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RLS LLC Ends Relationship with Parker Hannifin Corporation

Aug. 18, 2020
RLS will supply Its patented press fittings exclusively under Its own brand.

RLS® LLC reported on August 13 that it will no longer supply its patented press fittings to Parker Hannifin Corp. for the ZoomLock™ brand. RLS sources said they made the announcement to help avoid confusion in the marketplace, as to the source and quality of fittings sold under the ZoomLock brand going forward.

RlS is a subsidiary of Marmon Holdings, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway company. RLS designs, develops and manufactures in America its patented fittings engineered for high-pressure connections in the air conditioning and refrigeration industries. By replacing the time-consuming and demanding conventional practice of manually brazing copper joints, sources said RLS's fittings allow for faster, more consistent connections that reduce total installed cost while enhancing safety.

RLS introduced its patented fittings in 2015 and partnered exclusively with Parker at that time. RLS has since manufactured and supplied millions of fittings for Parker's Sporlan Division to sell under the ZoomLock brand.

RLS sources said the decision not to renew the partnership with Parker was based in part because RLS did not believe discounted pricing provided to Parker was not passed along to customers as intended. Paul Schubert, president, RLS LLC, said Parker has returned most of the discounts that were in dispute, and RLS expects to recover all of the remaining funds.

According to the statement from RLS, Parker will source fittings for its ZoomLock brand from Conex Universal Limited in the United Kingdom.

RLS at one time filed patent lawsuits against Conex in the US, and UK, alleging Conex infringed claims of RLS's patents. RLS and Conex agreed to settle the lawsuit (see details HERE).

RLS said that today, RLS's patented fittings remain the only complete range of refrigerant press fittings, and are featured in the Copper Tube Handbook. The fittings are also backed by a 10-year, limited warranty, and are proven by millions of fittings installed, RLS said.

"To be clear, RLS will no longer supply its patented, proven and made in America product line to Parker to sell under the ZoomLock brand," Schubert said. "To ensure end users are equipped with the high-quality product they need and have come to expect, look for RLS's fittings under its own branding going forward. The RLS brand is your assurance of the same quality connection." 

RLS product information can be found HERE.

ED.NOTE: Parker Hannifin provided the following statement in response to our request for comment:

Parker Hannifin has been in business for 103 years, and the Sporlan brand has proudly served the HVACR market for more than 85 years. We always operate our business with the highest standards of quality and integrity that our good name reflects. 

We are excited by our recent launch of ZoomLock MAX, an improved version of the original ZoomLock, and ZoomLock Push, a product extension of the original ZoomLock.  When customers choose the ZoomLock family of products from Parker Sporlan, they expect the highest product quality and support.  We have over 60 sales engineers in the field committed to working hard to meet the immediate needs of our customers.