on the market because installers appreciate the form-stable properties FostaPEX provides.
Viega’s FostaPEX production line in McPherson is currently the only multilayer production line in North America that produces pipe for both plumbing and heating applications. “Manufacturing FostaPEX domestically has been a lot of work but it’s definitely been a rewarding process,” Boots said. “And as awareness and sales grow, it’ll be a good product for us.”