The innovative dynamx™ control valves regulate energy flow to bring the right amount of energy to the right place at the precise time. Water supply (warm and cold) is continually adjusted to maintain the preferred comfort level in each room. Energy is conserved in this way, by using only the necessary amount of water. Consumption and energy performance can also be tracked by room or floor, and alarms can be automatically triggered in the event of a problem.
Common design language
As is ease-of-use for both installer and operator, the design is also a breakthrough in the industry. The blue ripples on the surface reflect the function of both water and energy waves. Attention is drawn to the utilitarian value more than to the logo, although its sleek and clean design is still refreshing to the technical world.
ModularityThe product line includes a motor and sensor unit, to be used independently or in combination with one another. Both are modular so they may be configured in function of application: with or without built-in displays, the input of additional external sensors, or wireless communication to read the field data. The dynamx valve is available in different flow ranges in order to enable optimal sizing. Our dynamx valves are designed to accurately control the flow through each consumer. All dynamx valves can be integrated smoothly into each Building Management Systems or they can also be implemented as stand-alone devices.
We also designed dxLink™, an associated application that greatly simplifies installation and maintenance. It allows remote commissioning and/or re-commissioning for the Dynamx-units. Thereby the commissioning of the Dynamx-unit does not require intervention on site, but can be executed in a central site/location.
Modularity with the least possible number of injection molded parts and to be linked to standard purchasing parts (such as engines and a large variety of valves). Cost saving is a very important theme since contracts very often come through public procurement.
Stackable sleeping cells that resemble a beehiveAiming at providing festival visitors with a unique experience relating to their overnight stay, the social enterprises Compaan and Labeur imagined a concept of a stackable sleeping cell that resembled a beehive. They decided to join forces with Achilles Design after being selected for an innovation subsidy. The design team of Achilles Design then then began a full year of development, prototyping and testing to develop “The Honeycomb Hotel”.
Imagining and designing the honeycomb hotelThe design project kicked off by interviewing focus groups of festival visitors. Achilles Design then translated their expectations, needs and wishes into accommodation concepts. After consulting a vast number of stakeholders, including those responsible for safety regulation, we were able to work out an attractive accommodation concept that was both pleasant and compliant with the required safety and regulation standards for festivals
Trading your tent for more safety and comfortFestival visitors are increasingly interested in trading their tent for a more comfortable and safer accommodation. B-AND-BEE offers a mobile, modular and stackable system, thereby delivering a unique user experience.
Prototyping and testing
Wooden prototypesPrototypes were used throughout the whole design process. From early verification in carboard to full-scale, fully functional wooden B-AND-BEE’S.
A modular moss panel that removes PM from the airBESIX Group, the largest Belgian multidisciplinary construction group, joins the battle against air pollution in urban environments. Academic research indicates a high potential for natural moss to remove PM (particulate matter) from polluted air. BESIX Group contacted Achilles to work out a solution that takes advantage of this promising natural phenomenon. A modular system consisting of active panels was conceived which can be installed on wall next to congested roads, tunnel exits, construction sites,…
After testing a variety of irrigation and ventilation principles, Achilles Design created the system layout, designed the product and engineered the complete system. For a pilot project, several panel modules were assembled in-house and installed at a construction site in Leiden.
Creating the optimal climate for the moss.Only if the moss is kept in good shape, its full air-filtering potential can be unlocked. Elaborate experimenting and testing identified the optimal substrate, irrigation and ventilation. During this process Achilles Design converted the academic knowledge into a practical biosystem solution.
Building a system around the mossThe overall system architecture has a major impact, not only regarding the product cost but also with respect to performance, the ease of maintenance, modularity, durability, etc. That’s why we systematically considered different approaches of subsystem decentralization, component layouts and materialization.
Bringing ideas to a real life situation.Quite early in the development, we had the opportunity to build an actual first pilot project in Leiden. The short timeframe forced us to make quick decisions and immediately bring ideas to reality, combining off-the-shelf solutions with a first production batch.
Natural moss with IoT technologyThe moss wall is packed with sensors to monitor all relevant parameters: the humidity of the moss, the PM concentration of incoming (= polluted) and outgoing (= filtered) air, temperature, etc. Through an online platform, we were able to manage irrigation and ventilation regimes and monitor the effect on the performance of the moss wall.
We transformed the client’s early specifications into a concept design through sketches, CAD, and early mock-ups, thereby translating the specific safety eyewear requirements into a light and comfortable design. During the whole process, we challenged every design idea against the end user’s needs as well as production requirements.
World's first 3D printed safety glassesThe challenge was to design a product that combines lightweight comfort with high-tech performance, and to enable efficient larger-volume production. 3D-printing was chosen as the production method of the main body for these exact reasons. Our design allowed Iristick to go to market 8-12 months earlier than with traditional injection molded parts.
