APPLE VALLEY, Minn. — Uponor has been 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 for Midwest manufacturing companies.

“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.

“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 (OEE) by 7.8 percent; decreasing non-value added (NVA) by 19 percent; decreasing scrap rate by 9 percent; decreasing variable production cost (VPC) 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; 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.

“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.”

Uponor is a leading supplier of plumbing, fire safety, and radiant heating and cooling systems for the residential and commercial building markets in the United States. For more information, visit or

Publication date: 4/22/2013