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HYDRO-THERMAL BLOG

Our Hub for Online Innovation Stories

 

Hydro-Thermal Corporation has a rich history of collaborating with respected external entities to drive innovation in all aspects of our business.

The company believes that revolutionary ideas don’t only come from internal staff, but that inspiration can be found in many places. Looking at our customer base, Hydro-Thermal has uncovered numerous opportunities, often identifying the need before the customer articulates one. Hydro-Thermal constantly seeks out ways to gather feedback from customers, and in turn anticipates their future needs, and creates customized solutions.

A valuable source fueling innovation at Hydro-Thermal is our strategic research partnerships with leading Midwestern universities, research associations, independent R&D engineering firms and customers. The Hydro-Thermal Partners in Technology program facilitates improvements and enhancements to current products and inspires new product development.

Hydro-Thermal pioneered many new products and applications through its Partners in Technology program, working with companies to test new technologies and help advance ethanol programs. Over the years Hydro-Thermal has radically expanded applications in ethanol/biofuels industries due to collaboration and relationships that have been developed with ethanol customers around the country.

The innovation Partnership program expands and evolves Hydro-Thermal’s collaborative efforts, bringing even greater benefits to each entity, our customers and manufacturers. Innovation Partners are offered a suite of Hydro-Thermal technology offerings and customers select which solutions would benefit them most. The featured products are newer on the development spectrum and have been tested in Hydro-Thermal’s lab, as well as at customer sites.

Critical factors in identifying a new Hydro-Thermal Innovation Partner include short and long-term goals of the customer, mutual alignment/vision for success, and willingness to continue cultivating the business relationship. Transparency in tracking and sharing process data before and after installation is of the utmost importance. This data allows the Hydro-Thermal team to evaluate and provide the customer with accurate data analysis, which includes identifying process benefits and improved projected asset revenue.

Another enticing benefit for Hydro-Thermal Innovation Partners is that they receive significant pricing discounts when they purchase more than one solution at the same time. The initial technology purchases, as well as the cost of service and parts over a duration of time (usually two years or greater) are greatly decreased. If a customer has multiple locations, that is even more beneficial, as installations at multiple sites generate additional pricing improvements, data acquisition for analysis and the evaluation of both the short/long term process improvements and financial benefits.

The Hydro-Thermal / Lincolnland Agri-Energy, LLC partnership was first discussed in the fourth quarter of 2017 and was formally established in January 2018. Lincolnland Agri-Energy, LLC was selected as an Innovation Partner due to its progressive short and long-term vison for growth and sustainability within the Biofuels industry. This vision aligns well with Hydro- Thermal’s long term goals of being a value-added partner, positive contributor and our vested interest in growth and success within the Biofuels industry. This alignment identified four of our current innovation projects that the customer could benefit from operationally and financially while continuing to focus on the business relationship that included sharing process data and serving as a reference for other plants.

Jim Zaiser, Hydro-Thermal President and CEO, remarked, “Since our humble beginnings designing a system for a single pulp and paper mill in Wisconsin, Hydro-Thermal has invested heavily in pushing our technology forward. The Innovation Partner Program is the natural next step in a rich history of collaboration and revolutionary thinking.”

Hydro-Thermal products currently featured in the Innovation Partner suite include the slurry Hydroheater, CIP EZ Heater, beer column Solaris heater and corn oil Solaris heater. All these solutions have been installed at Lincolnland Agri-Energy, LLC and are operating as designed.

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Current Innovation Project Benefits:

BEER COLUMN

Ability to shift some steam load off the first effect evaps providing flexibility to drive evaporation harder. Adjustments to syrup draw will allow for solids adjustments that could help improve water balance stabilization and control. Potential positive impacts to corn oil production including evap to corn oil system slip stream draw points, potential reduction in evap cleaning requirements, alcohol beer bottoms base loss recovery, primary centrifuge adjustments for additional process water removal, energy efficiency and wet/dry DDG product moisture flexibility, increased beer feed rate and throughput without column carry over, ultimately increasing ethanol production and bottom dollar asset revenue.

CIP

Energy savings when compared to using the standard tube and shell exchanger. The EZ Heater also heats more precisely and accurately with relation to the targeted temperature set point.

CORN OIL

Increasing the thin stillage or syrup slip stream temperature will act as an emulsion breaker. This allows optimization of the emulsion breaking chemical, tricanter/disk stack adjustment, evaporator draw point location and solids flexibility that could drive reducing or eliminate chemical dosing requirements, while improving corn oil production and byproduct revenue values.

SLURRY

Energy efficiency improvements at slurry, potential enzyme reduction, more uniform mash consistency, precise temperature control, reduced slurry tank vibration, improved reliability and a reduction in unscheduled downtime, improved corn oil production and a potential improvement in ethanol yield due to the hydro heaters sheering effect that exposes additional starch for sugar and ethanol conversion.

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Lincolnland Agri-Energy, LLC is the second Innovation Partner under Hydro-Thermal’s newly launched program. Several other sites are in the works for a variety of projects in this new program.

Although numerous plants have one Hydro-Thermal solution or another, the Innovation Partner program targets customers with similar short/long term goals and a vision for continuous improvement. This includes installing multiple new technologies and a transparent partnership that includes tracking and sharing process data and serving as a reference for Hydro-Thermal. The program is limited to certain customers and time frames and will continue to evolve as existing needs are fulfilled and emerging needs are identified.

 

 

Labor Day marks that time of year when Hydro-Thermal bids a fond farewell to our crop of summer interns. This year we had five interns - three in our Engineering department, one in Marketing, and one in Welding. The interns spanned the spectrum of schooling, ranging from fresh out of high school to just graduated college.

Mike Johrendt, recent UW Oshkosh grad, will continue on at Hydro-Thermal, as a full-time staff person. He also spent last summer interning for Hydro-Thermal’s Marketing department, so staff were eager to welcome him as an official employee.

“When I first interned here last summer, that sense of knowing where I wanted to be was evident. Being able to come back full time after college really is a testament to the importance Hydro-Thermal puts on developing interns,” remarked Johrendt.

Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) freshman, Andrew Kempen, will also return to Hydro-Thermal as a part-time Associate Electrical Engineer during the school year. High school senior Hanson Zaiser, son of President and CEO Jim Zaiser, will undoubtedly return to Hydro-Thermal as well. 

Hydro-Thermal has hired more than 45 interns (from high schools and colleges) since they started the program 11 years ago. Interns are hired from all areas of the company, from manufacturing to engineering, and from accounting to marketing. Today, one in four Hydro-Thermal interns is hired as a full-time employee after graduation.

Over time, Hydro-Thermal also has developed long-standing strategic partnerships with many local research universities and businesses that utilize their products. Here, expertise is shared and exposure to cutting edge technologies occurs (EX: UW-Madison, Mount Mary, MSOE, Cornell, and many more) creating mutually beneficial partnerships.

