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Knowledge and Networking

The Largest Gathering of PVC Pipe and Fitting Manufacturers in the World

Each year the Uni-Bell PVC Pipe Association members gather for our Annual Meeting – the largest gathering of PVC pipe and fitting manufacturers in the world. 

Presentations cover topics ranging from market assessments for PVC pipe, vinyl resin and related chemicals, to sustainability, technology, legislative affairs and product certification. Participants come from around the world, and their ranks include pipe and fitting manufacturers, resin and additive providers, equipment manufacturers, affiliated associations, and non-profit certification agencies. Speakers include academics, business analysts, engineers, municipal officials, taxpayer advocates, public affairs specialists, etc.



44th Annual Meeting

February 22-24, 2016

Key Largo Bay Marriott Beach Resort

Key Largo, FL




Building America with PVC Pipe: A New Threshold for Pipe Performance and Sustainability

It’s no surprise that PVC pipe is the leading water and sewer piping material in North America. PVC pipe offers a broad range of attributes such as ease of handling and installation, long service life, watertight joints, low break rate, cost-effectiveness, flexibility, and resistance to degradation caused by moisture, chemicals and corrosion. Increasingly, it’s being specified by design engineers and utilities who are looking to reduce long-term maintenance and replacement costs. As well, as the importance of life cycle costing and sustainability gains wider acceptance, PVC’s unrivaled combination of durability and environmental benefits will enable it to maintain its market lead in the decades to come.

Water and wastewater pipe demand in the U.S. is expected to grow 7.7 percent per year to $18.1 billion in 2018. Municipal end uses will continue to claim a majority of demand, while rebounding building construction will be the fastest growing market. PVC is the leading plastic resin in these market segments and is projected to remain the market leader in 2018. PVC pipe demand is also expected to rise more rapidly than all other piping materials, with some predicting double digit growth rates. Growth will be spurred in large part by the increasing use of PVC pipe at the expense of old-technology materials like concrete and ductile iron. Polyethylene (PE) pipe, for its part, will remain a minor player.

It’s all about raising the threshold for pipe performance and sustainability. The Uni-Bell PVC Pipe Association and its members have achieved the first industry-wide, peer-reviewed environmental product declaration (EPD) for water and sewer piping – verified by NSF Sustainability, a division of global public health organization NSF International. This certification, which was developed in compliance with international environmental management guidelines (ISO 14025), helps municipalities meet their green infrastructure goals and is opening the door to wider consideration of PVC piping. The EPD identified advantages for PVC pipe such as its smooth interior surface, which minimizes friction and energy consumption, as well as its corrosion resistance and proven durability in excess of 100 years, requiring less frequent replacement. Fully transparent EPD’s can be useful tools as utilities benchmark and measure the sustainability of different pipe materials.

When evaluating a pipe’s sustainability, however, it’s important to understand and compare the life cycle impacts of all the materials used in the piping system. For ductile iron pipe, other materials such as a cement lining, polyethylene encasement, anti-microbial biocides and volatile corrosion inhibitors are needed to reduce interior and exterior corrosion. Additionally, cathodic protection may be used and energy intensive chemicals added to potable water conveyed by iron pipes to reduce corrosion. This increases the pipe’s environmental footprint and must be taken into account with any life cycle assessment (LCA) or EPD. As well, recycled materials are not necessarily green. Metal recycling has the potential for higher levels of dioxin formation compared to primary metal production because of impurities in recycled materials, which also emit a host of additional toxic materials such as lead, mercury, manganese, zinc, chromium compounds, etc.

It was an extensive process to develop the LCA and the resulting EPD documents for PVC pipe, but well worth the effort. This industry-wide effort reflects the resolve of Uni-Bell members to use science to drive manufacturing and product improvements and to be leaders in transparency reporting. Let’s build America with PVC pipe.

Sunday, February 21
  5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.            Pre-Meeting Reception – Gus Beach
Monday, February 22
  7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.            Breakfast – Largo Key Ballroom
  8:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon          Joint Member Meeting/Presentations – Largo Key Ballroom
  9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.          Spousal Orientation - TBD 
  12:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.          Board of Directors’ Meeting and Luncheon – French Room
  5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.            Welcome & Networking Reception – Gus Beach
Tuesday, February 23
  7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.            Breakfast – Largo Key Ballroom
  8:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon          Chairs Remarks/Presentations – Largo Key Ballroom
  1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.            Uni-Bell Golf Tournament – Palmetto Golf Course
  Free Evening
Wednesday, February 24
  7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.            Breakfast – Largo Key Ballroom
  8:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon          Association Reports/Presentations – Largo Key Ballroom
   End of Meeting
Note: Attire is business casual/slacks unless specified otherwise. Badges must be worn at all social events and presentations.



