Radhika Pendse takes a look at why plastic push-fit is the solution of today and how John Guest has risen to meet growing demands.

After completing half a century in business, much of which as a fore-runner of the push-fit revolution, John Guest (JG) has now entered a new leg of its journey. The company, which was previously involved with making people aware of the plastic push-fit system and its benefits, is now working to meet growing demands for the product as more and more people begin to understand exactly how it can help them.

The push-fit system, especially when used in compressed air systems, offers two main advantages: it cuts down on production down time and can easily be manipulated to incorporate a growing pipe system. Effectively, this means that the push-fit’s push-and-click mechanism allows for quick and trouble-free installation. Even if pipe-work has already been installed in a building, extensions to the system are unproblematic as are changes to the current system. Economically, people are beginning to notice these efficiency advantages as we slowly begin to lift out of the recession.

In order to make a mark in the current climate, it is also important to be able to adapt and customise specific offerings to suit particular needs. Constant originality and an ability to work across a wide spectrum of specialised applications have allowed companies like John Guest to retain a market leadership position. Besides catering to a number of sectors – compressed air, plumbing, automotive, drinks dispense, telecommunications and underfloor heating – JG systems and fittings can be tailored to client specifications to increase relevance and efficiency of use.

Another reason for push-fit’s growing prominence is the fact that it reduces the need for tools. This in turn lowers effort required for the installation; materials to be carried to the site are also significantly reduced. As consumers have begun to embrace the system’s ease, push-fit’s sales have soared. In fact, in the compressed air zone, the system forms an integral part of the installer’s tool bag like the nail gun and jackhammer; it is also present in most garages as part of the compressed air network and is often used as a component in air brake systems. With reduced tool usage, working in confined spaces becomes easer, as well.

The reason why JG has been able to flourish and meet growing demands even in this difficult economic climate is because the company’s core competency lies embedded within its strong self-dependency philosophy. This essentially points towards its complete engineering and manufacturing self-sufficiency and strong ‘vertical integration’ within the company. John Guest products are made at John Guest’s London headquarters by John Guest engineers using John Guest tools. The whole process, right from tool and product design to manufacture, assembly and testing is carried out in-house and in the UK. This ensures that the company can maintain stringent control over quality and consistency in its products. It also means that JG does not look outward for production support and hence, accepts whole responsibility for its fittings. Flying the country flag is an enormous source of pride for the company and it will continue to keep all manufacturing processes within the UK.

JG’s focus on engineering excellence is another reason why it can cope with rising demands for the push-fit system. Cost savings are clearly an ever present and important purchasing decision. However, installers are also seeking good quality products that offer reliability and peace of mind. When a pipe connection is made, the installer is placing an enormous trust in the hands of the fitting and tubing manufacturer. John Guest understands this responsibility and places the necessary investments to ensure the company can be confident in offering systems that stand the test of time. 

Since the early 1960s when Mr John Guest opened his factory gates for the first time, manufacturing has gone through great change. However, he strongly believed, and the firm he led still does, that having a principled set of values focused to ensure that the best quality products are delivered with the best quality of service, is a competence that delivers a strong platform for success regardless of where you are based in the world.

People are now looking for cleaner, cheaper, easier solutions that adapt to fit various applications. In essence, the push-fit system saves the user time, money and effort – all extremely valuable in today’s fast-paced, consumer-driven society. It has a wide variety of applications and can be customised to fit almost any type of tubing system. It would seem that it is indeed, the connecting solution of the future.

John Guest

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