Uponor

Uponor North America has again been honored with two Governor’s Safety Awards by the Minnesota Safety Council. The company’s Apple Valley campus won its fifth Governor’s Safety Award, recognized at the Bronze level this year, and the Uponor Lakeville Distribution Center won its fourth award, achieving the highest level of Diamond. The annual Governor’s Safety Awards Read more

Uponor North America has again been honored with two Governor’s Safety Awards by the Minnesota Safety Council. The company’s Apple Valley campus won its fifth Governor’s Safety Award, recognized at the Bronze level this year, and the Uponor Lakeville Distribution Center won its fourth award, achieving the highest level of Diamond.

The annual Governor’s Safety Awards, which date back to 1934, recognizes Minnesota employers for safety and health excellence in protecting employees from injuries, illnesses, and incidents. Organizations with an incident rate below those of the State and National rates in their industry are awarded for their efforts.

“Safety is the #1 priority across the Integrated Supply Chain organization,” says Jon Sillerud, vice president, Integrated Supply Chain. “We start every shift-change meeting with the safety topic, and in 2023, we made enhancements to our safety program and placed emphasis on improving our safety culture. We also launched a Mission Zero program to raise awareness of safety with all employees. In 2023 we reduced our Lost-Time-Incident Frequency rate by 48 percent, which was a huge improvement. For 2024, we have comprehensive plans to further reduce our Lost-Time-Incident Frequency rate by 20 percent as we move closer to our aspirational goal of zero workplace accidents.”

Sillerud went on to say that as a nine-time recipient of this award, Uponor attributes this recognition to not only raising employees’ awareness and improving its safety culture, but also to a system of extensive self-audits, inspections, and risk assessments, as well as a newly implemented computer-based training.

To see a complete list of award recipients, visit MinnesotaSafetyCouncil.org.

By joining forces with Uponor, GF is set to become a global leader in sustainable water and flow solutions. To support this ambition, complementary businesses will be grouped together under one roof: the new division GF Uponor will focus on Building Technology, whereas the infrastructure and utility business will move to GF Piping Systems. Michael Read more

By joining forces with Uponor, GF is set to become a global leader in sustainable water and flow solutions. To support this ambition, complementary businesses will be grouped together under one roof: the new division GF Uponor will focus on Building Technology, whereas the infrastructure and utility business will move to GF Piping Systems. Michael Rauterkus will join GF’s Executive Committee and will lead the new division together with his Uponor leadership team.

After all conditions of the tender offer have been fulfilled, GF closes the transaction as of 13 November 2023.

Uponor, GF, Georg Fischer, plumbing, PEX piping, PEX, piping, PVF, pipe fitting, heating, hydronics, heating and cooling

To accelerate the implementation of GF Piping Systems’ Strategy 2025 and to further benefit from global megatrends, GF will start an ambitious value creation program to unleash the full potential of this acquisition. GF Piping Systems will focus on the industrial and utility business, providing its customers with sustainable leak-free piping solutions for numerous end markets such as microelectronics, water treatment, energy, chemical processing, marine, data centers or water & gas utilities. Uponor’s infrastructure business will become part of GF Piping Systems and will further strengthen the division’s portfolio to provide customers with combined solutions.

In the new division, GF Uponor, the building technology businesses will be combined to offer a complementary portfolio for safe and clean water, as well as energy efficient heating and cooling. The consolidation of complementary businesses provides an ideal platform to develop markets with high potential for both divisions. As the brand Uponor stands for high quality and innovation, it will drive growth in intelligent Building Flow Solutions.

These organizational changes will be implemented during the course of 2024 while GF will ensure operational excellence and business continuity to customers.

“We will continue to implement our strategy, and leverage powerful global trends, such as the need for safe and clean water, or more efficient energy use,” GF CEO Andreas Müller said. “On behalf of all my colleagues, I am happy to welcome Uponor employees and start this new chapter together.”

Beginning in early 2020, supply-chain disruptions and unprecedented construction-materials demand resulted in an influx of F1960 engineered polymer (EP) fittings from various manufacturers and suppliers located around the globe. Unfortunately, some of these “F1960” fittings are not actually manufactured or tested to the same standards as the Uponor ProPEX® F1960 fittings, and contractors are learning a Read more

Beginning in early 2020, supply-chain disruptions and unprecedented construction-materials demand resulted in an influx of F1960 engineered polymer (EP) fittings from various manufacturers and suppliers located around the globe. Unfortunately, some of these “F1960” fittings are not actually manufactured or tested to the same standards as the Uponor ProPEX® F1960 fittings, and contractors are learning a hard lesson about the differences when they experience a failure in their piping system.

