A maker of direct-injection steam heaters has won the 2010 Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year Grand Award in the small-company category of one to 99 employees. Hydro-Thermal Corp. in Waukesha, Wis., was recognized for innovative product research, development and engineering over the last 45 years. The company’s steam-injection technology often can be a replacement for other process heating technology such as heat exchangers.

"It is a little company [but] a leader in the heat exchange industry," says John Emory, Jr., one of the judges who represented the financial sector. "The judges were very impressed with the high degree of specifications in the research and development, as well as the high caliber of their engineering."

Hydro-Thermal, which sells into 45 countries, focuses on several industries, including food, beverage, pulp and paper, biofuel and chemical.

For 23 years, the Manufacturer of the Year program in Wisconsin has recognized manufacturers of all sizes and industries for their contributions. Winners were selected by an independent panel of judges representing industry, education and the public sector.