March 2023 Vol. 78 No. 3


Business News

SAERTEX multiCom Re-Opens Huntersville, NC Production Facility 

Seven months after a fire damaged a significant section of the new Huntersville, N.C. production facility, it was fully operational again, with an expanded product range and capabilities to better support installers in the trenchless rehabilitation of sewer, water, stormwater and industrial pipelines. 

The 110,000-square-foot, modern, sustainable infrastructure facility manufactures high-quality fiber-glass-reinforced CIPP liners with reduced lead times. Larger diameter (up to 64 inches) liners and substantially longer lengths, leading up to 40-ton weights, are now produced domestically, “made in America” for the North American market. 

Additionally, SAERTEX multiCom is now self-impregnating its GRP liners to deliver a ready-to-install UV-CIPP solution to customers in North and Central America – directly to their construction sites when desired. 

“It’s been a fantastic team approach to manage the whole project, production extension, and the replacement of the wet-out equipment. Thanks to Team multiCom, but also our many external partners involved,” said Klaus Langenbach, managing director of SAERTEX multiCom LP. 

SAERTEX multiCom is the leading manufacturer of UV-cured-in-place GRP liners, complemented by a wide range of services, including application and training. More than 300 employees work at three production locations in Saerbeck, Germany; Huntersville, NC and Pinghu, China, and sales offices around the world. UI 


SAERTEX multiCom LP, +49 2574 902-400, 


SAK Construction Renames Underground Division Affholder, LLC 

SAK Construction, LLC, a leading pipeline rehabilitation and tunneling solutions provider, announced its Underground Division will now be known as Affholder, LLC. 

The rebranding is part of SAK’s growth plan to separate its businesses so each can focus on its core competencies. In addition, it provided the opportunity to honor Robert “Bob” Affholder, SAK’s vice-chairman and co-founder, with the return of his name to the letterhead of a tunneling company after an absence of more than a decade and a half. 

Also a pioneering figure in the underground industry, Affholder is a familiar and respected name by many, with roots that go back to the 1968 founding of the original Affholder, Inc. 

As a wholly owned subsidiary of SAK, the company will continue to serve customers in the municipal, energy, and industrial sectors, providing a range of solutions for water, sanitary, and stormwater pipelines. These include soft-ground, soft-rock, hard-rock, and hand-mined large-diameter tunneling solutions, as well as shaft excavation, shotcrete, and sliplining. 

The renamed company will continue to be led by Boyd Hirtz, a seasoned tunneling expert with over 30 years of industry experience. 

“I am honored to lead Affholder and continue building on our momentum,” he said “Our team is dedicated to the principles Bob brought to the original Affholder company 55 years ago – delivering the highest quality services and products to our customers with honesty and integrity. We are confident in our ability to continue succeeding in this endeavor.” 

SAK Construction and Affholder are based in O’Fallon, Mo., with project spanning the United States. UI 


Affholder, (636) 385-1000, 

SAK Construction (636) 385-1000, 



Sewer AI 

Sewer AI Corporation is now part of Esri’s Silver Partner Network. This enables Sewer AI to leverage Esri’s powerful ArcGIS Online (AGOL) platform for its rapidly growing customer base, adding further insight, functionality, and value from the approximately 4,000 miles of sewer and stormwater data currently under management within the SewerAI cloud-based platform PIONEER. 

A growing number of sewer utilities, services contractors, and consulting engineers have chosen to innovate by leveraging AI and cloud computing to extend the Remaining Useful Life (RUL) of their assets, by lowering inspection costs, accelerating processes, and rendering higher quality data that drives strategic asset planning. 

“Achieving Esri Silver Partner Network status puts SewerAI at the forefront of resolving major issues within not only wastewater, but other overlapping critical infrastructure, as well,” said Billy Gilmartin IV, co-founder and CRO. 

Formed in 2019, SewerAI provides wastewater condition assessment services using AutoCodea computer vision technology that automatically identifies conditions in sewer inspection video. 

A unique aspect of PIONEER’s new GIS Maps offering is rooted in its scalability by easily integrating and leveraging any currently “open” GIS map layers within PIONEER, particularly to the benefit of sewer services contractors, as well as smaller sewer utilities and engineering firms. 

Utilities are increasingly moving towards open GIS maps to expand transparency and accessibility of information to their customers, stakeholders, and regulators, and to provide a platform for sharing and exchanging geographic information. 

Open GIS maps have also helped improve communication and collaboration between utilities and their customers, allowing for better understanding and management of wastewater and stormwater systems. 


