Pentair Pool Products, Inc. is the premier single-source supplier of swimming pool and spa equipment, giving builders, retailers, distributors, service companies and consumers one-stop shopping for residential and commercial equipment including pumps, filters, heaters, lighting, controls, cleaners and other components. Barbara Kram takes an in-depth look.
Imagine luxuriating in the comfort and convenience of your own swimming pool and spa. Imagine that your pool or spa has convenience features such as heating, a time- and labor-saving automated cleaning system, and a fully programmable control center to make sure the water is just right when you get home from work.
All of these advanced water technologies, and more, are made by Pentair Pool Products, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of the full array of pool products one of from pumps to cleaners — just about every component except the concrete, steel reinforcements and chemicals.
Pentair Pool Products vastly simplifies the job for pool/spa professionals by allowing them to deal with a single manufacturer, tapping decades of experience in the marketplace for swimming pools and spas. “We’ve always had as a part of our vision providing the complete system to the customer,” says Bill Whitehurst, vice president and general manager. “For the last seven years we’ve been in the process of leading the industry consolidation of bringing these businesses together to put everything in one place under one umbrella.”
Made in the Shade
Pentair Pool Products is part of Pentair, Inc. (NYSE symbol PNR), a global product development and technology company that specializes in tools, equipment and enclosures; and water technologies for the residential, commercial, industrial and municipal markets. Two years ago, to build its global leadership position, Pentair, Inc. acquired PacFab, Inc., one of the largest and most respected swimming-pool equipment suppliers, offering brands including Purex Triton, American Products, Rainbow Lifegard and others. The renamed Pentair Pool Products is today an integrated supplier of premium pumps, filters, heaters, controls, outdoor lighting systems, automatic cleaners and maintenance accessories to the pool/spa industry and to consumers’ backyards around the nation and the globe.
Pentair Pool Products’ corporate offices, along with a major manufacturing facility, are in Sanford, N.C. Its western manufacturing operations are located in Moorpark, Calif. The two locations, totaling about 550,000 square feet, are devoted to manufacturing the basic product lines. The company employs from 1,300 to 1,500 workers depending on seasonality.
Pentair Pool Products’ core business is in the United States, but its strategy is to further infiltrate markets overseas through manufacturing facilities in Belgium, South Africa and future sites. The company also has a sales office in the Middle East.
Regardless of location, the employees at Pentair Pool Products speak the same language: kaizen — which, when translated from the Japanese, means “change for the better.” It’s the concept of continuous quality improvement and one of today’s most widely adopted business management practices. Kaizen represents an organization-wide strategy focused on improving the efficiency of all operations from product development through delivery. Pentair’s quality program – Pentair Zip, which will be phased in over three years – includes intensive training to impart a plant-wide culture of employee involvement, creative thinking and problem solving. The program will be implemented by employee business teams organized along product lines. “This process will take us by a quantum leap into the 21st century,” Whitehurst says. “We have committed the resources to take us to the next level.”
Testing the Waters
Pentair Pool Products is currently introducing its customers to SAm™ (Spectrum Amerlite®), which is among the company’s most popular and innovative products. The world’s first automated color-changing pool light, SAm™ produces brilliant underwater color-lighting effects that transform any pool into a luminous nighttime wonder.
“The response from the pool industry and pool owners has exceeded our highest expectations,” says Whitehurst. “SAm™ can be combined with our full line of state-of-the-art fiber optics to create beautiful pools, spas, fountains, waterfalls and landscaping lighting.”
The acquisition of Kreepy Krauly (which also occurred two years ago) allows Pentair Pool Products to offer the leading automatic pool cleaner. Kreepy Krauly is like a vacuum cleaner for the pool that eliminates maintenance chores and effort, giving people more time to enjoy the sparkling clean water. Kreepy Krauly uses the pool’s existing filtration system and provides more vacuuming power, cleaning performance and convenience than other cleaners on the market.
Obviously, the key to long-term satisfaction with pool ownership is having a pool that’s always crystal clear, remains trouble-free and is easy to maintain. Pentair Pool Products provides the family of equipment and accessories specifically designed to enhance the pool experience by providing reliable, energy-efficient performance day in and day out.
Perhaps the company’s most extraordinary offerings are the control systems that allow pool technologies to work in concert to enhance comfort, convenience and cost savings. “Our control systems automate all of the functions related to your pool,” says Whitehurst. “You can program them just like the smart house systems…everything just takes care of itself.”
Compool automated control systems look something like high-tech thermostats. They make operating the pool and spa as easy as touching a button inside your home to automatically run the pump, filter and pool cleaner. Easy-to-use programming buttons set your pool or spa to be ready when you are. With the right pump scheduling, it’s possible to reduce energy consumption by taking advantage of off-peak electrical rates. Compool control systems can be tailored to orchestrate multiple auxiliary circuits for special functions such as pool and landscape lighting, automatic pool cleaners and water features like fountains and waterfalls.
Pentair Pool Products also manufactures pool and spa pumps featuring a proprietary hydraulic system refined over four decades and designed for quiet operation with less friction for lower electrical consumption and increased energy efficiency.
Pentair’s economical heaters give consumers more use and enjoyment out of their pools and today’s heaters make it surprisingly affordable to extend the pool season and maximize the investment in backyard enjoyment. Pentair Pool Products also manufactures a complete line of sand filters, diatomaceous earth filters and cartridge filters for residential and commercial pool installations.
All Pentair pool products are designed to provide ease of installation and maintenance and outstanding reliability backed by one of the best standard warranties in the industry.
The unprecedented quality and expertise of Pentair Pool Products stems from the synergies of consolidating the world’s top pool resources under one giant poolside umbrella within the Water Technologies Group of Pentair, Inc. “What they have brought to us is a wealth of knowledge and experience,” says Whitehurst of the parent company and its strategic acquisitions. “That is significantly going to pave the way for us as we go forward.”