Uponor North America 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:
“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,” said 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, said: “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.