Two generations and 25 years of work have CCI Piping Systems poised for a bright future.
There are infrastructure improvements on every utility’s to-do list. And most battle inflow and infiltration. Finding the right solutions is critical.
That’s where CCI Piping Systems comes in. The family business manufactures pipe supports and spacers, among other products, but its WrapidSeal Manhole Encapsulation System is of particular interest to utility operators and managers dealing with I&I issues.
Municipal Sewer & Water recently had the opportunity to speak with Claire Morley, sales and marketing manager for CCI and daughter of company founder Gene Cazayoux, about the company’s history and the products that are moving it forward.
MSW: Can we start with an overview of the company and a little history?
Morley: In 1984, Gene Cazayoux learned about corrosion on pipes caused by bare U-bolts rubbing away at the pipe’s protective coating and he came up with the idea for the coated U-bolt to prevent this from happening. At the time, he was also the distributor for Canusa products throughout the Gulf states. In 1995, he decided to go into business for himself and opened CCI Piping Systems.
Catering primarily to the oil and gas industry, CCI’s focus was on selling ArmorCote original coated U-bolts. CCI then entered the wastewater industry after finding a solution — the WrapidSeal Manhole Encapsulation System — to the problems caused by I&I entering manhole systems. Continuing with steady growth, by 2004 CCI had a second plant and was manufacturing products for the water industry including casing spacers, end seals and Wrap-It Link wall penetration seals.
In 2006, I came on board to handle the marketing for the company and eventually worked my way into sales, as well. My brother Paul joined the business in 2017 after working for an engineering firm and earning his professional engineering license. He has taken on the role of technical sales and engineering, handling lunch and learns, specification work, demos, new product development, etc. We continue to grow and stay ahead of the curve with innovative products solving everyday issues in our industry.
MSW: Congratulations on the company’s 25th anniversary. What’s been the key to longevity in this industry?
Morley: The key to CCI’s success has been hiring the best employees the industry has to offer. We are fortunate to have quality employees who take pride in doing a great job.
It is rare for CCI to be in need of a new employee, as most of our staff has been with us for more than 15 years. But as we grow, we have sought additional staff members to help carry the added workload. When doing so, we look for people who are ambitious, hardworking and seeking long-term careers. We also make a point in finding employees who are compatible with our existing staff, as that is mutually important. Lastly, we feel that if we take care of our employees, they’ll take pride in doing a good job for us.
MSW: CCI is now a second-generation family business. How does that shape your operations?
Morley: My brother Paul and myself will be stepping in to run the company as our dad moves into retirement. We are eager to carry on our father’s legacy and continue to grow his business by manufacturing more products to solve issues in our industry while providing customer service that is second to none.
Working with your sibling looks different in some ways, but quite typical in others. We have different personalities and strengths, so we balance one another out well. A lot of our shop talk is casual, and it can occur anytime and anywhere. Being part of a family business means you never really clock out.
MSW: What types of needs do you address for municipal utilities?
Morley: Our WrapidSeal Manhole Encapsulation System prevents I&I from entering structures. Our casing spacers are designed to keep carrier pipes centered and restrained while being pushed under roadways. We also manufacture Wrap-It Link wall penetration seals, which provide watertight seals to annular spaces created when a pipe is going through a wall.
MSW: How has your niche in the industry evolved, and how have you evolved with it?
Morley: CCI actually started as a company focused on the oil and gas industry. While distributing for a company who manufactured shrink sleeves, Cazayoux had the idea to use this technology on manholes. From there, WrapidSeal was formed and has gone on to be approved by major cities all over the country. We have also created the new Omniroller casing spacer that will help solve rifling issues while also reducing the coefficient of friction between the runner and casing.
MSW: What is your top-selling product line?
Morley: Our casing spacers are our top-selling product, with WrapidSeal following closely behind.
MSW: How does this technology help municipal wastewater system operators run their systems more efficiently?
Morley: I&I can be a devastating problem for municipalities. Not only does it back up the sewer system, potentially causing overflows, it has damaging effects on the infrastructure. WrapidSeal provides a watertight seal that will protect your structures for the life of the system.
MSW: Are the animations on your website indicative of the need to educate water and wastewater professionals about all the new technology and solutions that are available?
Morley: Yes, the intention of the animations is to inform our viewers of the technology that is available to solve the issues they are facing and to show them how easy they are to install. There are a lot of options out there for municipalities to choose from to prevent I&I from entering their system, but unlike other potential solutions, WrapidSeal is a positive seal, easy to install and, once applied, is on for the life of the structure.
MSW: Could the average municipal utility install CCI’s products with an in-house crew?
Morley: Yes, we have a rep network set up throughout North America that’s ready to train crews on installing our products.
MSW: Do you sell direct to contractors and utilities or through distributors?
Morley: We work with distributors such as Core & Main, HD Supply, Ferguson Waterworks and LB Supply.
MSW: What’s on the horizon for CCI? Are new product lines in development?
Morley: We are always looking ahead with new products in mind. Less than two years after launching our line of pipe supports, we are proud to announce we have another new product coming out: the Omniroller multi-directional casing spacer. The Omniroller is designed to keep the carrier pipe centered and restrained as it’s pushed through the casing pipe, make installation easier by reducing the coefficient of friction, and eliminate the spiraling effect typical of standard runners or unidirectional rollers.