Volvo Construction Equipment has created an online tool that allows customers to “build and price” their ideal electric compact excavator and wheel loader, marking the company’s latest advancements in both e-commerce and the introduction of electric construction equipment to the market. 

Initially available in North America and Norway, the tool on the Volvo CE website lets users configure any of the electric compact machines in Volvo’s lineup with the features they want and see the suggested retail price. 

The information will go to a Volvo CE dealer in the area, who will respond within 48 hours, providing more detailed pricing and all the support and information customers typically get from a dealer. This includes such an opportunity to demo the machine and financing options from Volvo Financial Services. 

“This is the next step in our electromobility journey and digital transformation,” said Jefferson Yin, director of new business models and commercial intelligence, Volvo CE. “The goals are to improve the customer experience, provide an easy understanding of our industry-leading electromobility offering and ensure a seamless sales experience.” 

Starting as a pilot project in the U.S., Canada and Norway, the new touch point will serve as  
a test bed for future solutions that could be scaled up for other markets. 


Two new courses have been added to the Plastics Pipe Institute Inc. (PPI) online instructional programs: 

  • Plastic Pipe Design Calculator Course for using plastic pressure piping materials for plumbing and mechanical projects. Sections include Pressure/Head Loss, Hydraulic Shock, Pipe Weight/Volume, Thermal Expansion, and Expansion Arm/Loop Design. 
  • Selecting & Specifying HDPE Conduit for Power & Communications Applications, a CEU style course covering the basics of HDPE conduit materials, applications, standards and specifications. 

These new courses, like three others now available, are self-paced and built on a module platform that includes a certificate of completion at the end of the course. 

The other three programs are: Drainage Installation Training, Introduction to Polyethylene Piping for Oil and Gas, and the PPI Mini-HDD Conduit Design Calculator tutorial. 

Visit the PPI eLearn channel at 


Victaulic, the world’s leading manufacturer of mechanical pipe joining, fire protection and flow control solutions, acquired the business assets of Tennessee Metal Fabricating Corporation (TMF), including three buildings totaling 125,000 square feet and over 36 acres of land. 

The acquisition supports Victaulic’s growth in the infrastructure market and its capacity for large-diameter piping solutions and is consistent with its strategy to manufacture products in close proximity to customers. 

Since 1919, Victaulic’s innovative solutions and design services continue to increase construction productivity and reduce risk, ensuring projects are completed safely, on time and within budget. With more than 4,500 global employees and 40 international facilities, Victaulic helps customers in 120 countries succeed in the global construction industry. 

Tennessee Metal Fabricating Corporation has been fabricating large-diameter steel pipe and fittings, up to 144-inch diameter, since 1962. It supports transmission lines for potable water supply; water treatment plant interior and yard process piping; wastewater treatment plant interior and yard process piping; power plant coal fired/circulating water systems and hydroelectric/penstocks; pumping stations suction/discharge/by-pass; and dam outlet works piping. 


Oatey Co.’s Industrial Maintenance Apprenticeship Program represents a continuing commitment to supporting, advancing and retaining its operations associates through world-class, on-the-job training. 

First launched in 2016, the program is designed to promote associates’ advancement into higher-skilled positions that are more aligned with their long-term career goals. It also leverages additional career-development opportunities for the company’s more-experienced associates, allowing them to hone their leadership, training and mentoring skills, while working with a diverse group of apprentices. 

The registered apprenticeship program, based at Oatey’s Cleveland manufacturing facility, is sponsored by Manufacturing Works and regulated through the State of Ohio. Manufacturing Works’ sponsorship helps manage the program and provides Oatey with continuous expert guidance about how to offer the most cutting-edge resources for associates. 

To date, the program has included three groups (or cohorts), including a total of six registered apprentices, and continues to maintain 100-percent retention of those who participate. Oatey’s commitment to small cohorts ensures personal attention to the apprentices’ development. 

Currently, two active cohorts, with four apprentices – all from underrepresented groups – are making their way through the program. Oatey also recently welcomed its first female apprentice, who will graduate as part of the third cohort. 

When the need for new apprentices is determined, positions are opened and the program welcomes applications from any active operations associate in good standing, including those at Cleveland Manufacturing and Distribution facilities. 

However, the selection process for admission is rigorous. Applicants must display a strong work ethic, reliable attendance record, commitment to Oatey, and passion for skilled technical work. 