2018 interns

 

2018 Hydro-Thermal interns: Andrew Kempen (freshman, MSOE and recent Waukesha South High School grad), Aaron Bauer (senior, UW-Platteville), Mike Johrendt (recent grad, UW Oshkosh), Hanson Zaiser (Senior, Brookfield Academy), and Kelly Chen (senior, UW-Milwaukee).

 

 

Today, 22 Eurasian chocolatiers, manufacturers of hummus, energy drinks, food sauces, fruit purees, and more were at Hydro-Thermal, learning more about U.S. food manufacturing technology. The U.S. Department of Commerce-coordinated visit was prompted by Hydro-Thermal’s recent win of the President’s eStar Award, which is the highest honor a U.S. entity can receive for ongoing significant contributions to the expansion of U.S. exports.

The emerging markets of Eurasia present unique opportunities for U.S. companies and Eurasian economies alike. Jim Zaiser, CEO and President of Hydro-Thermal, along with Gary Bymers, International Sales Manager, participated in the discussion about manufacturing technology and U.S. business practices and know-how.

Ultimately Hydro-Thermal hopes to build partnerships and friendships with these business owners and with people, companies and countries across over the globe. “The world gets smaller with each friendship made,” said Zaiser, “And our world needs more partnering and alliances now than ever.”

Today’s visitors are from across Eurasia – Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Uzbekistan and more. The U.S. Department of Commerce also brought two translators to help keep communication positively bridged amongst participants. Hydro-Thermal international sales staff person, Henrietta Bogyay, was also on site to ensure each visitor’s perspective was heard and valued. 

 

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross presented Hydro-Thermal Corporation with the President’s “E” Star Award for Exports at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Monday, May 21. The President’s “E” Star Award is the highest recognition any U.S. entity can receive for making ongoing significant contributions to the expansion of U.S. exports.

 

“Hydro-Thermal has demonstrated a sustained commitment to export expansion. The ‘E’ Awards Committee was very impressed with Hydro-Thermal’s record of export growth to new markets since receiving the President’s ‘E’ Award in 2014. The company’s innovative product development process resulting in customization of products for new industries and export markets was particularly notable. Hydro-Thermal’s achievements have undoubtedly contributed to national export expansion efforts that support the U.S. economy and create American jobs,” said Secretary Ross in his congratulatory letter to the company announcing its selection.

 

Hydro-Thermal is the global leader in the manufacturing and design of industrial and sanitary steam heating solutions. Its patented heating system mixes steam and process liquids completely while delivering precise and consistent temperature, instantaneous heating, and no scaling or fouling of the product. Eighty years of steam heating expertise and innovation have led to the product’s presence in facilities in more than 85 countries around the world.

 

“Exports are consistently responsible for approximately one-third of Hydro-Thermal’s total sales annually. Buyers and consumers in foreign markets want quality products made in the United States, and we are proud to source more than 70 percent of our components from within 30 miles of our headquarters in Waukesha, Wisconsin,” said Jim Zaiser, Hydro-Thermal Corporation President and CEO. “We are honored to receive the “E” Star Award and have our commitment to U.S. quality and innovation recognized on such a grand scale.”

 

In total, Secretary Ross honored 43 U.S. companies and organizations from across the country with a President’s “E” Award for their role in strengthening the U.S. economy by sharing American ingenuity outside of our borders. The “E” Star Award is the more exclusive of the two levels of “E” Awards, with only eight companies selected to receive this highest tier of recognition for exports. A prerequisite for winning the “E” Star Award, is first winning the “E” Award, then continuing to grow a strong commitment to exports for an additional four years after receiving the initial “E” Award.

 

U.S. companies are nominated for the “E” Awards through the U.S. Commercial Service, part of the Department’s International Trade Administration. With offices across the United States and in embassies and consulates around the world, The International Trade Administration lends its expertise at every stage of the exporting process by promoting and facilitating exports and investment into the United States; administering Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duties orders; and removing, reducing, or preventing foreign trade barriers.

 

U.S. exports totaled $2.33 trillion in 2017, accounting for 12 percent of U.S. gross domestic product. Exports supported an estimated 10.7 million jobs nationwide in 2016, according to the most recent statistics from the International Trade Administration. 

 

The “E” Awards came to be in 1961, when President Kennedy signed an executive order reviving the World War II “E” symbol of excellence to honor and provide recognition to America's exporters. Criteria for the award is based on four years of successive export growth in one or more international markets. 

 

For more information about the “E” Awards and the benefits of exporting, visit www.export.gov.

 

 

Hydro-Thermal is welcoming Spring with a 30-day fitness competition for all employees. The Spring Into Fitness Challenge gives staff the opportunity to get into shape, while qualifying to win prizes.

 

Staff can sign up for one, or all three, challenge categories - push-ups, squats, and abs. The goal is to match or exceed the previous day’s number of repetitions in any of the challenge areas. Just so it’s not too grueling, each staff person is allowed five rest days within the 30-day challenge.

 

Individual exercise logs are provided so staff can track staff their results confidentially. All participants qualify for the prize drawings, regardless of fitness level. Results will be kept confidential, but logs must be turned in at the end of 30 days to take part in the prize drawings. One participant from each challenge (push-ups, squats, and abs) will be randomly selected to win a $25 gift card.

 

Hydro-Thermal has a rich history of supporting the whole person. Their Health and Wellness Team provides a wide variety of educational programs and activities to balance and enrich Hydro-Thermal employees lives. Previous Health and Wellness activities include healthy cooking demos, chair massages, lunch and learns on a wide variety of health topics, water pH testing, and much more.

 

For more on starting or expanding your workplace health initiatives go to https://www.cdc.gov/workplacehealthpromotion/index.html

 

Staffer Receives Award

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Before she was even a teenager, Sarah Prince was already an avid volunteer. “Ever since middle school, I always felt passionate about helping the community.” From age 10 through high school Sarah volunteered doing a wide variety of activities at her church – from reading to children to waitressing at spaghetti dinners. Throughout college, she worked with Goodwill Industries in their On the Move program, providing mentally and physically challenged adults the opportunity to interact with the world like everyone else – attending events, making crafts-basic things many of us take for granted.

 When Sarah started at Hydro-Thermal as a college intern, no volunteer program or efforts of any type existed. Her inherent desire to help others was the key driver in making a formal volunteer program a reality.

 

Sarah’s efforts at Hydro-Thermal started with serving meals at the Ronald McDonald House. She recruited volunteers from throughout the organization, unifying them to help the cause. Coworkers enjoyed working alongside each other and quickly understood and shared Sarah’s love for serving others. Then it grew–from helping at Ronald McDonald House every other month to identifying worthy organizations that could use help every month of the year, sometimes even coordinating multiple events per month!

 

One of the volunteer staffers she recruited was ex-military, Bill Rheingans. Sarah’s ability to listen to the customer, in this case her volunteers, led her to assisting a wide variety of military organizations – from assembling care packages for troops overseas, to placing and removing flags on graves for military holidays, to gathering donations for a local military troop. In her usual altruistic and enthusiastic approach, Sarah rallied numerous internal staff and external businesses to help remember and care for those who protect us.

