Uponor North America on July 13 announced plans for a $5 million expansion of its Hutchinson facility, a move expected to create new jobs and significantly increase the facility’s production of PEX piping.
The local investment is part of a larger expansion by the company to meet growing customer and market demands, according to Bill Gray, president of Uponor North America.
“As we enter the post-pandemic business climate, Uponor is positioning itself to increase capacity and productivity to effectively meet customer demand for our product,” Gray said in a press release.
The expansion of the Hutchinson facility will create an additional 25,000 square feet of manufacturing space and is expected to be complete in May 2022. Another $5 million expansion is also planned for the company’s Lakeville distribution center.
Uponor purchased its 237,000-square-foot Hutchinson plant in 2017 from TDK/Hutchinson Technology, and it began production in 2018. Its PEX pipes are used for residential and commercial applications such as plumbing, fire safety, radiant heating and cooling, hydronic piping and pre-insulated piping systems.
“Our demand is up dramatically, like many building supply companies,” said Jon Sillerud, vice president of operations. “We all read stories of what’s happening in the residential construction business and the rampant shortages across the spectrum. We’re doing better than most every company out there, but we have seen a significant, double-digit increase in the demand for our product.”
The Hutchinson facility services Uponor’s North American market, with about 90% of its piping used in the U.S. and the other 10% in Canada.
Helping to oversee the expansion will be the Hutchinson facility’s newly named site manager, John Sommers.
Sillerud confirmed that the expansion will also lead to new jobs, but added that the facility currently has 18 openings it is looking to fill.
“We will be expanding that further once this renovation of the space is completed,” Sillerud said. “It will be a range of positions. It will be extrusion operators, that’ll be the primary focus, but there will be other positions as well.”