Rinnai America Corp. announces a new innovation initiative that will drive product advancements for the U.S. and Canadian markets. With this new direction, Ray VanAssche has been promoted to vice president of innovation, a new department that combines engineering and product management.

The new Innovation Department will enable the engineering  and product management teams to collaborate on the product road map and generate leading ideas and solutions for existing and new markets.

“For years, Rinnai America Corp. has adapted Rinnai Japan products for the North American market," Rinnai COO Frank Windsor said. "With a recent shift in strategy to be the product and technology leader in North America, promoting Ray will allow us to meet this goal. His proven track record of market-leading product development, leadership and progressive ideation will set Rinnai up for continued success.

"Our vision is enhancing lives by changing the way water is heated. Becoming the leader in product innovation in North America will strengthen our commitment to the water heating industry and dedication to our customers.”

VanAssche has an extensive background working with market-leading, innovating organizations such as General Motors, Tesla Motors and The Coca-Cola Company.

“I am proud and truly honored to lead Rinnai America’s highly talented product management and product development teams," VanAssche said. "This new role provides a unique opportunity to address market needs by integrating best-in-class products with innovative solutions which positively impact consumers’ lives.”

This strategy aligns well with the timeline for Rinnai’s new 300,000-square-foot facility in Griffin, Georgia, which is slated for completion in Q4 of 2020. Rinnai will produce both residential and commercial products at the new manufacturing site. Rinnai began the first phase of its manufacturing journey in a temporary facility in Griffin, Georgia, earlier this year. The facility produced its first tankless water heater on April 4 and has consistently exceeded production and quality goals since then.

In addition, Rinnai’s new North American headquarters grand opening is planned for September 2018. The new North America Innovation and Training Center construction will start once the new headquarters is opened.

For more information on Rinnai and its portfolio of products, visit rinnai.us.