• San Luis Potosi Surpasses 365-Day Mark with No Lost-Time Incidents

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    Just like every company within the UPG family of partners, Metalex stresses safety at both of its locations and is quick to recognize major safety milestones.

    On August 10th, our San Luis Potosi, Mexico facility reached its 366th consecutive day without a lost-time or recordable incident. This accomplishment did not go unnoticed; our team members were treated to a custom-decorated cake together at the plant.

    Metalex performs monthly safety audits in both its San Luis Potosi and Libertyville facilities to uncover any potentially unsafe conditions, which are then quickly addressed.

    Safety is a team sport and requires everyone to be on the same page with protocols, from those who work in the plant to office employees who make trips to the floor, as well as outside visitors.

    Remember, being Safer Together makes us Stronger Together.

    (Editor’s note: as of this writing, the current safety streak is at 373 days).

  • Metalex SLP Donates 15,000 Bottle Caps to Mexican Association for Aid to Children with Cancer

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    At Metalex, we encourage a spirit of continuous development and growth in both our business operations and the outside community.

    Each month at our San Luis Potosi facility, we ask our team for unique ideas on improvement. In December 2019, a team member proposed a community giveback idea – donating to Mexican Association for Aid to Children with Cancer (AMANC).

    AMANC was founded in 1982 by Mrs. María de Guadalupe Alejandre, who wanted to help all families whose lives were affected by this terrible disease. AMANC offers integral support that consists of lodging, feeding, medicine and the necessary items for medical treatment, dental attention, emotional and spiritual support, basic education, and more.

    In 2016, AMANC began a campaign to collect bottle caps, CDs, and aluminum cans from individuals and organizations to provide treatments necessary for cancer patients and their families.

    In January 2020, Metalex employees in SLP created a large heart made from our expanded metal products and asked our teammates to bring in their bottle caps to support the AMANC program. Shortly after the hearts were made, we banded together to help this great cause!

    Our goal was to fill up the heart-shaped container twice, and by August 7th, we achieved it! We provided 15,000 bottle caps to donate to AMANC, helping them support cancer patients in need. These types of donations go towards treatments, food, clothes, and other medical services.

    We can’t thank everyone enough for the support and enthusiasm everyone gave to this noble cause. This truly shows that UPG and its family of brands are Stronger Together.

    Metalex in SLP will continue to fill the heart for further donations, as well as look for other ways to support this great organization.

    If you are interested in learning more about AMANC, follow them on Twitter or Facebook!

  • A Note to Our Customers Regarding COVID-19

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    March 17, 2020

    To Our Valued Customers,

    As market fear and uncertainty continues to escalate, normal transaction assumptions come into question. We want to highlight how UPG and its family of companies can help get your business through this temporary moment in time. First, the world has not stopped functioning. We are committed to maintaining our business operations and ensuring the upmost safety for our employees, customers, vendors and partners.

    Currently, there is no impact to our daily operations. Our mill and vendor partners have indicated to us that they are continuing normal operations while continually monitoring the impact of COVID-19. We are also pursuing avenues of being classified an “Essential Business” and/or engaging in “Essential Services” to anticipate any additional restrictions the government may impose on a local in which we operate.

    Although we do not anticipate an interruption, there may be some disruption to the supply chain that could impact product availability, delivery dates and pricing. We are 100% committed to minimizing the impact on your business and will keep you informed of market changes as they become available.

    At UPG, Metalex, and UPG’s family of brands, we have empowered our team members to make the best decisions for their health and the health of their families at each location. We are encouraging them and our suppliers to use technology, specifically video teleconferencing, as a substitute for all non-essential in-person meetings, reschedule non-essential travel and referencing the CDC guidelines regarding conditions for access to our offices.

    We are fully committed on supporting you in the coming days and weeks and we thank you so much for your business. We will continue to notify you of this fluid situation and please, stay healthy and help support those truly in need during this time. As a steel community, we are confident that we will come out of this stronger together.

