Steam Heating Innovation
Where Innovation Meets Customer Needs
Innovation is in our DNA at Hydro-Thermal. We are constantly seeking ways to optimize – and even reinvent – our products and processes to more effectively meet our global customers' needs. With more than 80 years of history in direct steam injection innovation, we have expanded our expertise from Wisconsin's paper mills to a vast array of industries across more than 86 countries worldwide.
Our approach to innovation is centered around four key areas: Optimizing our internal Processes, developing new Products while enhancing existing ones, fostering our People, and aligning with strategic Partners.
To keep up with new manufacturing and engineering advancements, we have invested in several new machining centers. In addition, we created a quality lab with its focal point being our Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM). The CMM is a state-of-the-art quality control center used to check for imperfections in parts before being used or sent to customers. These enhancements pass on cost savings to our customers and decrease lead times.
For the needs of the changing landscape of the industries we serve, customer-led innovation in direct steam injection is vital to us. We are continuously evolving our products, from increasing the capabilities of our genuine Hydro-Thermal JetcookerTM to ground-up engineered products, including the Hydrive Linear Actuator (HLA), SilverLine food and beverage cooking system, and the Non-Obstructing Heater (NOH). Throughout the development process, every department in the company plays a role, resulting in strong collaborations that continue to push our team's capabilities.
We realize that creating an environment where creativity thrives is critical to our company and our customers' success. Our culture fosters innovation throughout by encouraging all employees to improve processes at Hydro-Thermal with Continuous Improvement projects. These events allow our employees to get out of their daily routines, brainstorm with individuals from other departments, and tackle obstacles head-on. These projects can be anything from finding a better way to organize a work area to improving our ticket process for addressing customer needs. Also, employees are encouraged to submit company or product improvement ideas via a streamlined online portal, which is reviewed by a committee, that helps implement these suggestions.
Fueling our innovation is our strategic research partnerships with people outside our building, our customers. Leading Midwestern universities, research associations, and independent R&D engineering firms all play a role in challenging our fluid heating specialists. The Hydro-Thermal Partners in Technology program facilitates improvements and enhancements to current products, as well as and inspires new product development.
Hydro-Thermal is exceptionally proud of the mentoring we do with the next generation by partnering with the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) programs for Wisconsin students. Hydro-Thermal has a long-standing relationship with area schools, even being recognized as the 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 Waukesha community's future.
Since 1934 Hydro-Thermal has held patents on our steam heating technology. A harbinger of innovation, Hydro-Thermal currently holds more than a dozen active patents that are registered in multiple foreign countries. We also have four patents pending on new heater technologies, and are named in over 40 process patents. Our products are specified in systems developed by leading system integrators and are tied to over 60 of these off-shoot product patents.