Uponor North America (Uponor) is expanding its manufacturing facility in Apple Valley, Minn., with completion expected by January 2018. The $17.4 million investment will be used toward the expansion of an additional 58,000 square feet to increase manufacturing capacity to meet customer demand. This is the tenth expansion since Uponor began operations in Apple Valley in 1990. The most recent expansion took place in 2016 when the company invested $18 million and added 88,000 square feet to its manufacturing facility.
Uponor has also leased an 8,500-square-foot office and lab space in a building next to its manufacturing annex, which the company’s technology group will occupy beginning mid-May 2017.
The company’s North American investments and growth are not limited to the U.S. Uponor announced last year it was consolidating the Canadian head office with its eastern distribution center, which moved to Mississauga, Ontario, last June; the Canadian headquarters moved into the same building last month. To further unify the Canadian team and take advantage of centralized efficiencies, they are expanding its estimation and commercial piping design services, also located in Mississauga, which will add value to its Canadian customers. This alignment resulted in closing its Regina, Saskatchewan, office.
New features in Mississauga include a training facility that will hold up to 50 attendees as well as a hands-on application lab. To complement the venue and its plumbing and radiant heating/cooling training classes, the Canadian facility will begin offering engineering continuing education units (CEUs).
“These are exciting times at Uponor and the building industry as we continue to experience growth in both commercial and residential construction; and it’s an exciting time for our partners,” says Bill Gray, Uponor North America president. “Central to our culture and values is our commitment to our customers; we are continually striving to exceed their expectations. Investments in capacity and our focus on enhancing the customer experience support our strategic direction and set us up for more opportunities.”
Uponor’s North American headquarters are located in Apple Valley, Minn., and the company has a distribution center and resin-receiving facility located in nearby Lakeville, Minn. By year-end, the total Twin Cities metro area footprint will amount to 738,000 square feet, which is nearly 17 acres of facilities under roof.
The building expansion is required to meet forecasted growth for its crosslinked polyethylene (PEX) tubing in plumbing, fire sprinkler, radiant heating and cooling and hydronic piping systems used in residential and commercial buildings. According to Gray, Uponor North America’s investments represent more than just a larger manufacturing footprint. The company created more than 100 new jobs last year in the Twin Cities and anticipates adding a number of jobs as a result of the manufacturing expansion — all of which contributes toward economic development in the metro area.
“Apple Valley’s latest expansion with its automated packaging technology will become operational as Uponor celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2018,” says Jyri Luomakoski, president and CEO, Uponor. “In an organization like Uponor, we always remind ourselves that we need to introduce new solutions, new ways of working and new ways to view the world to better serve our customers. Our North American region has performed well in this area — and the outlook remains solid — thanks to our dedicated staff in North America, our customers and business partners.”
Uponor’s decision to expand again in Apple Valley was partly due to the cooperation of both the State of Minnesota and the City of Apple Valley and their willingness to provide a business climate for Uponor’s continued growth.
“When making this investment decision, we spent a significant amount of time evaluating our options,” says Gray. “Throughout the process, the City of Apple Valley has demonstrated its support and the State of Minnesota has also shown its appreciation for Uponor. We truly appreciate their support and, as always, do our best to honor and exceed our commitments.”