    We appreciate your trust in us as a supply chain partner.


    Chris Hutter and Paul Douglass
    Founders of UPG Enterprises LLC

  • Morton Global LLC, a UPG Enterprises LLC Company Acquires Metalex, LLC

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    Acquisition further enhances UPG’s footprint and product offerings

    Chicago based UPG Enterprises LLC has acquired Metalex, LLC, a premier North American manufacturer of Perforated Products, Expanded Metal, Safety Grating, Perforated Tubes, Architectural Metals and its Morton Rail Products division, formerly known as Morton Manufacturing Company.

    This acquisition significantly enhances UPG’s portfolio, not only with a suite of new products and capabilities, but with two state-of-the-art facilities, including one in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. The acquisition continues to fuel UPG’s strategy to move further down the supply chain allowing UPG to expand capabilities and products to their current and future customer base.

    Metalex - UPG

    Both of the Morton and Metalex brands will continue under UPG’s leadership, entrepreneurialism and growth initiatives. “We look forward to meeting with all employees, customers and vendors to share UPG’s vision and drive growth for Morton Global and its customers,” stated Chris Sekella, UPG’s EVP of Operations. “We are confident that we will continue to earn business with current, former and new customers as we share with them UPG’s approach to long-term investment within its family of companies as well as with its customers.”

    “We are excited to welcome Metalex and Morton to our portfolio,” stated UPG co-founders, Chris Hutter and Paul Douglass.”The Morton name is synonymous with best-in-class rail products and innovation in the rail industry and we are looking forward to increasing R&D to accelerate new product development and light-weighting techniques for the rail industry. For Metalex, joining the UPG family will mean an increase in vertical integration synergies and speed to market. Access to new markets, expanded capabilities and larger geographic leverage are additional advantages.”

    “We are joining a company with an extremely strong background and experience in the metals market,” said Scott Coyne, Sr. Director of Sales at Metalex. “We look forward to taking our products and services to the next level, now powered by UPG.”

    About Metalex

    Metalex is a premier producer of industrial safety grating, expanded metal, perforated metal, welded, and spiral tubes. While the Metalex brand was established in 1962, the company’s products have a decades-long history, including its rail products and safety grating division, which was established in 1903 under the Morton Manufacturing Company brand name. Metalex offers custom solutions to customers in a range of industries throughout North America.

    About UPG Enterprises LLC

    UPG Enterprises LLC is an operator of a diverse set of industrial companies focused on metals, manufacturing, distribution and logistics. Our success continues to be driven from within, starting with our dedicated employees who operate with a sense of urgency, commitment to customers and flexibility to do what’s right on the spot without question. With 25 locations throughout North America, its operations continue to grow with the intention of building a business based on culture, respect and growth. Founded by two families with multi-generational experience in various industries, UPG prides itself on having a long-term approach to business, entrepreneurial spirit and excellent teams that represent its family of companies. To learn more, visit www.upgllc.com.

  • Metalex® at Railway Interchange 2019

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    metalex railway interchange

    This September, Minneapolis will be hosting Railway Interchange 2019, North America’s largest railway exhibition and technical conference. It brings together hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of international industry professionals every two years. Railway Interchange’s mission is to bring professionals together for authentic discussions and exhibits about the future direction of the industry. The conference is designed to help people inform, inspire, and promote the marketplace by bringing together companies and organizations from across the industry. Over 700 exhibitors will be at Railway Interchange 2019 from September 22–25. Professionals from all organizations in the rail industry can attend the event.

    What to Expect

    Railway Interchange 2019 will bring together nearly 9,000 railway experts, representatives from technical associations, and industry thought leaders. Attendees will find:

    • Over 700 exhibitors
    • Presentations and displays from the Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association, the Railway Supply Institute, and the Railway Systems Suppliers, Inc. Each organization will be sponsoring exhibits in distinct categories such as track components, railway cars and mechanics, and information technologies, respectively. These presentations will focus on current industry trends and predictions regarding technology, services, and more.
    • Discussions and talks presented by The American Railways Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association and the Railway Supply Institute. This will include content from the RSI Education & Technical Training Conference.