 

These are only two examples of Sarah’s current volunteerism, but there are many more. Aside from founding and leading the Volunteer Committee, she donated her paid time off hours to staff who were in need due to illness, participated in multiple fund raisers for breast cancer awareness, clothed the homeless, and more.

 

Sarah was also a member of Hydro-Thermal’s Health and Wellness Committee from its impetus. Through her involvement with the team she led Hydro-Thermal staff to start a walking program, run its own Biggest Loser competition, prepare healthier snacks and meals, and more. Sarah has also learned a lot herself from being involved on this team, better managing her own weight and learning the value of nutrition and exercise.

 

You might think all this volunteerism takes up most of Sarah’s work time. Amazingly enough, she so masterfully balances her workload that she also won the Hydro-Thermal President’s Award this year. The President’s Award is an annual honor bestowed on a Hydro-Thermal staffer who embodies our Culture Statements, in short having integrity, being a customer advocate, and being growth-centric.

 

Sarah started at Hydro-Thermal in October 2009 as a Marketing Intern. Prior to Sarah joining Hydro-Thermal, the organization did not fully realize the importance of market research. As an intern, Sarah provided the data to define a marketing campaign targeted at meat producers.

 

Upon graduating from Carroll University in 2010 with her Bachelor’s Degree, Sarah was promoted to the role of Marketing Research Assistant, a position created due to her impact as an intern. Since then she has been involved with many significant research-related efforts, including being a critical contributor to the company’s 80th anniversary celebrations, international and domestic channel partner meetings, the designer of org-wide training on accessing and pulling data from our sales software, and more.

 

In 2015 Sarah’s expertise was recognized formally through her promotion to Market Research Analyst. Since then she has led the revolutionary buyer persona project, project managed the new Hydro-Thermal website, and drove significant increases in traffic by her use of site analytics. She is the epitome of a can-do attitude, sharing her expertise willingly and without reservation.

 

Most recently Sarah completed an evaluation of the market research she conducted for staff at Hydro-Thermal in 2016. Out of the 21 projects she completed last year, 19 of them were utilized for business planning – either in marketing, engineering, or sales. The other two research projects will be used in the future for market trend and analysis. This not only speaks to the volume of research she does, but also the major importance and value placed on what she supplies for our organization.

 

Throughout her entire time with Hydro-Thermal Sarah has consistently worked far beyond the parameters of her position description. She is known as one of a handful of people that you can count on to find you an answer, regardless of it’s her turf or not.

 

Being a goal oriented, voracious problem solver who loves a challenge, Sarah embarked on her MBA, just a few short years after earning her BA. She graduated from UW-Whitewater with her MBA in 2014, and although she was still working full-time at Hydro-Thermal, and earned a 3.8 of 4.0. “I wanted to accomplish this before I got married and have children (hopefully one day) so my focus could be on school.” She also thinks about pursuing her PhD at some point. “Lifelong learning is so important. I can imagine myself as an 80-year-old woman taking class at a local college, just because I enjoy it.”

 

Congratulations to Sarah Prince, Hydro-Thermal Market Research Analyst, for being recognized with the 2017 Waukesha Emerging Leader Award.

 

 

Holiday Supply Drive For the Troops

Hydro-Thermal Corporation is hosting a holiday supply drive to support Wisconsin troops stationed overseas. Donations will be collected until November 17, so military members will receive their supplies during the holiday season. Members of the community interested in donating can drop supplies at Hydro-Thermal’s headquarters, located at 400 Pilot Court, Waukesha, WI 53188. Supplies will be shipped in collaboration with Support the Troops WI, a registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization. All donations made to them are tax deductible.

Hydro-Thermal assembles donations into care packages, with each including a hand-written note thanking the military member for their service. The 2017 holiday season marks the third year Hydro-Thermal Corporation has volunteered for Support the Troops WI.

Items needed fall into three categories: non-perishable food, toiletries, and other. Food items include small snack items such as trail mix, power bars, and beef jerky. Toiletry items include baby wipes, sunblock, body wash, and hand sanitizer. The other category includes CDs, DVDs, magazines, white t-shirts and white tube socks.

In 2017 Support the Troops WI celebrates its 10th anniversary. To date, more than 8,000 care packages have been sent to our troops deployed all around the world. In 2016, including Hydro-Thermal’s donation, Support the Troops WI mailed a record-breaking 600+ care packages to troops for the holiday season. In return, grateful military members sent cards, emails, and photos as a thank you for their care packages.

Jim Zaiser, Hydro-Thermal President and CEO remarked, “This drive is a timely reminder about the true meaning of the season – giving and sharing with others, especially the people that during this holiday are protecting us.”

 

In 2007 the initial idea for Support the Troops WI was started by a mother sending care packages to her sons overseas. After hearing that other soldiers did not receive any mail, she started sending boxes to other soldiers as well. The momentum continued, even after her sons returned home, and Support the Troops WI soon became a fully functioning non-profit.

Hydro-Thermal has also participated in post Memorial Day holiday flag removal at military cemeteries for the last four years and also supported a military unit in Pewaukee (372nd Engineering Company, Army Reserves) for two years. The Waukesha-based manufacturer has an active volunteer committee that facilitates many impactful, charitable events, year-round.

Hydro-Thermal is the global leader in the manufacturing and design of industrial and sanitary steam heating solutions. Our patented heating system mixes steam and process liquids completely while delivering precise and consistent temperature, instantaneous heating, and no scaling or fouling of the product. Eighty years of steam heating expertise and innovation have led to our product’s presence in facilities in more than 85 countries around the world.

 

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Every Day is Manufacturing Day  

Since its inception in 2012 Hydro-Thermal has celebrated Manufacturing Day/Month in a variety of ways. This year saw the return of one of staff’s favorite events, a luncheon prepared and served by Hydro-Thermal office staff. This year’s theme was Oktoberfest, complete with brats, sauerkraut, humongous pretzels and an array of delectable desserts!

In addition to lunch, all shop staff received a “swag bag” – actually a beverage trough with handles and a Hydro-Thermal collapsible mini cooler. Each employee’s trough was filled with beers, cold brewed coffee, and specialty sodas. The cherry on top for shop staff was a surprise wrapped gift that each received, which contained everything from bandanas and water bottles to a tiger stripped steering wheel cover.

Staff enjoyed their lunch al fresco on a perfect sunny 68-degree day, while the smell of cooking brats and polka music wafted over their conversations. Second shift CNC machinist Alonzo Perez said, “Today’s lunch reminded me of one of my favorite quotes, ““Kindness is a language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”” Today was thoughtful and really made you feel appreciated. It just made me smile.”

To culminate the day, shop staff proudly posed for a photo with Hydro-Thermal’s recently awarded Manufacturer of the Year banner. Plant manager, Andre Volheim thanked staff for all their hard work and for what they helped him learn since he started in the position. Hydro-Thermal President and CEO, Jim Zaiser said thank you to the shop staff for their ongoing contributions to making the company successful.

