Versatile steam heating solutions for global needs
Although Hydro-Thermal was already an experienced exporter, the company chose to take part in the ExporTech™ Program, delivered in partnership by WEDC and the Wisconsin Center for Manufacturing and Productivity, for guidance in developing a targeted export strategy. Hydro-Thermal was launching a new product, the SilverLine™ Smart Cooking System, which uses direct steam injection to heat soups, sauces, and other foods. Providing precise temperature control, it can cook continuously for weeks at a time. As a result of completing ExporTech, Hydro-Thermal identified the United Kingdom and South Korea as promising export markets for its new product, and has since sold one of the units in the UK and is renting one to a Korean company. Because of its success in adapting its exporting strategy to the company’s changing product lines and market needs, Hydro-Thermal received a Governor’s Export Achievement Award (administered by WEDC) in 2016—its second time receiving the award, which it had also received in 2011.
Roots in the paper and pulp industry
With roots tracing back to the Fox Valley paper mills of the early 1900s, Hydro-Thermal has been at the forefront of developing and manufacturing direct steam injection technology for more than 80 years. In 1934, company founders collaborated with chief engineers at Kimberly-Clark to create its first Hydroheater™, which mixes steam and process liquids to deliver consistent temperature and instantaneous heating to its application. Since Wisconsin led the production of pulp and paper at this time in history, Hydro-Thermals Hydroheaters were solely used to support the industry until the 1960s. Over time, the Waukesha-based company adapted its technology to serve additional industries, including ethanol, starch, food and beverage, water heating and meat processing. With the advancement of its Hydroheater technology for diverse applications, the company has been able to expand its reach globally, serving companies in more than 85 countries across six continents.