Word-of-mouth recommendation. That’s the essence of why Viega products were used in a meat-processing facility in Pennsylvania.
Godshall’s, a premium meat and turkey product company, had soldered and sweated fittings in an older building, and when plumber Karl Keath presented Viega fittings to company heads, they were intrigued. But it was when they visited another company’s meat-processing plant and saw Viega fittings being used there that they were sold on the method.
“We originally started out soldering and sweating all of the copper fittings for them,” explained Keath, owner of Karl L. Keath Mechanical in Womelsdorf, Pennsylvania. “I’d been at a trade show and saw Viega, then took it to their company knowing that it would be a great solution for them. When they went to another meat-processing plant, they actually had Viega fittings there. From that point forward, that’s what Godshall’s wanted to use.”
The company recently constructed a new building that has about 50,000 square feet of processing area. Keath put in MegaPress Stainless and ProPress fittings for processing water and hot water return, as well as compressed air. Lines with Viega fittings are used for the production line, pneumatics, processing water, fill tanks and more.
Keath estimated that his crew installed between 1,200 and 1,500 fittings in various sizes, from 1⁄2″ to 4″ in ProPress and 1⁄2″ to 2″ in MegaPress Stainless.
“Viega is really beneficial, because anytime you go into a production area that is USDA inspected, they can’t have soldering and things like that. Because of the chemicals they’ll use for cleaning and such, it’ll deteriorate the fittings or solder joints. So before, they had to insulate everything in the production area because of daily washdowns,” Keath said.
“We brought ProPress and MegaPress Stainless to them, and now nothing can be degraded [by the chemicals]. They don’t have to insulate, and the USDA is ecstatic about that. It’s a huge benefit. That insulated coating can get hit and ripped, so this takes one more thing out of the process.”
Keath said Godshall’s considered a competitor’s press fittings, but they didn’t like that the competitor solders their valves to their fittings. They wanted the completely clean look of no solder, putting Viega fittings top of the list.
Using Viega fittings has changed things for Keath’s company too.
“It was so streamlined and quick and clean,” he said. “I also love that the MegaPress is a bit more rigid, so if it gets hit by a forklift or something, Schedule 40 is sturdy enough to withstand an average day in the plant.
“Honestly, there’s not even a time comparison with Viega. We do a lot of boiler installations, and we use Viega for that now, too, because of the speed. It’s [quicker] time in and time out, which is what we’re looking for. I’d say it’s cut our time at least in half.”
Keath said that during some of the Godshall’s installation, he had a crew of six working on the project; but a large part of it was done with three men – something he could not have done, and so fast, with soldering.
“We do quite a bit of work for Godshall’s in changing, adding or subtracting things, and Viega makes that easy,” he said.