Uponor News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

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Uponor Named Minnesota Manufacturer of the Year – First Company to Receive Award Twice

Manufacturers Alliance honors Uponor for promoting the industry and supporting education

Uponor Minnesota Manufacturers Alliance Award — Uponor North America (Uponor) has been named the 2018 Minnesota Manufacturer of the Year in the large-company category by the Manufacturers Alliance. This is the first time in the association’s history they have honored a company twice. Uponor is being recognized in 2018 for its commitment to sharing expertise with the manufacturing industry and shifting the perception of the industry through:

  • Training events and monthly peer meetings with the Manufacturers Alliance, Enterprise Minnesota and Association for Manufacturing Excellence

  • Launching an apprenticeship program developed with the Minnesota Department of Industry and Labor

  • Internship programs with Minnesota colleges including Dunwoody College of Technology and the Twin Cities Engineering program at the University of Minnesota – Mankato

  • Support of STEM initiatives in local schools

  • Commitment to Lean and Six Sigma processes, which led to Uponor launching Bronze training in office functions, implementing internal Gold Lean Certification Training in Operations, and incorporating ideas from employees (CIs). Uponor recently celebrated more than 2,000 CIs implemented and conducted 40 kaizen events throughout the entire company. Lean training continued to progress, totaling 415 bronze, 70 silver, and four gold certified employees.

“The positive impact Uponor is making is unprecedented. It is the only company to win the Manufacturers Alliance’s Manufacturer of the Year award twice in the 22 years that the award has been presented,” says Kirby Sneen, vice president of the Manufacturers Alliance. “We were compelled to recognize Uponor’s willingness to share best practices with peers and help strengthen the Minnesota manufacturing community.”

Bill Gray, president of Uponor North America, says, “We are honored to receive this award, especially since we’re receiving it for our commitment to the future of manufacturing and investment in the next generation. The timing is particularly meaningful as this year we also celebrate Uponor’s 100th anniversary, the completion of our 10th expansion on our Apple Valley campus, and the opening of a new plant in Hutchinson this summer.”

The Manufacturers Alliance’s annual Manufacturer of the Year Award recognizes manufacturers that share improvement experiences with their colleagues in a cooperative fashion. Each year, the award is presented in one of three categories – companies with fewer than 100 employees; companies with 100 to 400 employees; and companies with more than 400 employees.

Uponor was previously named the 2013 Manufacturer of the Year in the large-company category, recognizing several lean and operational efficiencies the company had experienced in 2012, including improving overall equipment efficiency by nearly 8 percent; decreasing scrap rates by 9 percent; decreasing variable production cost by more than 6 percent; improving lacquer lines changeover from 3½ hours to 10 minutes; and sharing lean processes with office personnel, resulting in a new product catalog lean process that reduced production costs by 21 percent and production time from 207 days to 30 days.

The award was presented to Uponor on April 12 during a ceremony at the Golden Valley Country Club. The event was followed by an invitation-only “Tour of Excellence” for Manufacturer Alliance members at Uponor North America, located in Apple Valley.

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

Agency
Payton Bailey or Joel Williams
O’Reilly DePalma
T 815.469.9100
E payton.bailey@BetterPR.com
E joel.williams@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.

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IMAGE GALLERY

Uponor Minnesota Manufacturers Alliance Award (left to right) Ed Kearney, President, Apple Valley Chamber of Commerce; Jon Sillerud, Vice President of Operations Uponor North America; Bill Gray, President, Uponor North America; Shawntera Hardy, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development; Mary Hamann-Roland, Mayor of Apple Valley; Gary Forcier, Mayor of Hutchinson; Mary Hodson, President, Hutchinson Chamber of Commerce

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Uponor Minnesota Manufacturers Alliance Award (left to right) Bill Gray, President, Uponor North America with Art Sneen, President and Founder, Minnesota Manufacturers Alliance

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Uponor Minnesota Manufacturers Alliance Award (left to right) Gary Forcier, Mayor of Hutchinson, Mary Hamann-Roland, Mayor of Apple Valley, and Bill Gray, President, Uponor North America

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Uponor Minnesota Manufacturers Alliance Award Uponor North America President Bill Gray and Uponor’s silver-level trainees of the lean manufacturing process proudly accept the Manufacturers Alliance 2018 Manufacturer of the Year award.

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Uponor Minnesota Manufacturers Alliance Award Uponor Training Manager Wes Sisco guides attendees through Uponor’s PEX manufacturing process in the Apple Valley, Minn. facility.

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Uponor Minnesota Manufacturers Alliance Award Uponor Lean Manager Brad Graetz explains some of the company’s lean operations best practices during the Manufacturers Alliance Tour of Excellence.

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