Just like you should be thoughtful about your sweetheart on days besides Valentine’s Day, Hydro-Thermal has a Manufacturing Day approach every day of the year. We have high school intern programs established with Milwaukee and Waukesha counties, college internships, an internal mentoring program that involves job shadowing, we host numerous company tours, as well as tours for local schools at all grade levels.

Past year’s Manufacturing Day celebrations included job shadowing with CNC staff and welders, plant tours of Hydro-Thermal, featured guest speakers, and more.

Developing the Next Generation of Food Scientists

Hydro-Thermal recently started a partnership with Mount Mary University’s new Food Science Chemistry Department. In September, three students and professor Dr. Anne Vravick will conduct starch research tests that will continue throughout the semester in Hydro-Thermal’s R&D Lab. The students will also gain valuable hands-on experience working alongside Hydro-Thermal’s food scientist and engineers. The Mount Mary starch research testing will culminate with a full student presentation to Hydro-Thermal’s Food Team on Friday, December 1.

The students will also observe Hydro-Thermal’s award-winning SilverLine food and beverage processing system, cooking starch and taking preliminary samples. The tests will yield important recommendations for SilverLine system’s fine tuning for the future. The system has been in field testing since 2010 (initially introduced as the Smart Cooking System) and has already garnered three impressive awards.

The relationship with Mount Mary is part of Hydro-Thermal’s Partners in Technology program, which fuels innovation via research partnerships with leading Midwestern universities, research associations, independent R&D engineering firms and customers. The program facilitates improvements and enhancements to current products and inspires new product development.

Milwaukee is one of the leading cities in the nation when it comes to careers in food science, with food and beverage production accounting for 9% of southeastern Wisconsin’s overall manufacturing. The Mount Mary Food Science Chemistry major was established in Fall 2016 to meet demand for jobs in the field. The curriculum is built with the help of local food industry professionals -- ensuring students get the right training and connect with potential employers. From food safety to sustainability, courses involve a lot of chemistry and analytics. Previously Mount Mary’s other food-related major was Dietetics, which focuses on food and behavior.

"It is exciting that Hydro-Thermal is in on the ground level with Mount Mary’s new Food Science Chemistry major," said Adam Small, Business Development Food Scientist for Hydro-Thermal. “With the industry booming on a local, national and international level, we are in an excellent position to have strong ties to exceptional students on the cutting edge of learning.” Hydro-Thermal has pioneered many new products and applications through its Partners in Technology program and looks forward to the results of working with the bright, enthusiastic students from Mount Mary University. MtMaryStrip

Celebrates Record Award-Winning Year

Over the past handful of years, Hydro-Thermal experienced a profound boom in business, prompting significant growth in employees, office and manufacturing space, technology, and revenue. During this bustling time, the organization was also recognized with a variety of prestigious awards. In 2016 the organization received six honors, spanning the state to international, doubling the amount of recognition received in the best of previous years.

In 2016 Hydro-Thermal won five awards including the Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year-Grand Award, Fastest Growing Firms, and the Governor's Export Achievement Award. These three are examples of awards that Hydro-Thermal submitted an application for and won. The other two 2016 honors were, the Corporate Partner Award, given by the Waukesha Education Foundation and the APICS Company of the Year. These awards are significant since they were not applied for, but given to Hydro-Thermal based off interaction and observation of the organization. Hydro-Thermal was also named as a finalist for the Platt Global Metals Award.

The Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year-Grand Award is the highest state award recognizing excellence in manufacturing. Criteria for this award focuses on financial growth and stability, effective research and development, commitment to quality, employees, and community. In 2016 Hydro-Thermal won the medium sized business category (100-299 employees), which was the most contested group, with 10 finalist companies.

The 2016 win of the Governor's Export Achievement Award recognizes extraordinary results in international markets and elevating Wisconsin’s competitiveness in the global economy. Hydro-Thermal also received this award in 2011, further evidence of stability and ongoing commitment to innovation and global expansion.

Earning the designation of Fastest Growing Firms Award winner is another demonstration of Hydro-Thermal’s exceptional growth and financial stability. Recipients of this award are Wisconsin-based companies with the highest percentage of growth from 2013 to 2015, with annual revenue between $3 million and $500 million.

“Hydro-Thermal invests heavily in young people and community, and is involved with many programs that mentor and inspire. I believe this is why we received the 2016 Corporate Partner Award from the Waukesha Education Foundation,” said Hydro-Thermal CEO and President Jim Zaiser. This unsolicited third-party honor is voted on by committee and recognizes outstanding effort to foster quality and innovative learning and ensure a strong community foundation. Hydro-Thermal has a robust scope of volunteerism and mentoring young people through multiple programs in Waukesha County as well as Greater Milwaukee.

Being voted APICS Company of the Year speaks directly to the efficiency and productivity of Hydro-Thermal. This unsolicited third-party honor is voted on by a committee comprised of APICS members. APICS is an international association for professionals in all areas of resource management, including inventory, materials, supply chain, and all other areas that contribute to the overall efficiency and productivity of an organization.

Zaiser remarked, “This additional attention has created more opportunities to join expert panels, industry discussions and other activities that add further value to Hydro-Thermal, our employees and our brand.” After such an amazing 2016, Hydro-Thermal is focused on select, very high profile international award opportunities. “The commitment to the strong Hydro-Thermal values like innovation and community will continue,” said Zaiser.

Hydro-Thermal is the global leader in the manufacturing and design of industrial and sanitary steam heating solutions. Our patented heating system mixes steam and process liquids completely while delivering precise and consistent temperature, instantaneous heating, and no scaling or fouling of the product. Eighty years of steam heating expertise and innovation have led to our product’s presence in facilities in more than 85 countries around the world.

The Intellective by Hydro-Thermal

Hydro-Thermal recently signed a lease for an office space in downtown Waukesha, located at 330 W. Broadway. This innovative, collaborative workspace, nicknamed the Intellective by Hydro-Thermal staff, will be utilized in developing new Hydro-Thermal products and processes. The goal for this space is to foster growth, develop new opportunities, and compete in today’s manufacturing space through innovation.

The 1,400-square foot building will be operational in September and features an open concept approach to encourage collaboration. The urban setting, nestled in with many restaurants and professional offices, offers a striking change to the company’s current, more traditional headquarters located near the Waukesha County Airport. The soaring 16-foot ceilings and lack of any type of cubicle structure encourages the flow of energy throughout. The space will accommodate 10 staff and/or contractors and also features a spacious, modern, conference room designated for group interaction.

The craft beer system product development team is ready to move in and get to work as the first group to utilize the new space. “It’s exciting to know I will be part of the first of many projects housed here, but most of the excitement comes from knowing our company is truly investing in and becoming more innovative” remarked James Ober, Project Manager for the Beer Team. This is one of the many interesting and high-profile opportunities Hydro-Thermal has in the works. The thought is that work done in this space will pay large dividends for the future of the company.

