Auxiliary equipment manufacturers automate clean rooms to make critical medical devices, supply robots to package products, develop scanners for reverse engineering, and now they have a chance to play a greater role in the rebuilding of U.S. infrastructure.
Adam Grier, president of radar sensor technology producer Inoex LLC, is optimistic about President Joe Biden's $2 trillion American Jobs Plan to overhaul the economy while spending on roads, bridges, broadband, the electric grid, advanced manufacturing and more. The plan, which would be offset by corporate tax increases, calls for investing $111 billion in water infrastructure with $45 billion to be set aside to make sure no child has to drink water from a lead pipe, which can slow their development and cause behavioral and other problems.
Grier is paying particular attention to plans to replace 100 percent of the nation's lead pipes and service lines. Lancaster, Pa.-based Inoex developed radar sensor technology for contact-free measurement of the diameter and wall thickness of plastic pipe as it is being extruded. The Warp product portfolio is suitable for nylon, PVC, polyethylene and polypropylene pipe. Several Inoex customers are using the Warp technology on PVC and PE pipes that move water for municipalities. The Biden plan will bode well for modernizing the nation's aging, leaking, corroding delivery system for drinking water, Grier said.
"This will create huge demand for both PE and PVC municipal water pipes, which I believe is a good thing, not only for pipe manufacturers, but it's actually a great thing for our nation because it will improve the quality of the water we all drink by eliminating infiltration that occurs in old pipe systems," Grier said in an email.
Replacing the crumbling pipe infrastructure also will improve the efficiency of the water distribution systems by improving pump station efficiency and eliminating leaks that cause water utilities to lose millions of gallons each month, Grier said. A half-inch leak can waste more than 20 million gallons of clean water in a year, he added.
"Think about how much clean drinking water is wasted each year by our older cities," Grier said.