30‐year anniversary information sheet

2011/06/24

Waterco celebrates 30 years in business
Series of events planned for July and August

In July and August 2011, Waterco is hosting a number of events to celebrate its 30 year milestone. At these events, the company will take the opportunity to update the market and its customer base of major new commercial product developments and the launch of a new environmentally friendly consumer product range.

The first event is to take place in Malaysia on 26 July 2011.

This information sheet provides a short background on the company and a brief overview of these new product announcements.

Company overview
Waterco Limited was founded in 1981 in Sydney, Australia, by Soon Sinn Goh, as a trading company importing PVC pipes and fittings. From this relatively small base, Waterco consistently added new products to its range and evolved into a swimming pool equipment manufacturer before listing on the Australian Stock Exchange in 1989.

Since then, through a combination of acquisitions, organic growth and the introduction of innovative, high quality new products, Waterco has transformed into an international company, with warehouses and sales offices in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Auckland and Indonesia in the Pacific region, and the UK which covers the European market, with manufacturing facilities in Malaysia, the USA, Canada and China.

Evolution of Waterco’s fibreglass and plastic moulding techniques
In 1991, Waterco transferred its fibreglass manufacturing activities from Perth to Malaysia and since then, has developed expertise in fibreglass and composite filter manufacturing processes, in addition to injection moulding of engineering plastics operations in Malaysia.

In the last few decades, swimming pool equipment has evolved from containing components made from brass and stainless steel, to being engineered with plastics and fibreglass. This new process also includes a range of exotic metals, such as titanium to withstand the harsh water conditions found in swimming pool environments. Swimming pool water is sanitized with a higher level of chlorine than drinking water.

In addition, the last 30 years have witnessed the increasing popularity of salt water residential pools, where salt is added to pool water and channelled through a chlorinator to produce chlorine by electrolysis. Salt water, combined with electrolytic corrosion properties, produces very harsh water conditions and has thus accelerated the changeover of pool equipment and accessories made from stainless steel to composites. Salt water chlorination has been very popular in Australia for some time. Its use later extended to Europe and has been rapidly gaining popularity in the USA within the last 10 years.

Having established its presence in the residential‐pool industry, Waterco’s vision in the early 1990s saw it apply its expertise in composites to equipment suitable for use in commercial pools. Further evolution in its manufacturing techniques has now enabled Waterco to diversify into industrial water treatment applications.

In the water treatment industry, filtration equipment must be capable of withstanding much higher working pressures. With the rising popularity of seawater desalination as a source of drinking water, some of the largest filters developed by Waterco using composite materials and capable of handling higher working pressures, have been used successfully by key customers in this area. Filters built specially for this application have been sold to engineering companies in the USA, to be installed in desalination projects in countries like Iraq and Russia.

New Products Launch
Waterco’s 30 year event celebrations begin in Malaysia on 26 July 2011. At this first event, Waterco will unveil the following:

  • Equipment capable of manufacturing the world’s largest filament wound fibreglass pressurise filters. These filters, measuring 3.5 metres in diameter by 12 metres in length have been, until now, made from steel and lined with a protective cover to prevent corrosion.

  • Large fibreglass split‐tank pressure vessels of 4‐bar rating that can be transported in halves and assembled, on site, into whole filters. Waterco is pleased to say that it is the first to successfully develop split‐tank pressure vessels with an unprecedented pressure rating of 4 bars. There are several advantages to split‐tanks:
  • Firstly, they enable filters to be delivered to and assembled in equipment rooms with limited space, formerly the domain of steel filters welded together on site.
  • Secondly, the bolts holding the two halves together can be undone to allow access to the interior of the tanks for periodic cleaning purposes.
  • Thirdly, with increased pressure rating, which Waterco expects to achieve in the next twelve months, the filters can be employed in pre‐filtration of seawater in the desalination process. This provides an alternative to filters currently made from an expensive high grade steel alloy, called duplex stainless steel.
  • European patent for Waterco’s multi award‐winning MultiCyclone technology.
    After a painstaking three‐year application for worldwide patents, the MultiCyclone’s European patent has been approved, subject to formal registration, with patents in the other regions pending. The MultiCyclone uses cyclonic technology to spin dirt out of water in the water treatment process. In the last three years, the MultiCyclone has been applied in various fields and with growing acceptance as a result of its water saving capability and ease of use.

  • New EnviroPro range of energy and water efficient residential pool equipment.

The next 30 years
Waterco has invested and continues to invest substantially in research and development in order to design and manufacture products from composites as a substitute for expensive metals, and to provide resistance to corrosion for water treatment in harsh water conditions.

From this firm base of expertise, Waterco has also formed a heating products division, which produces solar heating equipment, made distinctively from engineering plastics and heat pumps with titanium heat exchangers. Heat pumps are capable of producing hot water with savings in power consumption of up to 80%, compared with conventional methods of heating, and the titanium heat exchangers provide robustness in harsh water conditions. Waterco is now looking into composites capable of replacing hot water steel tanks. Steel tanks are susceptible to corrosion when they are used to store soft water at high temperatures.

Waterco continues to invest in research and development into these fields and expects to yield products of the future that will enable the company to be more competitive and enter new markets into the future.