HOTSET | Plant Layout, Energy Audit
Hotset was founded in Germany in 1973 to design and manufacture heating elements. In the early 2000s, they began to expand internationally, eventually opening locations in 6 countries around the world. Hotset America was opened in 2010 in Vermont under the leadership of David Cieslica, president and managing director.
Within a short period, the company had outgrown the facility in Vermont and started looking for a new site. Cieslica and his team worked with the World Economic Development Alliance to find the right fit for their company. After visiting many potential locations, they chose to move to Swainsboro, a small town in Southeast Georgia. They closed the Hotset Vermont office at noon on a Friday and re-opened at 8:00am on Monday morning in Georgia.
Cieslica’s strategic plan for the new operation included diversifying Hotset’s product lines. He found an opportunity to manufacture control cabinets for an industrial machinery company that had previously been making the cabinets internally.
Hotset was ready to expand due to the additional product line. They contacted the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP) at Georgia Tech to help them design an efficient plant layout.
Alan Barfoot, GaMEP Central Georgia Region Manager, met with Cieslica and discussed the new needs of the company. He studied the current layout and also visited one of Hotset’s clients to see the process that they used to manufacture the cabinets. He worked with Cieslica to develop a plan for the new layout and then brought in a co-op student to draw the new plan using Auto-CAD software.
To further improve the facility’s efficiency, Randy Green, GaMEP Project Manager, completed an energy assessment and provided recommendations to lower energy use. He provided Hotset with an analysis of savings and approximate payback periods based on initial investment.
Hotset was able to successfully begin producing control cabinets using the new plan and has worked with Barfoot and the GaMEP to assist with additional expansion since that time.
Since beginning their work with the GaMEP, Hotset has:
- Expanded from a 6,000 sq. ft. facility into a 30,000 sq. ft. facility
- Successfully grown into the new facility, hiring an additional 43 employees
- Converted to an LED lighting system with a three year payback period, lowering energy use by 3,240 kW-hrs per year
“When we moved to Swainsboro, we were looking for a small community that we could grow with. With the help of the GaMEP and other resources provided by the Swainsboro-Emanuel County Chamber of Commerce and Joint Development Authority, we have been able to grow and successfully manufacture a new product for our company.” —David Cieslica