In truth, not all fittings conforming to the ASTM F1960 standard are the same. Manufacturers and suppliers that claim their fittings are compliant to ASTM F1960 feel that, in their opinion, they meet the standard. However, there is no third-party agency to confirm that compliance. Uponor ProPEX fittings are a highly engineered product certified by a third-party agency — NSF — to ensure the raw materials, manufacturing process, and resulting product accurately meet the ASTM F1960 standard. In fact, the companies that mold ProPEX EP fittings are partners that are integrated into the codes, helping ensure the highest-quality product. ProPEX fittings also undergo internal quality testing that extends beyond the ASTM F1960 standard requirements to provide customers with the strongest value available on the market.

“It’s important that installers are aware they need to ask for the Uponor brand name from distribution and make sure they are getting what they are paying for in ProPEX fittings,” says Ann Studnicka, director, Channel Marketing at Uponor. “The differences are far beyond just the brand name. Uponor testing on generic F1960 fittings has exposed various manufacturing design and quality inconsistencies, and some fittings can’t even pass the ASTM F1960 standard requirements. This is putting projects at considerable risk for failures and potentially voids the associated system warranties.”

Over the past two years, Uponor has seen a significant increase in claims for failed connections that turned out to be other suppliers’ F1960 fittings. This trend confirms the theory that many contractors simply are not aware of the visual differences between ProPEX and generic F1960 fittings.

“Contractors and distributors need to be aware of the visual differences between ProPEX and low-quality F1960 fittings,” says Studnicka. “How can you tell? The easiest way is to look for the Uponor logo on the fitting.”

Other markers of ProPEX fittings include thicker tube stops and thicker sealing barbs. The thin tube stops on the generic, low-quality fittings are especially problematic as the expanded PEX pipe can extend past the stops and cause leaks.

With more than 150 variations of couplings, tees, elbows, plugs, and multiports in sizes up to 3″, Uponor provides the most comprehensive offering of F1960 EP fittings in the market. The ProPEX connection system is also covered by an industry-leading, 25-year limited transferable warranty when used with Uponor PEX-a pipe and ProPEX rings. And, it is important to note that mixing different suppliers’ fittings, rings, and pipe will lower the term or even void the warranty in some cases.

For further details about the differences with ProPEX connection systems, visit uponor.com/askforuponor. For information about all other Uponor products, systems, services, and solutions, visit uponor.com.

“It’s like Disney World for engineers and contractors,” said one visitor on the tour. The Mechanical Hub team made a quick visit to Apple Valley, Minn., to visit Uponor North America as the company celebrated the grand opening of its newly constructed Uponor Experience Center with a “pipe-cutting” ceremony. The team was treated to a Read more

“It’s like Disney World for engineers and contractors,” said one visitor on the tour. The Mechanical Hub team made a quick visit to Apple Valley, Minn., to visit Uponor North America as the company celebrated the grand opening of its newly constructed Uponor Experience Center with a “pipe-cutting” ceremony.

Uponor, Uponor Experience Center, plumbing, piping, PEX piping, supply chain, contractors, engineers, plumbing contractors

Andres Caballero (fifth from left) performs the pipe cutting for the new Uponor Experience Center.

The team was treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of the new 4,500-sq.-ft. customer experience center, which features hands-on displays, full-scale residential and commercial training areas, and cutting-edge innovation showcases, and a place to bring MEP students from the area to get a taste of the trades. The new Uponor Experience Center is a flexible education and discovery space designed to advance the technical skills of current and potential customers. In addition, it will help foster innovation within the plumbing and HVAC industry and provide an immersive experience for employees and visitors alike.

Uponor, Uponor Experience Center, plumbing, piping, PEX piping, supply chain, contractors, engineers, plumbing contractors

Some displays mimicked true applications.

The new Uponor Experience Center occupies the company’s previous customer training area, which was originally built in 2000 and renovated in 2010. It is at the center of the North American headquarters campus, surrounded by corporate offices, an R&D facility, and manufacturing space.

Uponor, Uponor Experience Center, plumbing, piping, PEX piping, supply chain, contractors, engineers, plumbing contractors

Andres Caballero thanks his staff for all of the hard work and dedication that went into planning and constructing the experience center.

“The opening of our new Uponor Experience Center signifies the importance we place on keeping the needs of our customers, employees, and key stakeholders top of mind as we continue our mission of becoming the global leader in sustainable water and energy solutions,” says Uponor North America President Andres Caballero. “The ‘X’, as our employees have begun to call it, is a culmination of our rich history and decades of innovation coming together to generate awareness and create enthusiasm for moving water more efficiently, effectively, and sustainably.”

