Uponor Garners 2013 Manufacturer of the Year

Uponor is a relatively newcomer to the Manufacturers Alliance's Manufacturer of the Year awards. In fact, last year was the first year we were nominated and came in as runner-up. This year we were awarded the 2013 Manufacturer of the Year in the large-company category.

“It's a great recognition, and I am extremely proud to work with individuals who collectively work each and every day to not only make our customers happy, but to do it in a better way,” says Rusty Callier, director of Operations. “I am excited for Uponor and for our employees; this award validates what we have accomplished and will be used as a springboard to sustained success.”

Here are just a few of the successes Uponor experienced in 2012.

   • Achieved the best year ever in terms of reducing severity and     frequency of accidents
   • Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE) improved 7.8%
   • Non-value-added (NVA) decreased by 19%
   • Scrap rate decreased by 9%
   • Variable Production Cost (VPC) decreased 6.3%
   • Lean processes applied to the office spaces
     o For example: New Catalog lean process reduced production       costs by 21%; production time reduced from 207 days to 30 days
   • Co-hosted Manufacturers Alliance Tour of Excellence

“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,” says 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.”

Manufacturer of the Year Video

Sharing Best Practices

The following highlights a few areas where Uponor employees demonstrated a commitment to sharing best practices with their peers in 2012.

   • Educated and presented to several organizations and events about     UNA's successful tier management system: AME Kanban Event, St.     Jude, Sitecore Symposium, Manufacturers Alliance Monthly     Education programs and meetings
   • Actively led and participated in several peer-mentoring/training     programs
     o Manufacturers Alliance Lean Practitioner Program
     o A3 methodology
     o Set-up reduction for production and distribution teams
     o 5S auditor training and trained 48 5S auditors
     o Manufacturing Execution System (shop floor reporting and       incident management)
     o Kaizen training
     o Value stream map training for Distribution, Finance, Human       Resources and Marketing
     o Lean, 5S, A3 and value stream mapping for Canadian Distribution
   • Published numerous internal lean case studies with before and     after pictures as well as a cover photo in Uponor's global employee     magazine
   • Conducted UNA plant tours showcasing our lean initiatives to     several of our peers, including: Manufacturers Alliance Tour of     Excellence, Xcel Energy, AME Member Tour, and St. Jude
   • Active participants in several manufacturing professional     organizations

“We've come a long way in a relatively short time,” Callier adds. “In fact, we just began implementing Lean operations in 2009, and now it's a mindset for every person on the manufacturing and distribution floors.”

He adds that the company is beginning to experience Lean success in the front offices as well. “After an A3 initiative, the Marketing team saw a 21% increase in production savings; and reduce the production time from 207 days to 30. It's very exciting and rewarding to take what we've learned and share with others externally and internally.”