Among the topics our speakers will address are the following:

  • The latest on PVC resin and pipe markets in North America and Europe;
  • Creating your own message and brand awareness;
  • More economical and ecological approaches to pipeline construction;
  • Opening up specifications for piping through advocacy;
  • Current status and future research in installation and rehabilitation using trenchless technologies;
  • An inside look at the American Chemistry Council’s multi-state lobbying strategy;
  • Water quality impacts of different pipe materials;
  • Driving value and continuous improvement through sustainability;
  • Corrosion control considerations for ductile iron pipe;
  • Why getting involved in the political process is key to opening up new markets for PVC pipe, and much more…
Day 1 – FEBRUARY 22

PVC: Key Drivers and Trends, Feedstock’s 
Outlook and Worldwide Economic Factors
Stein Raae, Global Business Director, Chlor-Alkali/Vinyls (CAV), IHS Chemical
A look at capacity and demand in the global thermoplastics marketplace.
Vinyl and “E-motion:” Become the Activist, Not the Target!
Aiñe Curran, Director General – Issues, Canadian Plastics Industry 
Digital media continues to prove that if you don’t take charge of your message, someone else will, and by that time turning the tide of public opinion will take a lot of money with little chance of reversing the damage. Instead, crafting and leading your own message (and one with emotion) will not only elevate your brand, but most importantly, will keep you engaged on trends and leave you poised to head off future attacks. See how Canada’s “Vinyl is Beautiful Campaign” is getting this done!

Update from the European Plastic Pipe Market
André Nijland, Area Manager Technology Licensing, Far East and North 
America, Wavin Overseas B.V.
Status and outlook on PVC pipe in Europe, an update from the European Plastic Pipes and Fittings Association (TEPPFA) and new developments in PVC.
How Larger PVC Pipe Is Driving Technological Change in the Additives Market
Anthony Dymek, Senior Technical Service 
Manager, Vinyl Additives, PMC Organometallix
Large diameter PVC pipe is a growing market in the U.S. for municipal water distribution and many producers are stretching today’s additive technologies to the limit to meet demand. This will 
require pipe manufacturers to work more closely with additive providers to obtain new NSF/HSB approvals for new stabilizers and lubricants. Current PVC pipe stabilizer and lubricant technologies and proposed new directions for these additives will be discussed in light of these changing conditions.
The Limitations of PPI’s PACE Program for Fatigue Analysis of PVC Pipes Subjected to Cyclic Transient Pressures
Larry Gill, Manager, Codes and Standards, IPEX Management, Inc.

The Plastics Pipe Institute (PPI) developed an online computer program called PACE (Pipeline Analysis & Calculation Environment) which performs a simplified fatigue analysis on PE and PVC pipes. The program disregards the intensity of the transient in the design of the system and therefore underestimates the resistance of PVC pipes against fatigue failure. It also does not provide reliable results for the projected lifetime of PVC. A history of PACE will be presented as well as a comparison of a system design using PACE versus a thorough transient analysis.

VI/PVCA Collaboration to Grow Markets for PVC Pipe 
Dick Doyle, President and CEO, The Vinyl Institute

VI has just launched its new 2016 - 2019 Strategic Plan designed to further benefit the vinyl value chain and expand markets for vinyl products.  Find out how VI and PVCPA are working together to drive the expansion of PVC pipe in a calculated research supported fashion.


Value Driving Strategic Sustainability Concepts
Cristian Barcan, VP Sustainability & Industry Affairs, The Vinyl Institute (VI)
Learn how sustainability helps and supports the PVC pipe industry as part of the new VI 2016-2019 strategy. Explore a balanced approach to sustainability focused on tangible end product benefits, continuous improvement, and addressing the needs of the current and future generations.
“Native Flowable Fill:” The Future of Pipeline Installation
Amster Howard, Pipeline Installation Expert and Author

A look at “Native Flowable Fill,” a more economical and ecological approach to pipeline construction which uses excavated soil from the trench mixed with cement as backfill around the pipe. Mr. Howard will discuss the mix design, mixing and placement equipment, testing, and inspection of this innovative installation method.
PVC Pipe in Montreal: Victory Through Advocacy 
Robert Lupien, Manager, Corporate Affairs, 
National Public Relations
Mr. Lupien will explain how a process of continued interaction via government and stakeholder relations helped to convince the City of Montreal to open up its specifications for municipal water and sewer infrastructure to PVC pipe. Previously, city specifications excluded PVC pipe, however, through awareness
campaigns, advocacy and collaborative efforts initiated by the PVC Pipe Association a change in perception about PVC pipe among Montreal’s experts
was achieved.


