Commenting on the opening of the new manufacturing operation, Martin Hitchin, chief executive at Rehau Ltd, said it was a continuation of the group’s policy to produce locally whenever possible. In addition, it would reduce carbon emissions across the entire supply chain.
Rauvitherm pre-insulated, crosslinked PE (PEX) pipework combines the key advantages of high flexibility with high thermal insulating properties. The open cell insulation is provided by layers of PEX foam encased in an HDPE outer jacket, which is longitudinally watertight. The bonded outer layer of insulation prevents water ingress, even if the outer jacket is punctured. The pipework, containing one or two pipes, can be produced in lengths up to 350 metres and, during installation, uses Rehau’s proven “Everloc” compression sleeve jointing system to provide a permanent, leak-free joint.
Explaining the benefits to customers of having Rauvitherm production in the UK, Steve Richmond, business team manager at Rehau Ltd, said: “By transferring production to the UK, we can react more quickly to a rapidly changing market and can offer customers more flexibility on pipe sizes and delivery times – giving us a significant advantage over competitors”.
The Rauvitherm produced at Blaenau will be exactly the same specification and quality as the UK company has been importing from the group’s facility in Germany since 2010. There is capacity at the Blaenau plant to produce several thousand metres annually and the setting up of the production facility is a first step, says Rehau, in bringing further manufacture of its renewable energy product range into the UK. This includes “Rauthermex” closed cell, pre-insulated pipework and “Raugeo” ground source energy and underfloor heating systems.
Rehau employs close to 200 staff at its Blaenau site, better known for its production of rigid PVC window systems. It also has a second factory in Wales, at Amlwch in Anglesey.