This is the fourth expansion for Hydro-Thermal since the 1995 move to the current headquarters at 400 Pilot Court in Waukesha. Their original location was on 70th and State Street in Wauwatosa. With each expansion, the company further transitioned toward a more innovative workspace, bringing down walls, and making design decisions that facilitate creative flow.

Hydro-Thermal’s initial expansion in 2012 increased its headquarters by 10,000 square feet, for a total of 36,000 square feet. In 2015 Hydro-Thermal added a second facility down the street from its headquarters. The 16,000-square foot space, located at 407 Pilot Court, houses 12,000 square feet of manufacturing space and 15 offices. In 2016 a second expansion to the 407 building occurred, adding 5,000 square feet with 20 work spaces, two conference rooms, and three small “focus” rooms.

Fuel Ethanol Conference 2017

This week Hydro-Thermal presented and exhibited at the largest, longest running ethanol conference in the world. The Fuel Ethanol Workshop (FEW) now in its 33rd year, hosts 2,000+ attendees and 300 exhibitors.

Hydro-Thermal Channel Partner, Dr. Loren Chen, spoke to conference attendees about the Effects of Jet Cooking on the Enzymatic Degradation of Starch. Technical presentations are hand-picked by an abstract rating committee of nearly 40 industry experts. Dr. Chen is looked to as the preeminent expert of ethanol and starch markets in Asia. He is also the President of East Tide Science & Technology and has more than 20 years of experience. Dr. Chen earned his PhD from The Ohio State University in Inorganic Chemistry and earned his BA in the same field from Cal State-Fullerton.

The FEW delivers timely presentations with a strong focus on commercial-scale ethanol production – from quality control and yield maximization to regulatory compliance and fiscal management. The FEW is also the ethanol industry’s premier forum for unveiling new technologies and research findings. The FEW also offers superb networking forums alongside the largest, most widely attended expo in the business. The program extensively covers cellulosic ethanol while remaining committed to optimizing existing grain ethanol operations.

The 2017 FEW is in Minneapolis, MN, with upwards of 500 plant personnel from ethanol facilities in more than 30 countries in attendance.FEW2017booth

 

Hydro-Thermal Expands Mentoring Reach to Milwaukee Youth

Employment levels are the highest they have been in state history, and finding skilled workers to fill open positions is more challenging than ever. Wisconsin is looking to address two concerns with one solution, offering job training to students and inspiring them to join the skilled trades. This innovative, multi-faceted remedy will help combat an expected workforce gap in the near term and decrease the cost of urban unemployment to the state.

Many new programs have been established to increase awareness of opportunities in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) programs for students in Wisconsin. Youth apprenticeships in the state have doubled over four years.  High school students can now get a jump start on their higher education goals via the expansion of state supported Dual Enrollment and Career Options programs.

Today, state budget funded programs allow Wisconsin schools to start providing academic career plans as early as sixth grade. Hydro-Thermal is ahead of the curve on this opportunity, having been involved with the Waukesha-based Schools2Skills program for the last five years. The program raises awareness of STEM programs for students in middle and high school.

Hydro-Thermal recently expanded its reach outside of Waukesha, hosting 45 Milwaukee Academy of Science (MAS) students, from grades 6 through 12. The students received a tour and overview of the company; and learned more in-depth about three key areas of the business - engineering, welding and machining. “Governor Walker specifically commissioned us to bridge the urban environment to provide similar opportunity, like we do for Waukesha” remarked Hydro-Thermal President and CEO, Jim Zaiser.”

The purpose of this initial visit was to introduce students to an engineering and manufacturing company based in Waukesha.  On the tour students gained insights from staff, each answering three questions: “What is our employee background for education and training?” “What skills are used at Hydro-Thermal?” “What would we be looking for from a new employee?”

Future plans with MAS include more tours, as they are requested.  Hydro-Thermal is also planning a tour for MAS students to help identify potential summer interns. Hydro-Thermal has an impressive intern program, hiring more than 35 interns since the start of the program 10 years ago. Today, one in every four interns is hired full-time after graduation.

The Milwaukee Academy of Science is an independent charter school, founded in 2000, chartered by the City of Milwaukee. This college preparatory school serves students from K4 through 12th grade and is governed by the Milwaukee Science Education Consortium, a 501c(3) organization. The Consortium includes representatives from the Medical College of Wisconsin, Alverno College, Cardinal Stritch University, Marquette University, Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC), Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) and Mount Mary College.

Hydro-Thermal has a long-standing relationship with area schools, even being recognized as 2016 Corporate Partner of the Year by the Waukesha Education Foundation. This special award recognizes outstanding effort by an organization to foster quality and innovative learning and ensure a strong foundation for the future of the Waukesha community.

When asked why is it important to have Hydro-Thermal involved in visits like this, Hydro-Thermal President and CEO Jim Zaiser said, “It’s exciting to be at the forefront of this mutually beneficial solution – and it’s just the right thing to do!”

MKE academyOF science

2016 Manufacturer of the Year

 

 

 

WiMOTYwAWARD Small

Hydro-Thermal recently received the Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year (WIMOTY) Grand Award. This is the 29th year of the WIMOTY annual award program, which recognizes outstanding achievement in manufacturing.

Hydro-Thermal competed in the medium sized business category (100-299 employees), which was also the most competitive category with a total of 10 finalist companies. Award criteria covers commitment to employees, effective research and development, commitment to quality, financial growth and stability, and commitment to community.

Here are a few highlights from Hydro-Thermal’s award application:

Commitment to Employees

• National job tenure average is 4.6 yrs. More than 50% of Hydro-Thermal staff have been here longer than that, with 1 of every 8 here for more than 15 years, and 5 here more than 25 years

Effective Research and Development

• In 2016 Hydro-Thermal filed three new patents, in addition to four patents pending, more than a dozen active patents registered in foreign countries, 40 process patents, and 60 offshoot patents

Commitment to Quality

• Hydro-Thermal recruits expert staff, and mutually shares information with more than two dozen external resources via our strategic research partnerships

Financial Growth and Stability

• More than doubled sales in the last 10 years, tripled manufacturing and office space within the last three years

Commitment to Community

• Numerous collaborations with the Waukesha County Business Alliance (WCBA), more than 10-year commitment to intern and apprentice programs

WIMOTY applications are categorized by number of employees and are judged by a panel of leaders in manufacturing, who are independent of the award program sponsors. This is Hydro-Thermal’s first year of competing in the medium-sized business (100+ employees) category. In 2010 Hydro-Thermal won this award in the small business category (less than 100 employees), and was a finalist in 2015.

MOTY logo 29th annual winner

 

Hydro-Thermal employees give back

Hydro-Thermal is entering its sixth year of volunteering with Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC). In that time we have served more than 2,000 people delicious, home-cooked meals!

RMHC is a national non-profit that provides a home away from home for millions of families caring for a sick child, who need a place where the whole family can be together. Their mission is to offer as much support as possible during their trials. Access to a hot meal is one of the many ways that RMHC provides normalcy in chaotic times for these families.

