Upnor North America to close RTI Piping Systems and Plasco PEX-b Manufacturing.

APPLE VALLEY, Minn. - Radiant floor heating and plastic plumbing systems manufacturer, Uponor North America will close its RTI Piping Systems in the United States and its Plasco PEX-b Manufacturing in Canada.

The company also announced its manufactured structures and Ecoflex divisions will be consolidated into Uponor Wirsbo and Uponor Canada.

"The objective of this business initiative, which we plan to finalize in early 2005, is to focus on our leading brand, Wirsbo, and core technology, which is PEX-a tubing," said Jim Bjork, executive vice president for Uponor North America.

The RTI and Plasco facilities, located in Bellport, N.Y., and Langley, British Columbia, will close in the first quarter of 2005. The Manufactured Structures office in Elkhart, Ind., will relocate to the Uponor Wirsbo headquarters in Apple Valley, Minn., in early 2005. Uponor is working with employees during this transition by offering outplacement services and severance packages.

According to Bjork, discontinuing the brands and closing the facilities will allow Uponor North America to streamline the organization and improve operation effectiveness.

"Our actions are part of our global initiative to transform Uponor from a collection of independent brands and companies to a more unified organization," he said.