    These presentations, discussions, and exhibit displays will be available through daily open halls and seminars. Along with participating in discussions and listening to talks, attendees can network with industry leaders, representatives from adjacent industry organizations, and thousands of other railway professionals. You can also sign up for:

    • Planned educational activities
    • AREMA and RSI’s technical training sessions

    Where to Find Us

    Railway Interchange 2019 attendees can find Metalex® at the conference at booth #2613. Since merging with Morton Rails Products five years ago, Metalex® has attended the event to explore current trends in the railway industry, collaborate with industry partners, and network with other people in our industry.

    Morton Rail Products now operates under the Metalex® company name, and we have continued to provide a full line of their products and offerings, including:

    • Open-Grip® Running Boards
    • DeckSpan® Walkways and Channels
    • Brake Steps
    • End Platforms
    • Ladder Rungs
    • Mounting Accessories

    These are designed to provide long-lasting, reliable use. Morton Rail Product’s safety grating offers the following advantages:

    • Slip resistance. Like all our products, our safety grating exceeds federal specifications regarding slip resistance. This superior slip resistance extends to all directions for safer usage. The surface is also resilient in the face of impact damage and wear. The grating forms a large open area to reduce crowding and accidents.
    • Ease of Installation. This product is designed to be simple to install for both small and large companies. The parts are easy to handle, lightweight, and self-framing. The design also allows for one-piece construction so it isn’t difficult to install the grating.
    • Low Maintenance Needs. The safety grating is self-cleaning and requires little maintenance to remain safe or in good repair.
    • Compliance with ISO 9001 standards. We use 13 gauge G-90 pre-galvanized prime steel to fabricate our brake steps, end platforms, intermodal platforms, and Open-Grip® Running Boards. Also, the full line of Morton Rail Products is approved by the Association of American Railroads.

    Contact Metalex® to Learn More

    Our line of Morton Rail Products is safe and reliable for every railway facility. Learn more about our products and talk to our team of experts to decide which offerings are the best for your company’s needs. Fill out our form today to download our Morton Industrial Brochure with more details about our complete line of industrial grating, flooring, and custom products.


  • Metalex San Luis Potosi Plant Achieves Quality Management Certification

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    Libertyville, IL-  

    Metalex achieved the ISO 9001:2015 certification in quality management systems from the Bureau Veritas at its San Luis Potosi, Mexico facility.

    The certification is based on seven management principles and is granted to organizations that consistently provide products and services that meet customer and regulatory requirements.
    The International Organization of Standardization (ISO) certification serves as a framework for managing quality processes and is an internationally recognized standard.

    As part of the certification, the Metalex San Luis Potosi (SLP) plant integrated a new management system. This involved sharing documented information with employees, creating new work instructions, providing hands-on training and conducting internal audits to assure compliance with ISO 9001 standard.

    As part of the certification process and prior to granting it, Bureau Veritas conducted a site audit to verify all requirements, procedures and work instructions were implemented by management and employees.

    “The entire SLP team was enthusiastic about integrating the ISO Management System as part of our commitment to provide high quality products that meet customer expectations through continuous improvement, teamwork, and individual responsibility“, said Luis Pedraza, Metalex Quality Manager. “We expect the new Quality Management System will both enhance our ability to satisfy customers and provide a coherent foundation for future growth and success,” noted SLP Plant Manager Jose Ledezma.

    The SLP plant met or exceeded standards in each of the seven Quality Management principles on which ISO9001 is based: customer focus, leadership, engagement of people, process approach, improvement, evidence-based decision making and relationship management.

    Metalex is based in Libertyville, Illinois and expanded in 2016 when it opened a new manufacturing facility in SLP. The company focuses on safety grating, perforated metal and expanded metal products.