Hydro-Thermal has been volunteering at RMHC since 2012. Each time we volunteer, Hydro-Thermal staff serve anywhere from 50 to more than 100 parents and children at a typical meal. These meals are a welcome reprieve from hospital food and parents and children are extremely grateful for the time and care that goes into the meals. Meal types include a wide variety-from grilled fare to fajitas to breakfast casseroles!

Usually meals are prepared from scratch. Hydro-Thermal sponsors some of the ingredients while staff choose to purchase some of them on their own. All meals are prepared on site and the homemade smell permeates the entire place! Grateful families claim, “This is the best food I’ve eaten in a long time!”

Hydro-Thermal also donates pop tabs to support RMHC. In 2016 they collected 8,561 pounds of aluminum. In 2016, this program raised more than $18,000 – an all-time record!

RonaldMcD2016

 

MADE Career Pathways feature Hydro-Thermal Corp

Hydro-Thermal recently participated in the second annual MADE (Manufacturing, Automotive, Design and Engineering) Career Pathways Expo 2016. The event aims to raise awareness and educate high school students about the diverse opportunities available in manufacturing around the Waukesha area.

 

Approximately 1,000 students attended the expo.  All are enrolled in CNC, engineering, manufacturing and welding classes at their high schools. To help entice the students, Hydro-Thermal staff demonstrated the orbital welder and also displayed product cutaways, various internal parts, and the EZ Heater Skid system.

 

This year more than 30 companies participated including HUSCO, Quad/Graphics, Trace-A-Matic, and more. The event was sponsored by the Waukesha County Business Alliance and was held at the Waukesha County Technical College.

 

Hydro-Thermal staff worked on two shifts to cover the day-long deluge of inquisitive students. Staffers included, engineer-Avito Saghu, quality lead-Bill Rheingans, business development engineer-Frank Pizzitola, former shop interns, now part-time staff-Jordan Glazewski and Kayla Ellis, and welder-Mark Kwiatkowski.

 

Aside from the throngs of students that attended, the MADE Expo also welcomed some non-student special guests. Waukesha Mayor-Shawn Reilly, County Executive-Paul Farrow, and Department of Work Development Secretary-Georgia Maxwell all showed up to lend their support to the cause. 

 

Steam in the Blood

Long before there was the Indy 500 or Daytona, there was Wisconsin’s Great Race of 1878. Recognized as the first documented car race, it was highly anticipated and featured cars powered by steam traction engine. The winner stood to gain $10,000.

In 1875 Wisconsin was looking to stimulate automotive development. The state legislature offered a $10,000 bounty to the creator of a machine “propelled by steam or other motive agent which shall be cheap and practical substitute for the horse and other animals on the highway and farm.” The state was a buzz with engineers, inventors, and others in pursuit of the big prize.

By the time race day came, six registrants signed on for the historic race. Each of the six cars were named after the city where they were built. When the start flag waved only two registrants actually made it to race day, the Oshkosh and the Green Bay. The 200-mile race wound its way through Wisconsin, at an average speed of six miles per hour.

The Oshkosh’s winning time was 33 hours and 27 minutes. Although it was the simpler of the two competitors, and it weighed more than 10,000 pounds. It also featured a large vertical boiler and cylinders of 6” bore and 8” stroke made all of 12 horsepower.

Oshkosh’s winning vehicle was built by six of the town residents: Alexander Gallinger, Anson Farrand, Frank Schomer, John F. Morse, John Owens, Martin T. Battis. All the men were involved in businesses that would benefit from the successful invention of a vehicle beyond horse and buggy.

Gallinger, the driver of the Oshkosh, has been credited with being the mastermind behind the inspiration for the Oshkosh as well as the invention of the mechanical differential.

Alexander Gallinger is the great, great grandfather of Hydro-Thermal employee, Grant Gallinger. This story, along with many others were handed down through the generations, along with a love of racing, steam, and engineering.

Prior to the Great Race of 1878, Grant’s great, great Grandfather and the Gallinger family were mostly involved in agricultural business. Since Alexander’s success, many of the Gallingers have pursued careers that align with some form of racing, steam or engineering.

His great, great grandfather’s celebrity was influential in moving Grant himself into a career that involved steam and engineering. Today Grant is the Industry Sales Manager for Hydro-Thermal’s Industrial team. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Management with an emphasis on Entrepreneurship and Small Business from Illinois State University.

Since then Grant has been working with industrial steam and condensate return systems for more than 10 years. He has achieved a rare level of certification as a Steam System Specialist level I, II, and III and has won numerous awards for his expertise. Grant was also voted Salesperson of the Year by his previous employer, Swagelok Energy Advisors, an international firm specializing in steam system performance.

Grant also shares a love of racing with his great, great Grandfather, although his machines go much faster than six miles per hour. At age 16 he started autocross, went on to graduate from Skip Barber Racing school, earn a competition license, and compete in a wide variety of races across the US.

Grant is also the proud owner of a wide variety of vintage and classic cars and motorcycles, including a 1965 Norton 650SS, 1985 Porsche Carrera 911, 2014 Shelby Mustang GT500 and more. Sharing his grandfather’s mechanical adeptness and ingenuity, Grant has also rebuilt a number of Norton Commando motorcycles.

When asked about the Oshkosh, knowing his love of history and restoration, Grant said “Unfortunately, it no longer exists. It was converted into a farm implement and then used up. Nobody was nostalgic in those days.”

Grant and his wife have proven sentimental though. Their son is named after Grant’s great, great Grandfather, Alexander.

2016 Fastest Growing Firm

Waukesha, WI – Hydro-Thermal Corporation has been selected as a 2016 Fastest Growing Firm by the Milwaukee Business Journal.

For a company to be selected, it must have annual revenue between $3 million and $500 million, and have recorded a profit for the past three years. Companies with the highest percentages of growth from 2013 to 2015 were selected as winners. In all, 28 Wisconsin firms received the honor for 2016.

“We have another group of highly successful winners that have pushed hard and smartly gone about their business to sustain growth over the past few years. It’s another good sign of the strength of our economy,” said Mark Kass, Editor-in-Chief, for the Milwaukee Business Journal.

Hydro-Thermal President, Jim Zaiser, credits this award to “thinking long term, and investing in the future with a dedicated team of individuals who share the same goals, for Hydro-Thermal and the future of business in southeastern Wisconsin.”

The 2016 winners will be recognized at an awards luncheon on Friday, August 12 at the Pfister Hotel from 11:30am–1:45pm, as well as in the Milwaukee Business Journal’s Aug. 12 weekly edition.

Hydro-Thermal is the global leader in the manufacturing and design of industrial and sanitary steam heating solutions. Our patented heating system mixes steam and process liquids completely while delivering precise and consistent temperature, instantaneous heating, and no scaling or fouling of the product. Eighty years of steam heating expertise and innovation have led to our product’s presence in facilities in more than 85 countries around the world.

