Uponor Announces Hutchinson Facility Now Operational

06-12-2018

Production began on May 20, six months ahead of schedule, to meet growing demand for PEX pipe

Apple Valley, Minn., June 12, 2018 — At 6 a.m. on Sunday, May 20, Uponor reached another milestone in the company’s history: manufacturing PEX pipe in its new facility in Hutchinson, Minn. Surpassing the goal of pipe production six months ahead of schedule, the 237,000-square-foot facility was purchased, renovated and received regulatory approval in less than a year’s time.

“Getting initial production launched at the Hutchinson plant on schedule is a major accomplishment,” says Jon Sillerud, vice president, Operations. “More than 50 employees and 14 workstream leads dedicated approximately 23,000 hours in less than one year to bring this project to fruition. Accomplishing this remarkable task required focused teamwork from all departments across the company, including Operations, Engineering, Supply Chain, Finance, IT, Human Resources, Communications, Project Management and senior leadership.”

Uponor North America announced the $6.35 million Hutchinson investment in July 2017 after signing an agreement to purchase the existing facility to support the company’s growing U.S. manufacturing operations. At the time of that announcement, the company estimated operations in Hutchinson would begin in “early 2019.” The opening of this plant marks Uponor’s 11th expansion since 1990. The previous 10 occurred on the North American headquarters campus in Apple Valley, Minn.

Sillerud, who has spent half of his 30-year career managing new growth projects for large manufacturing facilities, says the Hutchinson plant is modeled after Uponor’s Apple Valley facility, which was honored with the Minnesota Manufacturers Alliance Manufacturer of the Year Award in both 2013 and 2018.

“To ensure our facilities function at maximum efficiency, we are heavily involved in the areas of operational excellence and lean manufacturing,” says Sillerud. “We are using strategic digital technology tools and targeted planning to ensure our existing and new manufacturing spaces run with minimal waste, high efficiencies and increased flexibility.”
The company is also mirroring its strong ties to the Apple Valley community in Hutchinson, becoming a member of that city’s chamber of commerce and also supporting the Center for Technical Excellence at Hutchinson High School. This unique program provides students with hands-on training in the areas of mechatronics, construction, engineering, automotive, renewable energy, manufacturing, design and agriculture.

To ensure a full team of employees when the plant opened, Uponor held a job fair at the Hutchinson facility in March, filling positions in Maintenance, Manufacturing, Quality, Engineering and Operations Training. Currently, there are more than 30 employees working in Hutchinson, and that number that is expected to increase over time. In addition, some Apple Valley employees elected to transfer to Hutchinson to work at the new plant.

Dennis and Wes Jacobson, for example, are a father-and-son duo who both worked in Maintenance in Apple Valley, but moved to Hutchinson to work at the new facility and get a fresh start in the smaller town southwest of the Twin Cities.

“I am very proud of all the hard work, dedication and agility that went into procuring the Hutchinson facility and commencing pipe manufacturing six months ahead of schedule,” says Bill Gray, president, Uponor North America. “With the official start-up of this new plant, we are continuing our progress of building a future on innovation, education and advocacy to better serve our customers while also growing the state’s manufacturing workforce.”

Media contact
Patti Winger
Sr. Manager, Corporate Communications
T  800.321.4739, ext. 6775
M  651.341.8991
E  patti.winger@uponor.com

Agency
John O’Reilly or Payton Bailey
O’Reilly DePalma
T  815.469.9100
E  john.oreilly@BetterPR.com | payton.bailey@BetterPR.com

About Uponor
We mean progress.

Apple Valley, Minn.-based Uponor North America strives to be the partner plumbing and HVAC professionals rely on for smart water and energy solutions. The company is helping to advance the construction industry through innovation, education and advocacy focusing on the defining issues of our time: water, energy and labor. An award-winning manufacturer of PEX piping and provider of plumbing, fire safety, radiant heating/cooling, hydronic piping, and pre-insulated piping systems, Uponor offers solutions for new construction, retrofits and remodels in the residential, light commercial and commercial markets. Uponor partnered with Belkin International in 2016 to form Phyn, a new intelligent water company that is revolutionizing the way consumers interact with water and helping solve major challenges facing the global water supply. Recognized for best-in-class manufacturing, sustainability, economic development and as a top workplace, the Uponor group of companies employs more than 4,000 worldwide. Uponor group’s global headquarters are located in Vantaa, Finland.

© 2018 Uponor, Inc.

Uponor is a trademark of Uponor Corporation and Uponor, Inc







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