About Fire, Water, and Non-brass pipes…
Russian people have long been famous for their genuinely creative thinking, which often strikes conservative Europeans. For example, in this video posted on YouTube, Russian plumbers decided to check the heat resistance of water pipes by rather extreme methods. They kept the pipes by different brands in boiling water, subjected them to excessive pressure and even melted them using an industrial dryer. Not every test sample could come out «dry out of the water». But there was one brand which managed to prove that its non-brass pipes are not afraid of water, neither are they scared of fire.
“Yes, Russian technicians are reckless professionals,” laughs Viktor Vasiliev, the general director of «Henco Rus», the company which has won that incredible test, “but we are grateful to them for the opportunity to demonstrate the extreme qualities of our metal-plastic pipes.”
The original technical solution of producing metal-plastic pipes was introduced into the Russian market by a Belgian company Henco. The company was founded in 1992, and in 1995 it began to import their pipes to Russia. For many professionals the word «henko» has been used as an eponym to refer to any metal-plastic pipes – before Henco nothing like that had existed in the Russian engineering market.
Large Belgian Collider
Fully automated lines annually produce metal-plastic pipes in an amount sufficient to cover the Earth around the equator three times.
The policy to avoid using Chinese products makes the company different from its competitors. All production is situated in Belgium, not far away from Brussels.
In the past Henco invested a huge amount of money in the unique equipment. The large industrial plant generates the electromagnetic field of high intensity. Having been passed through this field, Henco pipes obtain the required level of crosslinking at the molecular level.
“We are very proud of our «collider» – a huge installation covering the area as big as a football pitch. There are only few plants like ours in Europe,” says Victor Vasiliev. “Usually it is the chemical method of crosslinking to be used in pipe production. Our electronic technology is not only more complex, reliable and based on physical properties of materials but does make it possible to produce the most eco-friendly pipes.”
The Form which is Worth the Content
“Have a look!” Victor shows a demo sample – a beautifully curved metal-plastic pipe. “You can see how it keeps the form given, which is very important for installation, especially, if the room shape is quite complicated. The physical properties of the product help to minimize the number of fittings connecting the pipes. The fewer fittings you have – the less you pay, the more reliable an engineering system is.”
Vasiliev says that Russian specialists have always been extremely sceptical about plastic fittings preferring traditional brass ones. The plumbers even have a saying: “If the fitting falls on my foot and I do not feel it – it is not a proper fitting!”
“We can genuinely contradict the old truth,” Victor laughs. “Working with our plastic fitting provides you with only positive emotions. In addition to a number of technological advantages, it is small, light and flexible. It’s not affected by corrosion which is especially important for Russian conditions – type of water, features of installation and maintenance, etc.”
By the way, last year the company carried out a survey: fittings of what colour the customers prefer – white or black? The Russians made their choice and next year all fittings for small diameter pipes in Russia will be only in white colour. And this is not just marketing, but a sign of a company’s highly client-oriented approach.
Accounting Outsourcing“Accounting outsourcing is the policy of our parent company. All non-core activities of Henco should be done by different outsourcing companies. We’ve outsourced our accounting functions to 1C-WiseAdvice. It’s important to keep the company’s accounting in line with the Russian legislation and our parent’s forms and reports.
When registering the company, in the beginning of our communication with 1C-WiseAdvice, the employees had started working for us before an agreement was signed. We did really appreciate that fact.
We are glad to have found such a reliable and responsible partner as 1C-WiseAdvice providing us with a highly professional service. It’s particularly valuable to us and gives the opportunity to focus on our core products – pipes and fittings,” Viktor Vasiliev says.
Despite the remarkable production capacity, the company's administrative structure appears to be quite simple. For example, in Russia there are just about a dozen of employees.
“It's almost impossible to see someone in the office though – everybody is in the sites!” Victor laughs, pointing at the geographical map on the wall: from the west to the east and from the south to the north it is covered with a bright pattern of flags showing the areas of Henco's presence.
It is difficult to imagine a person who would seem to be keener on their job than our interlocutor. Having graduated from Moscow Power Engineering Institute, Vasiliev has been working in the energy and heating sector for more than 20 years. When a couple of years ago Victor received an offer to work on a new project for the legendary company, which he had known from his university years, he immediately agreed.
Before meeting Victor, we could not even expect the conversation about metal-plastic pipes and fittings to be so exciting.
“Recently we’ve been shown the photos of one room,” says Viktor, “two photographs of the same place. The first one depicted an artistically designed hand-made mosaic floor, created in the best Eastern traditions. The second picture showed a messy pile of broken tiles. What happened? The pipes leakage led to those consequences. What caused the accident? It was a result of so-called false economy – cheap and low-quality pipes had been used when installing the underfloor heating system.”
There are a lot of similar stories! Unfortunately, the development of the engineering market in Russia and some CIS countries is greatly influenced by two factors: no mandatory certification of that type of products and a notorious price-oriented approach when quality and safety follow the price. It results the situation when such an important sphere like heating appears to attract not really responsible producers.
Today it can be said that the process of manufacturing Henco products remains the most reliable technology in Europe. Having installed Henco pipes, the consumer can forget about their existence and maintenance for 50 or even more years ahead.
Production capacity and considerable expertise enable the company to adapt its assortment to different price segments according to the market situation. After all, Henco does not produce windows, taps or water tanks in the lavatory. The company is focused on the pipes and fittings production, as well as on the development and implementation of integrated solutions for engineering systems either in private houses or industrial premises. Henco products are not cheap, but taking into account all the advantages they can be considered good value-for-money solutions.
Home, Sweet Home…
Address: 8th Tekstilshchikov Str. 11, Building 2, 109129 Moscow
Phone: +7 (495) 268 05 82
In average, the recent financial crisis caused about 10% – 50% drop in sales in the engineering market. Fortunately, the commodity production of Henco is in a quite favorable position: in Russian weather conditions it is easier to refuse from conditioning rather than from heating. The main volume of Henco in Russia has been aimed at two types of consumers: large businesses working on industrial projects – construction of high-scrappers, manufacturing plants, and medium and small enterprises servicing private houses.
“We see what we haven’t done yet and what potential we have. In the strategic perspective, little by little we’re going to strengthen our positions in the Russian market and gradually get out of the crisis. After all, we’ve been doing this for the third time for more than 20-year experience of Henco in Russia. We will do our best to keep warm and cozy atmosphere in Russian houses!” optimistically concludes Victor Vasiliev.
We wish Henco prosperity and more loyal customers in Russia!