Taco Inc. on Nov. 6 announced a strategic alliance with Italian pump manufacturer Askoll to produce high-efficiency circulators in Taco’s factory in Cranston, R.I. Taco President and CEO John Hazen White Jr. made the announcement in Cranston during a ceremony attended by Taco employees, Askoll executives and guests. 

“The government regulates our pumps and circulators for energy efficiency,” White said. “We’re up against some good, tough competitors, and I sought out companies that could give us technical assistance.”

The relationship with Askoll not only will protect Taco technologically, he noted, but it also will protect jobs in Rhode Island. Taco already has begun assembling the VR1816, which employs Askoll’s variable-speed technology at its factory in Cranston. Future plans call for Taco to manufacture the VR1816 entirely in Cranston, and it is being sold under the Taco brand.

The VR1816 can be used in residential and light commercial applications, and it is an extension of Taco’s Viridian line of circulators. It is a wet-rotor circulator with an ECM permanent magnet motor that uses 85% less electricity than standard models.

Askoll President Elio Marioni, who founded the company in 1978, said Askoll has registered more than 800 patents on products for household appliances and heating systems. This is his company’s first entry into the U.S. market for heating products.

“We have the technology, we don’t have the market,” Marioni said during the ceremony. “Mr. White has the market.”

 Taco plans to display the VR1816 at the AHR Expo Jan. 26-28 in Chicago. It will roll out the product nationally following the trade show.