 

Industry Needs Better Met

Waukesha, WI – (April 27, 2016) Dramatically increasing sales and ever-changing complexity of the business recently prompted Hydro-Thermal Corporation to reorganize staff into industry-specific teams. The teams cover newer applications as well as established markets for Hydro-Thermal, including Food and Beverage, Ethanol/Starch/Sweetener, and Industrial. Previously sales staff were divided by geographic territory, with segments broke out for US/Canada and International. Sales, engineering, and marketing staff were affected by the reorganization.

The main customer-facing component is that all sales staff will now have a specific, dedicated industry. Existing sales relationships will be gradually transitioned to their new contacts and the team will work together to ensure that all current sales opportunities are properly serviced.

Unlike many company-wide reorganizations, no staff was terminated. In fact, 13 new positions have already been added in 2016 and a handful more are forecast throughout the rest of the year. Hydro-Thermal has also introduced a number of new products over the past few years. Most notably, the SilverLine, a continuous food and beverage processing system was introduced in 2015. Several other new products are currently in development.

“As our sales grow exponentially, the industries we flourish in have emerged over the years. These teams will allow our staff to become industry experts, while facilitating idea sharing, and coinciding with our strategic plan. We are investing resources into these teams for training, development plus a more robust method of planning and strategy. Our customers will be better served by having industry-specific teams,” said Jim Zaiser, CEO and President of Hydro-Thermal Corporation.

INDUSTRY SALES CONTACTS:  INSIDE SALES REPRESENTATIVES:
   
Ethanol/Starch/Sweetener   Ethanol/Starch/Sweetener
Bob Hennings–Midwest  

Kris Schmidt–US & Canada

Jim Fraser–outside of Midwest   Darci Cole–International
Gary Bymers-International  
   
Food and Beverage  Food and Beverage
Dave Mardon–West Greg Curtis–East & Upper Midwest
Rick Green–East Dean Wentz–West
Ed Faulks–Upper Midwest Marie Grafwallner-Huseth–International
   
Industrial    Industrial   
Chip Massey–South   Kevin Wittwer–US & Canada
Shaun Whelan–North      Kate Stater–US & Canada
  Debbi Marki–International

 

Hydro-Thermal is the global leader in the manufacturing and design of industrial and sanitary steam heating solutions. Our patented heating system mixes steam and process liquids completely while delivering precise and consistent temperature, instantaneous heating, and no scaling or fouling of the product. Eighty years of steam heating expertise and innovation have led to our product’s presence in facilities in more than 85 countries around the world.

Hydro-Thermal Named to Future 50 List

Waukesha, WI - Hydro-Thermal Corporation has been named a 2015 Future 50 company by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce’s Council of Small Business Executives (COSBE).

The Future 50 program, now in its 28th year, recognizes privately-owned companies in the seven-county Milwaukee region that have been in business for at least three years and have shown significant revenue and employment growth.

“It is always encouraging to see such a strong group of applicants and winners in this program each year. These companies truly represent the future of our region,” said Mary Steinbrecher, executive director of COSBE.

When asked what entrepreneurial traits helped him lead the organization to where it is today, Hydro-Thermal President, Jim Zaiser, credits his self-motivation, inner drive, optimism, trust in himself, courage, passion, discipline and strong communication. He also acknowledges that he still practices and evolves these traits every day. Jim notes, “They are a key element in determining the sustainability of our team and our future.”

The Future 50 companies will be honored at an awards luncheon on Thursday, September 10, from 11:30am to 1:30pm at The Pfister Hotel. The luncheon will be hosted by the MMAC, COSBE and BizTimes Media. To register to attend, visit www.mmac.org/events.

“We look forward to honoring these fast-growing companies and learning more about the best practices that are driving their growth,” said Dan Meyer, publisher of BizTimes Milwaukee.

Hydro-Thermal is the global leader in the manufacturing and design of industrial and sanitary steam heating solutions. Our patented heating system mixes steam and process liquids completely while delivering precise and consistent temperature, instantaneous heating, and no scaling or fouling of the product. Eighty years of steam heating expertise and innovation have led to our product’s presence in facilities in more than 85 countries around the world.

Dave M CLFP2016Hydro-Thermal Attends CLFP 2016

This week, Hydro-Thermal showcased two of our most innovative solutions for the food and beverage industry at the largest food processing tradeshow in California, Food Processing Expo 2016.

On the Expo floor our SilverLine system and the Solaris heater were introduced to the more than 2,000 show attendees from 11 countries. The SilverLine was recently recognized with the IQ (Innovation Quotient) award for being one of most creative products developed in 2014.

Food Processing Expo attendees could also attend Tomato Processing School, which is an area Hydro-Thermal is heavily steeped in with our technology.

Sr. Industry Sales Manager of the Food Team at Hydro-Thermal, Dave Mardon, is pictured here in the Hydro-Thermal booth with the SilverLine system and Solaris heater. http://silverlinefoodequipment.com/

2015 Finalist Manufacturer of the Year

WIMOTYpresentationFINALHydro-Thermal is proud to be named as a finalist for the Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year (WIMOTY) Award. Our CEO and President, Jim Zaiser, was recently presented with the nomination certificate by representatives from two of the award sponsor companies, Corey Tremaine of Baker Tilly Virchow Krause and Richard L Kaiser of Michael Best & Friedrich. Hydro-Thermal is one of 28 finalists to receive this distinction.

The WIMOTY annual award program celebrates the successes of manufacturers in the state: their innovations, philanthropy, technological advances, commitment to customer satisfaction, and quality jobs. This is the WIMOTY Awards 28th year of existence.

Hydro-Thermal won this award in 2010. This year’s winners will be named at the WIMOTY awards banquet on Thursday, February 25.

For more on the Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year Award go to wimoty.com

Leadership Lessons

At a small business symposium held in earlier this month, Hydro-Thermal Corporation’s President and CEO, Jim Zaiser, inspired local business owners with his leadership lessons. His keynote presentation for the What to Consider when Growing Your Business event, shared his views on the critical components to making big strides in a small business. Hydro-Thermal experienced greater than 30% growth in 2015, so attendees were eager to learn his secrets.

A balance of innovation, diversification, risk and hiring the best possible talent were a few of the critical key drivers for success. Zaiser also spoke of the benefits of partnering with entities outside your organization. This greatly increases intellectual capital and accelerates R&D, while also expanding knowledge of new technologies.

Investing in where you want to be as an organization was another theme that resonated with attendees. After chatting with participants informally after his presentation Zaiser remarked, “What I shared today are lessons that can truly benefit any business owner, regardless of their company size or industry type. They are foundational elements for success.” Symposium attendees were from a wide range of industries – from food and beverage to service providers, municipal to manufacturing, and more.

Hydro-Thermal is a global manufacturing company that designs Hydroheaters for applications in a vast array of industries. Eighty-one years of steam heating expertise and innovation have led to our product’s presence in facilities in more than 80 countries around the world.

