One of Australia’s most iconic brand names, Nylex, has recently gone into receivership and parts of the business have been sold off or liquidated.
The “Films & Fabrics” division which manufactured Pool Liner material and many industrial and domestic fabrics was liquidated, and has now stopped manufacturing.
One of the saddest aspects of this is that PVC (vinyl) film will no longer be manufactured in Australia, as Nylex were the last (Australian) volume manufacturer of this product. Nylex had so much experience in all their years of manufacturing PVC film, that I believe their knowledge and formulation of PVC for the harsh Australian climate made their product the best performer by far.
What does this mean to the Pool, Tank and Geomembrane industry going forward? Well, there was a chance that these tried and tested material formulations (or recipes if you like) would be lost forever, but thanks to the efforts of a few local companies, some of these proven products will continue to be available.
The Aqualux and Aquaforce pool liner products have now been taken over by a company called Swimlinings P/L, and will continue to be produced exactly as per the Nylex formulation. So even though the Nylex brand is no longer involved, the actual product that we know and trust will continue to be available, and will remain true to its original ‘recipe’.
Last week I was in the U.S. at the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals annual pool show in Las Vegas. While visiting a lot of booths of vinyl liner suppliers, something became very obvious to me, Australian pool owners are lucky. I knew that installers of Inground Pool Liners in Australia were innovative and offered their customers more options than their counter parts in the U.S. & Europe, but being at the show and talking to liner manufacturing companies really highlighted some of the things we do differently (and better) here. That is fastening liners under water.
One company at the show was touting their “new” under water extrusion for liners where you can now have ceramic tiles around the water line of the pool, with the benefits of a vinyl finish over the rest of the pool. For some panel pool systems, this is an attractive option, but I have been in this industry over 30 years and I know vinyl liners have been installed in Australia under water in pools with a ceramic waterline for over twenty years.
Another company was telling me how they were trying to design a suitable measuring system to fit liners into old concrete and fibreglass pools. I developed a successful system back in 1993 to measure these complex shaped pools and then turn the measurements into CAD data to create the patterns and pieces for manufacturing the liner. This is another example where a pool owner in Australia has more options for renovation or repair.
So I have come to the conclusion that pool owners in Australia are lucky. They are lucky to have access to the best technology and systems for measuring, making and installing pool liners to their Inground swimming pools. The Australian pool owner more importantly has available the necessary skills of the installers who then fit the liner to these difficult pools. I take my hat off to the innovators and pioneers of these installation methods. They are true craftsmen that have developed their skills by tackling difficult installations and developing methods and processes to make it work.
Going forward for our industry, I believe it is important we foster these skills and take the time and effort to train newcomers to our industry so we can ensure our customers can enjoy the ease of maintenance and soft to touch finish of vinyl, no matter what the age or construction of their pool.