Trenchless Technologies: No Longer the New Kid on the Block

Ray Sterling, Ph.D., P.E., FASCE, Professor Emeritus at Louisiana Tech University

This talk will review the development, current status and future research in installation and rehabilitation using trenchless technologies. The presentation will include a summary of the findings from a multi-year EPA study on the condition of various sewer rehabilitation technologies after in-service lives of up to 34 years. It will also discuss how to improve education, training and technology transfer within the utility sector.
Advocating for Open Competition for Underground Piping at the State Level

Michael Power, Director, State Affairs, Southern Region, American Chemistry Council

An inside look at the American Chemistry Council’s multi-state lobbying strategy which aims to open up competition in markets for piping materials in the U.S. Find out about the challenges and tactics being faced at the political level and what your company can do to assist in the efforts.
The Water Quality Impacts of Different Pipe Materials
Mayor John Marchand (Livermore, CA)
The City of Livermore, California is a major user of PVC pipe because of its durability, cost-effectiveness and ease of maintenance. Water quality, however, is another important consideration when it comes to pipes, since some materials can produce negative water quality impacts. See how PVC water pipe stacks up against other materials when it comes to performance and water quality.
Corrosion Control Considerations for Ductile Iron Pipe
William S. Spickelmire, President RUSTNOT Corrosion Control Services, Inc.
A comprehensive overview of ductile iron pipe corrosion control considerations as well as summary findings from the National Research Council Review of the Bureau of Reclamation’s Corrosion Control Guidelines and the final NACE TG 14 “Corrosion and Corrosion Control of Cast and Ductile Iron” document. The presentation will also include updates on what the ductile iron pipe industry is doing with the new V-Bio polyethylene encasement and zinc coatings. Copies of the 2012 NACE Appalachian Underground Corrosion Short Course paper on corrosion considerations from a consultant’s perspective, the 2013 NACE papers on the NRC Review of the Bureau Standards and the NACE TG 14 document summary that Mr. Spickelmire authored or co-authored will be provided.



43rd Annual Meeting

February 23 - 25, 2015

Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort

Playa Herradura, Costa Rica

2015 Annual Meeting Program

Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort
Playa Herradura, Costa Rica

2014 Annual Meeting


42nd Annual Meeting

March 10-12, 2014

Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

2014 Annual Meeting Program


Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa
Fort Lauderdale, Florida

2013 Annual Meeting

Building A Greener World with PVC Pipe

41st Annual Meeting

April 22-24, 2013

The Resort at Pelican Hill 

Newport Beach, California

2013 Annual Meeting Program


The Resort at Pelican Hill
Newport Beach, California

2012 Annual Meeting

Unleashing American Innovation with PVC Pipe: The Sustainable Solution for Corroding Water & Sewer Systems

40th Annual Meeting

April 23-25, 2012

Marriott Key West Beachside Hotel

Key West, Florida

2012 Annual Meeting Program



Marriott Beachside Hotel
Key West, Florida

2011 Annual Meeting

Smarter Spending For Challenging Times: Rebuilding America's Water/Wastewater Infrastructure with PVC Pipe

39th Annual Meeting

April 18-20, 2011

Loews Ventana Canyon Resort

Tucson, Arizona

2011 Annual Meeting Program



Loews Ventana Canyon Resort
Tucson, Arizona

2010 Annual Meeting

Fighting Back: Gaining Ground in Tough Economic Times - The World's Largest Gathering of PVC Pipe & Fitting Manufacturers

38th Annual Meeting

April 19-21, 2010

Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort, Golf Club & Spa

Marco Island, FL

2010 Annual Meeting Program

Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort,
Marco Island, FL



2711 LBJ Freeway, Suite 1000 | Dallas, TX 75234 | PH: 972.243.3902 | FX: 972.243.3907
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