Morin Expands Partnership with Hydro-Thermal

Hydro-Thermal recently expanded their channel partner agreement with Morin Process Equipment. Previously Morin’s territory included Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and the Florida panhandle. Now Morin will expand their marketing and sales of Hydro-Thermal’s products to Tennessee as well.

Morin is a best-in-class distributor of industrial valves, pumps, and instrumentation products and solutions for the process industry. For more than a decade, Hydro-Thermal has partnered with Morin to provide industry expertise, deliver solutions, and superior local support for customers.

Hydro-Thermal is a national award-winning, global manufacturing company with 80 years of expertise in the design, engineering, production, and installation of Hydroheaters. Our patented heating system infuses steam into process liquids, delivering precise and consistent temperature, and instantaneous, efficient heating with no scaling or fouling of the product.

Through our home office and our global channel partner network, Hydro-Thermal is represented in six continents and all industrialized areas. Our Hydroheaters are present in facilities in more than 80 countries around the world.

Steam Innovation turns 80

In 2014 Hydro-Thermal Corporation celebrated 80 years of steam innovation with an event that harkened back to 1934. The celebration took place during Hydro-Thermal’s annual sales meeting which unites the organization’s sales staff and channel partners from around the world. Invited guests also included Hydro-Thermal customers, vendors, local government, current and past staff, neighbors and business associates.

Guests were greeted by a fleet of Model A automobiles, and also a 2015 Maserati, to drive home Hydro-Thermal’s spirit of continuous improvement and innovation. Many attendees dressed in the fashions of 1934. Some opted for a simple newsboy hat, while others went all out, dressing as old school bobbys, retro sports characters, swanky high society movers and shakers, and more.

The event featured period entertainment including live polka music, professional swing dance demos, and caricature drawings. The event’s keynote speaker, Chip Lutz, inspired with his perspective on unconventional leadership. Rounding out the attractions was a multimedia retrospective exhibit, complete with Busby Berkeley and 1934 MIT films, along with office and shop tours with a historical spin.

“It’s amazing to see how steam innovation has progressed in 80 years.” remarked Hydro-Thermal President, Jim Zaiser. “Looking back as a company has ignited even greater curiosity with our staff. We’re stoked for another 80 years!”

Hydro-Thermal Internships

apprentice lifeRemember your days as an intern? You were so excited to hit the real world of work and dazzle employers with your newly acquired skills and expertise. You envisioned yourself sharing ideas that revolutionized the organization. The reality? You spent the summer making copies.

Hydro-Thermal believes in treating interns like the valuable resource they are. Our interns get a legitimate dose of real world experience. In fact, Hydro-Thermal’s internships are so beneficial, we’ve had students return summer after summer after summer to roll up their sleeves and get down to business.

Before starting an internship at Hydro-Thermal, prospective candidate’s skills are assessed, as well as personal and scholastic interests. After evaluating the results, internships are designed based on the intern’s input and needs at Hydro-Thermal.

A sincere interest in paring interns where there is the greatest mutually beneficial opportunity is only one of the best selling points of a Hydro-Thermal internship. Another big selling point is that internships are offered by all departments across the company – from Engineering to Accounting, Marketing to Sales, and CNC Programming to Manufacturing.

When asked what insight is offered to court interns, Jill Zoromski of Hydro Thermal human resources remarked, “This is a really innovative place with a true commitment to providing a mutually rewarding experience.”

Some common threads that Hydro Thermal interns mention is that they felt truly involved in their department and the work was challenging. Interns also often mention growth in skills that will help in their everyday life like project management, customer service, time management, organization and responsibility.

Two attributes that Hydro-Thermal values in students are the creative energy and enthusiasm they bring. We have hired more than 25 interns since the start of the intern program approximately eight years ago. Today, one in four Hydro-Thermal interns has been hired as full time staff after graduation.

Mechanical engineering intern, Selena Boltik, remarked on her time here, “I was able to experience a wide variety of engineering tasks; from product design and modeling to lab testing and data compilation; which helped me decide what I want to do in my career and feel I was making a valuable contribution to the company.”

Hydro-Thermal doesn’t only offer internships for students who are in college. If you’re in high school and are interested in learning more about a prospective career field, Hydro-Thermal would like to speak with you.

“In the eight months that I’ve been here, I’ve developed a sense of communications and tactics that will stick out in a competitive interview,” said Alyson Reighn, manufacturing intern, incoming freshman at UW-Stout. “The hands-on experience will help me narrow down my options for the future.”

Hydro Thermal interns have moved on to some prestigious schools following their time here. Some universities and colleges that have welcomed Hydro-Thermal intern alums include Colgate University, MSOE (Milwaukee School of Engineering), University of Minneapolis, Marquette University, and many schools in the UW-System.

Interested in an internship? Candidates should This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., list of expected classes for the next semester, and a one-page essay about your experience and goals for your time with Hydro-Thermal. 

CIP in Ethanol

Badger State Ethanol is a dry mill ethanol production facility producing 58 million gallons of ethanol per year. The company, located in Monroe, Wisconsin, also produces co-products such as distiller grains, corn oil, and carbon dioxide.

100 0040In ethanol facilities, clean-in-place (CIP) is an important application that it is often overlooked. If ethanol producers do not have enough hot water through their CIP process, the batch could become contaminated and result in wasted product. In order to counteract this problem, ethanol producers heat the water hotter or add more chemicals, both of which are expensive and inefficient.

Badger State previously used an inefficient sparging system for their CIP applications. Sparging causes uncondensed steam bubbles to evaporate in the atmosphere, wasting large amounts of energy. This lost heat/condensate can corrode piping and ceilings. In addition, steam bubbles form and cavitate on tank walls, causing hammering and damage to the tank and surrounding piping. Badger State experienced a variety of these problems and more – sparging nozzles completely breaking off during operation, rust on the high beams of their ceiling, and damage to the tank due to violent shaking.

Badger State decided to replace their inefficient sparging system with aHydro-Thermal EZ Heater skid (EZH skid). The EZH skid reduced their maintenance needs, by requiring minimal service only once a year, and eliminated the cavitation and hammer issues faced with the sparging.

Badger State also noticed a reduction in their boiler makeup water. Doug Friedrich, Badger State Ethanol’s Operations Manager, elaborated, “When we first put the EZ Heater on line, our boiler makeup water dropped by a gallon and a half. It is normally 35 gallons a minute and it dropped to about 33 and a half.”

The reduced steam usage was verified by the reduced boiler makeup water. Due to the reduction in their boiler water, Badger State experienced a total savings of $32,045 per year. With sparging, Badger State was heating the tank to its maximum temperature. Due to higher efficiency steam mixing, Badger State is able to heat the water hotter while using less steam. Although heating the water to a higher temperature results in a less drastic amount of steam savings, it does ensure a more consistent CIP, which was the goal for Badger State.

Badger State is improving their product quality and ethanol production process thanks to their strong business relationship with Hydro-Thermal. Would you like to achieve precise temperature control for CIP at your plant? This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. a Hydro-Thermal representative to learn more about the EZ Heater.