On April 11, Uponor was honored as the 2013 Manufacturer of the Year in the large-company category by the Manufacturers Alliance, an association providing peer-to-peer training, education and resources that allow Midwest manufacturing companies to continuously grow, improve and stay competitive.
The event began with Apple Valley, Minn. Mayor Mary Hamann-Roland presenting a Certificate of Commendation from Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton and a video from Senator Amy Klobuchar sending her congratulations and support to the manufacturing community. Last year, Klobuchar visited Uponor and took a tour of the manufacturing facility as part of her “Made in America” economic tour.
“We are honored to receive this recognition and award and are privileged to be part of the Manufacturers Alliance where we not only share our best practices, but where we also learn from others,” said Uponor North America President Bill Gray.
Uponor is a relative newcomer to the Manufacturers Alliance’s Manufacturer of the Year awards. In fact, last year was the first year the company was nominated and came in as runner-up.
“I am excited for Uponor and for our employees,” said Rusty Callier, director of operations. “This award validates what we have accomplished and will be used as a springboard to sustained success.”
The Manufacturers Alliance chose Uponor due to several Lean and operational efficiencies the company had experienced in the past year, including:
- Improving overall equipment efficiency by 7.8 percent
- Decreasing non-value added by 19 percent
- Decreasing scrap rate by 9 percent
- Decreasing variable production cost by 6.3 percent
- Improving lacquer lines changeover from three and a half hours to 10 minutes
- Improving pipe recoil changeover from 45 minutes to two minutes
- Best year for reducing severity and frequency of accidents
- 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
On July 31, 2012, Uponor was asked to be one of two companies on the Manufacturers Alliance Tour of Excellence, to showcase its outstanding accomplishments in operational improvements. Topics included tier management, continuous improvement boards, A3 projects, overall equipment effectiveness and manufacturing execution system.
“Our 2012 body of work has not only allowed us to make great strides in our business, but also in our belief that we are a learning organization that must invest in learning and benchmarking to stay competitive,” said Callier. “Through participating in Manufacturers Alliance training, holding training events and plant tours, hosting peer meetings and participating in numerous site visits set up through peer groups, we continue to learn from other Manufacturers Alliance members.”