Category: Plumbing

Webinar Offers the Latest in Tech Trends

For the third consecutive year, MCAA has sponsored the JBKnowledge Construction Technology Report, offering MCAA members salient insight on the technology habits of today’s contractors.  On Tuesday, January 30, James Benham, CEO of JBKnowledge will present a live webinar showcasing the reports findings and providing further insight to its data.

This webinar will be provided as a free benefit to MCAA member.  The report is already available for download in advance of the webinar.

Construction Technology Report Reveals Interesting Insights

JBKnowledge released the year-end Construction Technology Report.  Sponsored by MCAA, the survey interviewed nearly 2,700 construction professionals across the industry to research technology, processes, spending and R&D. Not all of the reports’ findings were intuitive. While trends on BIM adaption and mobile devices continued to rise, the number of different applications contractors are using declined. The most surprising finding came from type of software contractors have recently replaced and implemented.

This year, the report specifically asked which workflow software contractors most recently implemented.  Nearly 26% of respondents indicated that they had most recently updated their accounting software.  Considering the impact on business and the intensity of the training, this is a very surprising result.  The report also indicates that part of the reason for the trend was the correlation to new ERP software, indicating that smaller companies maturing into ERP systems could have accounted for a portion of the results.

Two other trends that are important for our industry involved prefabrication and BIM.  The two concepts are intertwined as many MCAA members begin using BIM to improve their fabrication productivity and capabilities.  Prefabrication use has risen over 12% from 2016 (19.9% total in 2017) making it the second highest trend that all contractors are experimenting with.  For MCAA members interested in learning more about maximizing their fabrication operations, register for the 2017 Fabrication Conference on January 15.

In 2017, contractors are becoming more confident in maximizing their BIM capabilities.  More companies are reporting that they now have BIM/VDC departments of more than two people.  Kelly Doyle, JBK’s SVP of Consulting summarized it, “Based on the responses, the breakpoint for a full VDC team is about $20 million in total revenue.  This is similar to the breakpoint for IT departments as well.  Once contractors hit that revenue volume, their overhead has the capacity to add more full time staff to productivity improvements.”

A startling trend however is that even with the increased adaption to BIM, 28% of the respondents still said that they do not bid on BIM projects.  52% of respondents have some in-house BIM capability and roughly 20% simply outsource the process.

On January 30, James Benham, the CEO of JBKnowledge joined Sean McGuire to present a webinar to MCAA members of findings from the study.  Watch the webinar below:

MSCA’s Popular Plumbing Service 101, Fifth Webinar is February 8th and Registration is Now Open!

This fifth webinar in the MSCA original series, Plumbing Service 101, Operations Part 1, will explore the key personnel and organizational structure required to establish, sell, and grow a viable plumbing services division.

There are many similarities between HVACR and plumbing operations. While some of a company’s existing resources can be shared, others are unique to plumbing. Failing to take these exclusive requirements into consideration can spell disaster. This webinar will explore the key personnel and organizational structure required to establish, sell, and grow a viable plumbing services division.

The webinar is scheduled for February 8th at 1:00 pm EST, sign up today!

Soldering Lead-Free Valves Takes Added Practice

Plumbing manufacturers have made great efforts to remove as much lead as possible to comply with regulations established under the Safe Drinking Water Act. In order to meet these requirements, most manufacturers have used brass alloys containing small amounts of silicon or bismuth to improve machability. In the following years, most plumbers learned how to effectively make joints with the new alloys, but sometimes it is not apparent how complete the fill is in joints unless they are tested.

A recently released NCPWB technical bulletin demonstrated how joints that appear to be correctly soldered could often be frayed. The bulletin’s author, Walt Sperko, provided examples of incorrect joints and guidance. Pre-heating the tube more than the casting is critical for no lead copper alloys. This is because casting’s thermal conductivity is much lower than copper.

Incomplete fill from under-heating

When the plumber does not spend enough time on heating the tube, the solder has a tendency to only partially fill the joint. While silicon-based alloys were found to be more difficult to wet properly, both proved insufficient with poor technique.

NCPWB members can also download the Soldering Procedure Specification resource SPS-107-1 to better understand the welding procedures for brass and lead-free alloys.

Soldering Lead-Free Valves? Beware!

Are you planning to solder in a couple of dozen 1-1/2 inch brass control valves in that heating system you are installing in that high-rise building? Brass valves, of course, are castings and all the castings you buy today are lead-free. Does your journeyman who can solder a wrought 1-1/2 inch copper coupling with ease make the same quality joint when one side is a heavy-wall cast valve body? How about if the castings you bought are alloyed with silicon for machinability improvement rather than with bismuth?

Learn more

Want to Educate Your Workers About Workplace Distractions? This Video Can Help!

MCAA’s Workplace Distractions Safety Training Video will help your workers recognize and avoid the most common industry-related workplace distractions.