At the very core of Worldline is security and at the heart of their secure data flow sits Adyton: the Hardware Security Module or HSM. Adyton contains the software keys that are needed for decoding all kinds of encrypted information. Because this product contains very valuable information, high-end security is crucial. In this project, the challenge was to design a device that excels in security and performance (e.g. heat management) without any compromise.
Achilles defined the product architecture, followed by the mechanical design with the ideal match between protection, heat management and design for assembly. This project delivered a solution where technology, functionality, aesthetics and ease of use truly go hand-in-hand.
Protective layers keep intruders out, but the heat inside.To protect the product from being cooked inside its own skin, heat dispersion became one of the key factors in the design process. In the end, the inner module was so well secured, it was even impossible for the heat to escape. This specific topic required various design iterations, simulations and testing. An elaborate system of heat pipes, penetrating every protective layer proved to be the most feasible solution.
Form followed function. And vice versa.Technology and aesthetics went hand-in-hand in this project. The heat management defined the form and the form defined the component layout. The outer casing, entirely made out of milled aluminum, resulted in a high-end aesthetic, with a lot of respect for the quality of the material and attention to details.
Performance, aesthetics and production.Close collaboration with the suppliers allowed us to deliver a mature design that was optimized in both performance, aesthetics and efficiency in production. We optimized every component to ensure a smooth manufacturing and flawless assembly process.
One system, one familyThe construction business becomes more complex every day and architectural designs often create challenging window applications. For sun protection systems, being able to respond to every building situation is the key. The challenge here was to create a custom solution for every need… with one system. That’s what Harol clients really want.
Achilles took care of the product design, prototyping, engineering and validation of the entire product portfolio of the VZ family. By creating two base products – each with distinctly different options – the number of combinations and various application possibilities became almost endless. A clear focus on modularity was crucial. But also the possibility to expand the basic set-up with different options was an important part of the development.
Easy to installObservations and interviews with trained installers helped us to define the most difficult, error-sensitive or time-consuming operations during the installation process. With that knowledge in mind, we designed a new product with a very straightforward installation process. All important technical components are easily accessible from the top of the product. This offers many advantages during installation and after-sales service. The prototypes that we produced in-house helped us to visualize and verify this new workflow. This led to getting the crucial feedback from technicians, installers, marketeers, etc. that made the design a success.
Virtual reality in the design processOur partner Aeroplane helped us experience the product in true size, in a representative environment. Thanks to VR, designers and product managers could easily switch between configurations, materials and colors in seconds. This would be impossible in real life, or with illustrations on paper. At the same time, VR offered unique opportunities to visualize the mechanics and interactions between the parts. This can become a very useful training tool for installers to quickly gather insights in the construction and possibilities of the system.
Thinking of the big picture, while designing the details.Designing a system is much more complicated than a single product. It requires a specific approach. The most difficult part is that every decision you make in the design on component level, can have an influence on the entire system. That's why it's crucial to keep the global picture with all its possibilities in mind, while you are working on the details. Good visualizations, 3D-CAD models and rapid prototypes can help to illustrate how all the different elements interact with each other. With a limited but intelligently balanced package of components, it's possible to build a complete range of products with a wide variety of dimensions and application situations.
When the design is finished, the real work begins.As you cannot verify everything in a 3D CAD model, a lot of effort went to real life verification. Multiple iterations of rapid prototypes, milled parts and first production batches were assembled to test, optimize and verify the design
Blending usability with performanceXeikon developed a new digital label press that packs speed, versatility and quality like no other. Its top speed of 30 m/min makes the Xeikon CX3 the most productive 5-colour digital label press in its class. It is therefore, to some extent, a class of its own. This machine needed a top-class casing that reflects the state-of-the-art inside. That’s where Achilles came into the picture.
Achilles designed the casing and supporting frame of these machines. Through user-centered design, we gathered valuable insights to optimize the installation and workflow. We created a new look-and-feel that matches with the overall Xeikon style and engineered the casing and frame for mass production.
Changing the architecture of a device can save you installation time (and money).By designing a completely new frame and rethinking the installation scenario (with some sophisticated engineering) we substantially simplified the setup, requiring less fine-tuning in the field. Setting up the frame and casing can now be done almost twice as fast!
Integrated interface taken to the next level!Operators don’t sit at their desk all day. They walk around the production hall, performing numerous tasks. Therefore, we embedded the most crucial feedback elements (machine status and toner status) in the design so they are visible through the entire production hall.
A symbolic representation of the printing process.The characteristic color break on the Xeikon machines is more than cosmetic. The light grey color resembles unprinted paper, where the red color resembles toner/ink. So when you look at the machine, you actually "see" the color being applied to the medium.
Clearly a member of the family.Over the years we have helped Xeikon to create many breakthrough innovations. We’ve created machines that each have a strong personality but share a style that is unique in the market. Of course we were very proud to once again be their preferred partner in the development and design of this revolutionary machine.