Viega’s introduction of press technology to the marketplace in 1999 was a very ambitious battle cry. Visiting with the company in McPherson, Kan., recently, I saw the signs of some new beginnings.
Last month, select media members were invited to McPherson, Kan., to tour the company’s plastics manufacturing plant, which opened in 2009, and the recently-opened MegaPress carbon press steel press fittings manufacturing facility. Sitting in some initial presentations, I took note of a couple of quotes that rang quite loudly for me: “We’re just getting started” and “Success is based on innovation, service and reinvestment.” This certainly rings true at Viega, where they are indeed “putting their money where their mouth is.”
“Adding production capabilities in McPherson ensures that we are prepared for future growth and the continued demand for Viega products,” said Dave Garlow, president and CEO, Viega. “Bringing metal press fittings manufacturing to this facility will help us get our goods to market faster and better serve our customers.”
Viega announced in 2014 that manufacturing of its MegaPress carbon steel press fittings would begin at the McPherson manufacturing and distribution facility. The 80,000-square-foot addition to the 439,000-square-foot facility will add approximately 100 new jobs.
The McPherson facility currently manufactures plastic products for the PureFlow plumbing and Viega ProRadiant product lines, including the Viega ManaBloc homerun water distribution system and the Viega-assembled panels for easy radiant heating installation.
Viega has also moved production of PEX resin used in the manufacturing of its ViegaPEX Ultra tubing for plumbing systems to its McPherson, Kan. manufacturing and distribution center.
By centralizing the PEX tubing manufacturing process in McPherson, Viega is better able to monitor its PEX products for quality, improve product innovations, as well as better integrate sustainability practices in production. Viega became the first manufacturer to quality control PEX tubing from raw material through finished product nearly two years ago.
What was particularly striking about the tour was how clean and meticulous the working floor was, and the company’s dedication to quality through a rigid inspection program. For example, every plastics product is 100% tested for leakage through vibration testing, water hammer testing and thermocycle testing, to name a few.
One of the major announcements — out of the bag already — was Viega’s corporate headquarters moving to Broomfield, Colo., just outside of the Denver area. The company will build a new headquarters and educational training facility — based off the architecture of an actual fitting, we were told — with construction set to begin this summer. Relocation activities have begun, with temporary office space up and running. The move is anticipated to be complete at the end of 2017.
With a training facility in Nashua, N.H., which serves predominantly the Eastern and Northeastern portions of the U.S., having a Denver-based training facility easily accessible for contractors, engineers, industry partners, etc. on the “Left Coast,” was an attractive location for Viega executives and their German counterparts. With more than 25,000 visitors trained since 2006 in the Nashua location, “Denver makes sense from a traveling logistics standpoint,” said Jason McKinnon, Viega’s director of training.
“Moving to the greater Denver area ultimately makes our corporate staff more accessible to our customers and partners throughout the country,” said Dave Garlow, president and CEO, Viega. “A new state-of-the-art headquarters and training facility will drive further innovation, serve as the foundation for the next phase of Viega’s growth and allow us to better serve our customers throughout North America.”
Kansas remains a significant part of the growth plans for the company through the manufacturing and distribution center in McPherson.