Cullman, Alabama, September 8, 2014
Reliance Worldwide Corporation® (RWC) – a leading manufacturer of specialist water valves and quick connect plumbing fittings, the State of Alabama and the Cullman community today reached an agreement for RWC to invest in an important new facility to substantially expand the manufacture of its SharkBite® plumbing connection products in Cullman, Alabama.
RWC is part of a privately held Australian business that was founded in 1947. RWC entered the USA market in 2002 when it acquired the Cash Acme water valve manufacturing facility in Cullman, Alabama. Cash Acme had been manufacturing safety valves in USA for over 100 years, and RWC has since grown that business into a diverse supplier to the USA plumbing industry.
SharkBite was introduced to the USA market in 2004. SharkBite is an efficient and reliable push-to-connect plumbing system that replaces the high cost and labor-intensive copper connection method, which requires soldering copper pipe and fittings. The SharkBite system combines push-to-connect brass fittings with resilient “PEX” plastic pipe for quick installation and repairs of potable water pipes. SharkBite fittings can be used to join or repair existing copper, cPVC plastic, and PEX pipe. In 2013, an average of over one million SharkBite connections were made each week, and the amount of PEX pipe produced by RWC in that period could have run the width of Alabama at its widest point more than 100 times over. The demand for RWC products is expected to continue to grow in the future as the market moves away from soldering and copper to the safer, quicker and less expensive option of a “cold join”.
Since 2002, the State of Alabama and Cullman Economic Development Agency (CEDA) have supported the ongoing growth of operations in RWC’s Cullman facility, and RWC is now proud to announce the agreement to expand its “Made in Alabama” production with a major investment in new manufacturing and distribution facilities and jobs. RWC will also establish its first research and development center in the USA, and well as open a training academy to serve the American plumbing industry.
Michael Williams, President and CEO of RWC stated:
“As most companies are looking to cut costs by outsourcing labor and relocating operations to low labor cost countries, RWC is leading the way to prove that American companies can competitively manufacture onshore. This is achieved by significant capital investment in high technology robotic equipment, retraining of employees and access to a highly skilled workforce. We are proud to partner with the State of Alabama, Alabama Industrial Development Training (AIDT) and CEDA to invest a significant amount of capital to introduce new robotic and high technology plastic and brass manufacturing to our US operations. Producing these products in Alabama provides economic advantages for job creation, training and advanced education for employees and industry professionals. RWC would like to thank Governor Robert Bentley, Congressman Robert Aderholt, Mayor Max Townson, Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield, AIDT Director Ed Castile, CEDA Director Peggy Smith and their outstanding teams for making this partnership possible.”