Nicole Krawcke: Technology and trade shows
Innovative new products were on display during IBS/KBIS and AHR Expo.
It’s an exciting time for the plumbing and heating industries. I sit here finishing up this issue of Plumbing & Mechanical, fresh off back-to-back trips to the co-located International Builders’ Show and Kitchen and Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas, and the AHR Expo in Orlando, Florida, recovering from the plague (thanks, AHR) and thinking about all the fantastic new products I saw over the past few weeks.
From Hansgrohe’s push-button start and stop Metris Select kitchen faucet to Moen’s new M-CORE valve system which features pressure balancing capabilities to control temperature fluctuations and water pressure changes to Delta’s new Glass Rinser, KBIS was packed with innovative new designs created to solve end users’ everyday problems.
The International Code Council also had a presence at KBIS. On, page 34 of this issue, Kimberly Paarlberg, codes and standards and senior staff architect for ICC, discusses new criteria for assisted toileting and bathing in the 2021 Building Codes. It’s an interesting read.
I definitely got my steps in at the AHR Expo this year, averaging eight miles of walking each day as we covered the show floor. I was asked the same question over and over at many of the booths I visited — “What’s the most exciting thing you’ve seen so far?”
My answer would have to be A. O. Smith’s new ProLine XE gas tankless water heater with X3 Scale Prevention Technology. By preventing scale buildup in tankless water heaters, X3 Technology extends the lives of units by up to three times. It’s the first tankless product that maintains “like new” performance without requiring regular descaling maintenance.
I wasn’t the only one impressed with this new product launch. Head on over to Page 20 for PM columnist Dave Yates’ take on the new technology.
Another common theme on the show floor was connected smart products, much like the Phyn Plus — a single connected smart water monitor that detects leaks anywhere in a home and automatically shuts off the main water to prevent costly damage. Phyn Plus also monitors water use, giving homeowners insight into their water use so they can conserve and save.
Smart water products are being increasingly accepted in the marketplace, according to Jason Rosenthal, vice president of marketing at Phyn.
“I believe we are going to see exponential expansion in the smart home plumbing market along with some typical trends that occur when a sector grows,” Rosenthal says. “For one, we’ve seen many start-ups and large companies jumping into the fray and there will be inevitable consolidation and a thinning out as the best solutions rise to the top. We’ll also see increased awareness of the category as products establish themselves as brands. And I also think growth needs to come from across a variety of channels. As we’ve seen with other successful sectors in the residential smart home/IoT market, adoption won’t only happen at retail, it will come through partnerships with municipalities, insurance companies, builders, plumbers and anyone else that benefits from reducing water loss.”
To learn more about some of the current trends influencing the smart home plumbing market, flip over to page 30.
And lastly, for more coverage of these tradeshows, including photos and video, visit www.pmmag.com and www.facebook.com/PMmagazine.