Your workers will learn about the four most common types of distractions:

  • Driving distractions
  • Electronic distractions
  • Environmental distractions
  • Personal distractions

Download or play the video

There’s More…

Accompanying materials are also available to assist you in highlighting key training points, documenting worker training and confirming that workers understand the training concepts:

Highlight key training points

Download the Pocket Guide

Document worker training

Download the Documentation Sheet

Confirm that workers understand the training concepts

Download the Test

Download the Test Answer Key

Want Even More Safety Resources?

MCAA has you covered, with a full range of resources to help you protect your workers from injury and comply with applicable safety regulations. Here’s where to find them:

On our Direct Links to MCAA & MSCA Safety Resources page, where they’re listed by category with links.

Go there now

In the Resource Center, where you can use the blue Refine Your Search bar to pinpoint exactly what you’re looking for.

Visit the Resource Center

Have questions or need personal assistance?

Contact MCAA’s Pete Chaney.

MCAA Tech Conference – Practical Solutions for a Changing Industry

Contractors are facing a dynamic environment that is constantly presenting us with new challenges. The MCAA Technology Conference is an opportunity to learn how to face these conditions and and create solutions for your company.  This year’s conference is designed to bring about new ideas from the industry’s best technology experts as well as contractors that have been on the leading edge of construction technology.

Small ideas can make a big difference to your company. The MCAA Technology Conference is an event that doesn’t just provide a few small takeaways, but a wealth of ideas that can be applied across your business. Technology is providing so many new tools, processes and software that even the most established contractors are having a hard time keeping up. This conference is your crash course on the latest tech trends in the industry and how other contractors are taking advantage of them.

MCAA and MSCA host many educational events each year, but this conference is the only one that is MEP-focused with peers sharing ideas on the latest technologies. Don’t miss this terrific learning opportunity.

MSCA’s Plumbing Service 101 – Cash is King Webinar is Now Available!

If you missed Plumbing Service 101, Module 4 – Cash is King, don’t worry, you can now access the webinar in both MSCA’s Resource Center and in Archived Webinars.

This fourth webinar in the MSCA original series, Plumbing Service 101, Cash is King, focuses on the financial aspects of operating a successful plumbing service business. Some of the topics discussed include the cost of an hour of service; flat rate pricing versus hourly billing; the components of labor burden; pre-qualifying customers; billing and collections; handling paperwork; and initial expenses required for start-up.

Each module consists of a 60-minute webinar and corresponding workbook. Webinars and workbooks are free to MSCA/MCAA members.

Access the webinar in Archived Webinars

 

MSCA’s Plumbing Service 101 – Finding and Developing Great Plumbing Techs Webinar Now Available!

If you missed Plumbing Service 101, Module 3 – Finding and Developing Great Plumbing Techs, don’t worry, you can now access the webinar in both MSCA’s Resource Center and in Archived Webinars.

This third webinar in the MSCA original series, Plumbing Service 101, Finding and Developing Great Plumbing Service Technicians, provides an overview of where and how to find talented individuals and how best to train them. You will learn about the important traits to look for in your recruiting efforts and the skills needed for success.

In this webinar, Tom Bigley, UA Director of Plumbing Services, shares relevant information on UA Plumbing Service Training Programs.

Each module consists of a 60-minute webinar and corresponding workbook. Webinars and workbooks are free to MSCA/MCAA members.

Access the webinar in Archived Webinars

 

Enhance Your Service Dispatcher’s Performance!

ALMOST SOLD OUT!

As the first point of contact for your customers, service dispatchers are vital to your business. To ensure these crucial team members are well-prepared to effectively perform their role, register them for the MSCA Dispatchers Professional Development Training Program, September 18-19, 2017, in Dallas, TX.

New and experienced dispatchers will gain valuable insights and understanding about their importance to your business and its current and future success. This class is ALMOST SOLD OUT so sign your dispatchers up today!

Download brochure and register now

U.S. Engineering Saves Time, Labor with Zurn Lean Construction Plumbing Solutions

Zurn Industries, LLC enabled U.S. Engineering Company to “move the chains” faster than usual during the rough-in phase of building a new stadium for Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. Patrick Barnett, project manager for U.S. Engineering, said Zurn’s lean construction practices provided “at least a 10-percent” labor savings for the company.

LEARN MORE

Looking for Other Ways to Save?

Visit the Smart Solutions Case Studies area to see how other mechanical contractors found their win-win with cost-saving and productivity-enhancing applications from members of MCAA’s Manufacturer/Supplier Council.

This section of our website also features tips and ideas on other ways you and your company can save money and enhance your productivity.

VISIT SMART SOLUTIONS

MSCA’s Popular Plumbing Service 101, Third Webinar is June 13th and Registration is Now Open!

This third webinar in the MSCA original series, Plumbing Service 101, Finding and Developing Great Plumbing Service Technicians, will provide an overview of where and how to find talented individuals and how best to train them. During this webinar you will learn about the important traits to look for in your recruiting efforts and the skills needed for success.

It’s our pleasure to announce that for this webinar, Tom Bigley, UA Director of Plumbing Services, will be sharing relevant information on UA Plumbing Service Training Programs.

The webinar is scheduled for June 13 at 1:00 pm EDT, sign up today!