    About Metalex:

    Metalex is one of the largest producers of safety grating and expanded metal in North America and is a recognized specialist in the perforated metal market. Metalex products are used in rail, filter, agricultural, safety, architectural, automotive and audio applications. Founded in 1962 in Libertyville, Illinois, the company has locations in Illinois and Mexico.

  • Metalex and Morton Celebrate 115 Years of Service

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    As we celebrate the 115th year of the Morton product line, we would like to thank all of the customers for the vital business relationships we’ve developed. These relationships have been the key to the success of Morton products. We will continue to provide mission-critical components, service, and expertise to any industry that demands the best in product quality and safety, and we remain committed to meeting the high expectations of our customers and clients.

    Our History

    Metalex was founded back in 1962 in Libertyville, Illinois, by two local entrepreneurs. The company continued to grow – both in product lines and the services it offered.

    Morton Manufacturing, a leading provider of non-slip surfaces for the rail industry, was founded back in 1903.  In 2014, Metalex and Morton merged and they now operate jointly under the Metalex name.

    Today, these combined companies continue to provide safety solutions for railroad applications. Morton products feature effective non-slip walking surfaces for railroad workers on platforms, and also for a variety of freight car applications, such as:

    • Tank cars
    • Intermodal well cars
    • Covered hoppers
    • Locomotives
    • Open hoppers

    What We Offer

    Metalex offers the full line of Morton Rail Products, honoring Morton’s long-time relationship with the rail industry. Metalex/Morton offers industry leading specialized customer walking surfaces and accessories for safetycritical rail jobs, and our products have played a crucial role in providing this essential protection for rail workers.

    As a solutions provider, we recognize our clients’ needs for high-quality products in a wide variety of railcar applications. Our proprietary Open-Grip® rail products include:

    • Open-Grip® Running Boards
    • Open-Grip® Brake Steps
    • Open-Grip® End Platforms
    • Open-Grip® Platforms

    Metalex also supplies Morton’s non-slip surface product line to distributors, OEMs, and aftermarket customers across the agricultural, heavy equipment, and general industrial sectors.

    Thank You to Morton Rail Products Customers

    Thank you to all the users and supporters of Morton Rail Products for allowing us to serve the industrial community for 115 years. We are proud to be part of a larger family of like-minded companies, and we will continue to strive every day to make sure our customers remain our number one priority.

    If you would like to join the ever-growing Metalex/Morton family, please contact us to discuss our safety solutions and how they can help with your company’s operation.

  • Metalex Debuts New Facility in Mexico

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    Metalex is pleased to announce another stride in our expansion with the June 2016 Grand Opening of our new manufacturing facility in San Luis Potosi, Mexico.

    mexicomapOur new operation will place Metalex in close proximity to our end users in Mexico, in addition to opening production capacity for industrial manufacturing at our United States facilities.

    The addition of our new plant is a positive step in our company’s continuous growth. Our improved operational bandwidth will allow Metalex to serve its key customers better than ever and extend that service to our growing global customer base. The end result will be higher production volume with improved efficiency.
    The 75,000-square-ft. plant will employ 35 new team members to produce our industry-leading engineered metal products and grow to fill local demand for safety grating, perforated metal and expanded metal.

    Local manufacturing of these products, which saw high demands within the region, will save on overall shipping costs and efficiently allocate assets throughout the company.

    With the grand opening of our new manufacturing facility, we look forward to enhancing the relationship between our partners in Mexico and meeting market demand in the Americas.

    If you’re interested in working with Metalex at our new location, please don’t hesitate to contact our team today.

    Contact Metalex

  • Morton Rail Products Launches Partnership with Unity Railway Supply

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    Morton Rail Products has announced a new, authorized distribution partner in Unity Railway Supply effective immediately. The new partnership will focus on the rail repair market to drive improved service and delivery to our valued customers.  “As we continue to improve our internal lean operations at our Libertyville factories and simultaneously launch our new facility in San Louis Potosi, Mexico, it was also just as important to align ourselves with a partner who understands the railroad industry and could help us better serve our customer base.  We strongly believe we have that strategic partner with Bill O’Connor, Marc Trani and the team at Unity Railway Supply,” says Jeff Fleming, VP of Sales and Marketing at Morton Rail Products.