With original concepts beginning back in 2020, the Uponor Experience Center was several years in the making. The thoughtful design, which takes into consideration the company’s rich Finnish roots, resulted from many months of internal team collaboration, as well as feedback from customers, partners, and industry influencers.

Uponor, Uponor Experience Center, plumbing, piping, PEX piping, supply chain, contractors, engineers, plumbing contractors

Mechanical Hub took the opportunity to record parts of the Appetite for Construction podcast with Des Clancy, director of training, Uponor, and the “architect” for the new center.

As guests move through the front doors toward the back of the space, they first experience displays depicting who Uponor is as a company along with the customers served and the unique value provided to key audiences and the industry.

Uponor, Uponor Experience Center, plumbing, piping, PEX piping, supply chain, contractors, engineers, plumbing contractors

Experience center visitors will get the full hands-on treatment as seen here with one of its gracious partners Milwaukee Tool and its PEX Expander.

Then, there are product showcases and interactive displays for plumbing, fire safety, radiant heating/cooling, hydronic piping, and pre-insulated piping system solutions for residential and commercial markets. Finally, there is an oversized training area, featuring both wood and steel structures, where professionals will learn proper hands-on installation techniques as well as how Uponor’s emphasis on problem-solving and productivity delivers results for their businesses.

Uponor, Uponor Experience Center, plumbing, piping, PEX piping, supply chain, contractors, engineers, plumbing contractors

Doug Vetter, center, and Brian Spjut, left, from Vetter Plumbing, came all the way from Seattle to get a first glimpse of the space. (Pictured right is Uponor’s Dan Hubbard.)

“We wanted the Uponor Experience Center to extend beyond simply training customers on our products and systems,” says Vice President of Sales Matt Bahr. “As a result, we’ve created a holistic experience that spans a broad spectrum of who we are as a company, showcasing the depth and breadth of our product portfolio and sustainable solutions as well as providing access to the best trainers in the industry.”

With the focus not only on customers but also employees and those in the community, Director of Training Des Clancy says the planning team was very thoughtful about creating an elevated experience for everyone.

“At any given time, we will have contractors, builders, engineers, owners, students, employees, civic leaders, and other guests coming through the doors,” he says. “From tours and training, to onboarding and education sessions, the Uponor Experience Center offers something for everyone, and we are proud to showcase all we are offering to the industry and our community.”

Uponor, Uponor Experience Center, plumbing, piping, PEX piping, supply chain, contractors, engineers, plumbing contractors

Mechanical Hub’s John Mesenbrink (l) and Tim Ward (r) complete the “Uponor sandwich” as they also toured Uponor’s Distribution Center in Lakeville, Minn., with tour guide and director of logistics and warehousing, Nate McIntosh.

Uponor North America (Uponor) announced Anna Picchetti as the new Vice President of Marketing & Strategy, effective May 8, 2023. In her role, Anna will oversee Channel Marketing, Portfolio, Analytics, Sustainability, Segment, Engagement, Brand, and Communications. She will report to Uponor North America President Andres Caballero and be a key member of the company’s Senior Management Committee. Anna joins Read more

Uponor North America (Uponor) announced Anna Picchetti as the new Vice President of Marketing & Strategy, effective May 8, 2023. In her role, Anna will oversee Channel Marketing, Portfolio, Analytics, Sustainability, Segment, Engagement, Brand, and Communications. She will report to Uponor North America President Andres Caballero and be a key member of the company’s Senior Management Committee.

Anna joins Uponor with 20 years of experience in Marketing and Operations across industrial, technology, and medical device industries. She brings a wealth of experience developing forward-thinking strategies with a strong track record of execution at industry-leading brands such as Tennant, SPS Commerce, and Honeywell. She has worked at the forefront of innovations like autonomous vehicles and renewable energy, managed high-growth SaaS products and positioning, and transformed customer experiences.

“To help us move our business and aggressive growth goals forward, it was important we found a senior leader who can lead market disruption and drive innovation and segment growth initiatives all while guiding channel development, portfolio management, and go-to-market strategies,” says Caballero. “I’m confident Anna’s approachable leadership style will be a good cultural fit, as she has a proven track record of engaging teams by intentionally listening, learning, and setting clear expectations and outcomes.”

Anna earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. She is a member of the Women United Committee for the Greater Twin Cities United Way chapter and is also a member of Chief, a network for women in the C-Suite as well as senior executives and vice presidents. In addition, she is a USA Hockey-certified coach with a local youth hockey program.

For information about Uponor products, systems, services, and solutions, visit uponor.com.