Uponor planning $17 million expansion in Minnesota

Uponor planning $17 million expansion in Minnesota
The dust has barely settled on last year’s $18 million expansion of manufacturing space for cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) pipe at Uponor North America’s headquarters in Apple Valley, Minn., yet the business is getting the shovel ready again.

In late spring, the production operation will get another boost, this time with a $17.4 million investment that will add 58,000 square feet of space to increase capacity and meet demand for PEX tubing, which is used in plumbing, fire sprinklers, radiant heating and cooling, and hydroponic piping.

"These are exciting times at Uponor and the building industry as we continue to experience significant growth in both commercial and residential construction; and it’s an exciting time for our partners", Uponor North America President Bill Gray said in a news release. "Investments in capacity and our focus on enhancing the customer experience support our strategic direction and set us up for more opportunities".

When construction wraps up by January, the business will have more to celebrate than a ribbon cutting, according to Jyri Luomakoski, president and CEO of Uponor Oy., which is based in Vantaa, Finland.

"Apple Valley’s latest expansion with its automated packaging technology will become operational as Uponor celebrates its 100th anniversary", Luomakoski said in the release, hinting about how the new space will be used.

Uponor’s decision to expand again in Apple Valley was due, in part, to city and state incentives, Gray added. The company created more than 100 new jobs in 2016 and will add a “significant” number more with its 10th expansion in the city since Uponor began operations there in 1990.

Uponor also leased 8,500 square feet of office and lab space in a building next to its manufacturing annex. The company’s technology group is relocating there.

By the end of the year, Uponor’s footprint in the area will put 738,000 square feet of space - almost 17 acres of facilities - under roof. The total includes a distribution center and resin-receiving facility in Lakeville, Minn.

Changes also are underway at Uponor sites in Canada. Last month the Canadian head office consolidated with a distribution center in Mississauga, Ontario. Commercial piping design services also are located there to centralize business dealings for Canadian customers. Uponor closed its Regina, Saskatchewan, office as a result of the realignment.

The Mississauga site also has a new training facility and lab for up to 50 people. Classes for engineering continuing education units begin June 2.