Our editorial team spent the day with Zurn Industries, which moved its headquarters from Erie, Pennsylvania to Milwaukee, Wisconsin last October. We had the opportunity to explore the new facility overlooking the freshwater capital of the world and hear more about the company’s continued growth in the heart of an expanding business park. The city of Milwaukee has invested $6.2 million to help develop the 17-acre business park which aims to have over 1 million square feet of high-tech space upon completion.
The business park is among other new developments near the Global Water Center. Zurn joins other water-focused companies like A.O. Smith Corp., Badger Meter Inc., the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences and Rexnord Corp. (which acquired Zurn in 2007), in efforts to use the world’s most important resource more effectively.
Zurn’s 52,000-square foot building, which rests in what used to be an old railroad site that was revitalized to be what we now know as Freshwater Way, offers a collaborative space that features the Customer Experience Center, a hands-on laboratory experience for contractors and engineers. It’s affixed with Zurn’s robust product line, which includes water control and water safety components, linear floor drainage in some areas, Zurn fixtures and faucets and even PEX radiant piping in the flooring and outside sidewalks to minimize snow shoveling in the winter.
The Zurn team will use the facility to provide customizable training that suits students’ knowledge, experience and interests. Expert-led hands-on training includes: Overview 101, Design & Specify, and Install & Support curriculum for all 26 product lines. “We’ve completely overhauled our training to better equip our sales and distribution partners, and we’re excited to invite them to our new facility to partake in our training programs,” said, Eric Loferski, director of marketing.
One of the goals is to work with apprentices, start at the beginning or at a level that offers more layered training and interconnectivity. There will also be training modules that focus on each product. Zurn is working on formalizing this training with apprenticeships.
We also had a chance to look at Zurn’s latest updates and newest products, including its PEX crimping rings and tools, interceptor line, and the Sundara Handwashing System which unifies seamless countertops, basins, faucets, and soap dispensers, combining style and substance. In addition, Zurn’s newly launched EZCarry high performance carrier propels waste three times farther than traditional water closet carriers.
Finally, our team had the chance to see a soon-to-be launched floor drain that saves 14 minutes of installation time vs. traditional installations. Zurn, though it’s still adjusting to its Milwaukee location, has big plans in the works. It will continue to share product news, market expansion and staff appointments, so stay tuned!