Prior to acceptance, new candidates must provide evidence of earning their high school diploma or GED and complete a Mechanical Aptitude Test and college admissions placement exam to ensure successful completion of the program. 

The Industrial Maintenance Apprenticeship is a four-year, hybrid program that offers both in-classroom instruction, with college credit, and on-the-job training (OJT). Oatey partners closely with Cuyahoga Community College to deliver a robust, specialized curriculum to complement the OJT that takes place at its facility. Every apprentice must complete up to 10,000 hours of OJT. 

Sunbelt Rentals 

Sunbelt Rentals, North America’s premier equipment rental company, was recognized with three prestigious awards for its efforts to recruit and retain military veterans in North America and globally. 

For the first time, Sunbelt Rentals received the Honoring Investments in Recruiting and Employing American Military Veterans (HIRE Vets) Gold Medallion Award from the U.S. Department of Labor. To achieve the 2022 Gold Level in the large employer category, Sunbelt Rentals met two requirements: hiring no fewer than 7 percent of veterans during the 2021 calendar year and retaining no fewer than 75 percent of veterans hired in 2020 for 12 months. 

In addition, Sunbelt Rentals was named a top 2023 Military Friendly Employer in the nation for the third year in a row. This is the first year that the company earned the Gold Distinction, which requires an employer to score within 10 percent of the 10th-ranking employer in their category. 

Sunbelt Rentals U.K. also recently received the highly coveted United Kingdom Ministry of Defense (MOD) Gold Armed Forces Covenant Award. 

Sunbelt Rentals is committed to supporting veterans and providing a fulfilling workplace. Purpose-built to assist with challenges faced by the veteran population, the Sunbelt Rentals Veterans Program focuses on four pillars: resources, recruitment, recognition and retention. The company offers veterans access to a hotline, administrative and accommodation support, and interagency coordination. 

Atlas Copco 


Atlas Copco has acquired the operating assets of Northeast Compressor, which sells air compressors, related equipment, and services to a broad range of industrial customers in upstate New York. 

Also, with a strong parts and maintenance business, Northeast Compressor initially started in the 1980s, and has been a part of Kinequip, Inc. since the 1990s. 

GTI Energy 

At its Fall Board of Directors Meeting, GTI Energy elected officers and directors. 

Directors re-elected for three-year terms include: 

  • Arthur C. Corbin, President and CEO, Municipal Gas Authority of Georgia 
  • Kimberly S. Greene, Chairman, President and CEO, Southern Company Gas 
  • Sumeet Singh, Executive Vice President, Chief Risk Officer and Interim Chief Safety Officer, PG&E Corporation and Pacific Gas and Electric 
  • Nick Stavropoulos, President and Chief Operating Officer, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (retired) 


GTI Energy officers re-elected for another term include: 

  • Paula A. Gant, Ph.D., President and CEO 
  • James F. Ingold, Senior Vice President of Finance, Treasurer and CFO 
  • Ronald N. Snedic, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development 
  • Quinton B. Ford, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary 

Rebecca Ranich, President of Exenico, LLC was re-elected Chair of GTI Energy’s Board of Directors, and Nick Stavropoulos was elected Vice Chair of the Board. 

GTI Energy is a leading research and training organization that develops, scales and deploys the technologies needed for low-carbon, low-cost energy systems. It works to scale impactful solutions that shape energy transitions, by leveraging gases, liquids, infrastructure, and efficiency. 

United Rentals 

United Rentals Inc., the world’s largest equipment rental company, has added emissions level information for all equipment to its online rental catalog. This enables companies to make more informed decisions to choose the right equipment that supports their jobsite needs and sustainability goals. 

Using the United Rentals online catalog, companies can browse, search and select equipment by filtering by emissions level. This new catalog feature makes it easy to understand the environmental impact of different equipment options. 

The four emissions level categories are: 

  • Zero Emissions is comprised of equipment powered by battery, electric or solar that creates no emissions when in use. 
  • Low Emissions contains equipment powered by hybrid, propane or natural gas engines. 
  • Lower Diesel Emissions encompass equipment with Tier 4 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) certified engines – the most stringent emissions currently in place for diesel engines. 
  • Standard Emissions include the most common gas or diesel-powered equipment, powered by USEPA certified engines. 

In the catalog, equipment with zero or low emissions are also indicated by a green symbol next to the cat class. 

“With our new online catalog feature, we give customers the power to select equipment to create lower-emission worksites without compromising safety or productivity,” said Joli Gross, senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of United Rentals.

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