REGISTER HERE

MSCA Introduces Plumbing Service 101 Webinar Series and Workbooks

Mechanical Service Contractors of America is pleased to announce its much anticipated Plumbing Service 101 webinar series and workbooks!

Each webinar and workbook module will focus on a key facet of operating a successful plumbing service business. Each module consists of a 60-minute webinar and corresponding workbook. Webinars and workbooks are free to MSCA/MCAA members.

The first program module, Plumbing Service Business Basics, is scheduled for February 28th at 1:00 pm EST and will provide you with essential information on the value of adding plumbing services to your product offerings. Three successful plumbing service contractors will discuss the opportunities and decision factors to consider when thinking about plumbing service for your company. They will also review the initial resource and investment requirements needed before delving into this venture.

Registration is now open for this exciting, new webinar series so register below today. Prior to the webinar, make sure to download the Plumbing Service Business Basics Workbook available as a free download to MCAA/MSCA members.

Register for Feb. 28th webinar here

Download workbook here

New Plumbing Podcast Focuses on California Water Efficiency Standards

In the latest PCA Podcast, Armand Kilijian from O’Brien Mechanical in San Francisco joined Sean McGuire to talk about water efficiency challenges that contractors face in California.  The conversation explored the city’s infrastructure inefficiencies, the requirements of retention cisterns, purple pipe and onsite water treatment and reuse systems.

While California remains on the leading edge of water conservation domestically, its building codes have a tendency of being beta tests for the rest of the country.

 

MCAA Partners with JBKnowledge on Latest Construction Technology Report

JBKnowledge, MCAA’s technology research partner, just released its fifth annual report on construction technology practices.  This year’s report saw a record number of responses from respondents across the construction industry, with over 700 MCAA members participating.

Download your copy here

2016-ct-report-copy-1The report includes surveys on BIM strategies, mobile integration, cloud security and ways that contractors are implementing technology practices within their company.  In each section,  the popularity of different software types are reported and insight into spending and management of technology initiatives are provided.  As the report’s sponsor, MCAA has an added benefit of segmenting out responses from mechanical, plumbing and service contractors to add further definition on later research studies.

The report’s primary author, James Benham, will be one of the presenters in San Diego for MCAA 2017.  He will be joined by two other JBKnowledge experts who are presenting on ways that contractors are leveraging technology in the workplace.

For more information on JBKnowledge or to download previous versions of their reports:
 
Visit the JBKnowledge website

Did You Miss Our Webinar on BIM to Field Software?

In August, MCAA released its third installment of the Construction Technology Research Series with a report on BIM to Field Software.  The research, provided by our technology partners at JB Knowledge, evaluated over 24 different types of software that leverage the data from the BIM model and use it in other parts of your operations like the field or in the fabrication shop.

On Tuesday, August 23, the lead researcher on the project, Josh Bone, joined Sean McGuire, MCAA’s Director of Construction Technology for a companion webinar that provided more explanation and detail into the project.  If you missed it, the webinar can be viewed by clicking the image below.

BIM_Screenshot

As more installments of the Construction Technology Research Series are released, additional companion webinars will be developed.  Upcoming reports will focus on Mechanical Service Software, Robotic Total Stations and Safety Hardware and Software.

Plumbing Podcast #6 Focuses on BIM

PCA Chairman and MCAA Board of Directors member Armand Kilijian joined the Plumbing Podcast to discuss the importance of Building Information Modeling (BIM) to plumbing contractors.

The podcast covers plumbing contractors’ increasing use of BIM on job sites, strategies for starting and optimizing a BIM department within a company and how to leverage the data from the BIM model through fabrication, project coordination and total stations.

Listen to the Podcast.

BuiltWorlds Recaps Highlights of MCAA Construction Technology Conference

Disruptive technology, robotics, drones, 3D printing, cloud computing and storage, BIM and much more were the hot topics at the MCAA Construction Technology Conference in June in Indianapolis. BuiltWorlds, MCAA’s technology partner that presented the exhibit of new construction devices and products at the conference, captured all the speakers and their presentations in a detailed article that not only described the technologies but also how contractors are using them in operations, such as fabrication shops, and projects to improve productivity, efficiency and profits. Read the article.

PCA Plumbing Podcast Tackles Service Truck Inventory

If keeping your plumbing service trucks stocked with the right equipment for the right jobs has proven to be more challenging than it should, then check out this week’s Plumbing Pod podcast.

Ed Gormley of Gormley Plumbing & Heating (McMinnville, OR) shares tips for inventory management, standardized tools, and software that can be used to help service calls run more smoothly. Visit PCA’s homepage to download this and other podcasts.

Plumbing Podcast

Podcast Reprises Water Crisis Webinar

If you missed Courtney France’s webinar on April 14 about how our industry is responding to the water crisis, check out the Plumbing Contractors of America’s (PCA) latest podcast, Water Crisis: Pushing the Limits of Building Water Conservation.

France of France Sustainable Solutions and Sean McGuire of MCAA discuss the PCA webinar she led that highlights innovative case studies and how the plumbing contractors who were involved with those projects made an impact on this problem. The link below will take you to the podcast.

PCA Podcast