    About Morton Rail Products:

    Since 1903, Morton Rail Products has designed and manufactured Open Grip® and Deck Span® safety grating in the form of running boards, platforms, and brake steps for the railroad industry.  The innovative design of Morton Rail Products Open-Grip® running boards offers integral “wiped” ends that are easy to handle and install. They subsequently provide a secure transition between boards that are laid end-to-end, eliminating the need for mechanically fastened end supports.  All our products are manufactured to meet or exceed current AAR standards and practices.  In addition, we are a registered ISO 9001:2008 manufacturer.

    Our engineering and manufacturing expertise allow us to understand our customer’s design challenges and develop solutions to solve our customer’s unique applications while providing industry-leading, slip-resistant walking surfaces.  The product line continues to grow with Auto Rack side sheets, intermodal platforms, locomotive steps, and customer-specific designs.  Morton Rail Products is a part of Metalex.

    About Unity Railway Supply:

    Unity Railway Supply Co., Inc. based in Bensenville, Illinois is a leading representative and distributor for a number of established manufacturers of freight car components serving railroads, new car builders, and repair shops throughout North America.

    We were incorporated in 1960 as a manufacturers’ representative and stocking distributor to the railway industry. Today, Unity Railway Supply distributes a wide array of products to complement the various needs of our customers. Components provided are AAR approved where applicable and are produced in accordance with AAR M-1003 and/or ISO 9001:2008.

  • Celebrating the New Merger between Metalex and Morton Manufacturing

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    We are proud to announce Metalex’s merger with Morton Manufacturing Company, an Illinois-based manufacturer of industrial safety grating and railroad running boards.

    At Metalex and Morton Manufacturing, we are under the umbrella of Jason Industries, parent company to a global group of leading manufacturers in the components, seating, finishing, and automotive acoustics markets. Moving forward both companies will both effectively begin operations under the Metalex name.

    The change brings with it a new logo, website, and tagline that better represents the full scope of our product offerings and comprehensive solutions, as only our organization is able to provide.

    Building on Existing Synergies

    The partnership between Metalex and Morton Manufacturing began in 2013, when our two companies first combined operations. In the following months, we continued to leverage each other’s strengths while reinforcing the performance and expertise of both teams. This merger finally solidifies the union between our two companies.

    According to Jason Industries CEO David Westgate, both Morton and Metalex had successful histories as stand-alone businesses, but merging the two companies made sense “due to the countless synergies between their products and processes.”

    “We anticipate that the new Metalex will be a boon to customers who will benefit from an expanded range of resources and knowledge,” Westgate said.

    New, Fitting Tagline

    We are celebrating the new merger with Morton Manufacturing with a tagline that reflects exactly what both companies offer to customers. According to Steve Carollo, Vice President and General Manager at Metalex, the tagline “Expertise. Execution. Excellence.” neatly “summarizes our corporate values and strengths.”

    The expertise, execution, and excellence we are celebrating highlights both companies’ long-standing experience across a variety of industries and their commitment to unparalleled customer service, offering superior, unique solutions and high quality performance in all areas of enterprise.

    Celebrating Things to Come

    The benefits of the merger to both companies are numerous. Being a company under the Jason Industries umbrella, we practice the “Jason Business System,” a collaborative manufacturing strategy focused on operational excellence, continual innovation, and periodic improvement. The merger signifies a stronger commitment to these values and will allow each company to expand their business capacity.

    Customers stand to benefit the most from the merger. By combining their business, we are also renewing their dedication to providing high quality service, through which customers work with familiar teams and use the same, superior products. The merger will allow both us and Morton to handle more business than ever before while reducing lead times and improve on the quality of service customers have come to expect.