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Optimal comfort at lower energy cost

Challenge
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.
Achilles has taken care of the usability, assembly, modularity, design, prototyping and supervision of the pre-production, up to and including the production of the injection molds.
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.
Product architecture

Modularity

The 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.
Digital design
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.
Engineering
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.
The result
Dynamx substantially simplified the installation and the activation of each component in itself as well as the entire system. This was achieved through an integrated approach and carefull design of every relevant element (e.g. snap system, position indicator, accompanying app, etc.)

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Have you ever slept in a beehive before?

Challenge

Stackable sleeping cells that resemble a beehive

Aiming 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”.
Approach

Imagining and designing the honeycomb hotel

The 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 comfort

Festival 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 prototypes

Prototypes were used throughout the whole design process. From early verification in carboard to full-scale, fully functional wooden B-AND-BEE’S.
The result
Winning a prestigious Henry Van De Velde Label 2015, B-AND-BEE is effectively a way to attend festivals and sleep comfortably and safely. Introducing B-AND-BEE, a mobile, modular and stackable sleeping cell that contains an experience like no other.
It was nice to get these prototypes into real-life situations such as the Gentse Feesten and test them with actual festival visitors.

Raf Schoors

Industrial Design
A lot of effort went into the mechanical aspects: designing to meet standards and regulations to deliver a high-quality and safe prototype.

Tim Ruytjens

Industrial Design

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Cleaning polluted air with moss

Challenge

A modular moss panel that removes PM from the air

BESIX 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.
System architecture

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 moss

The 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.
Pilot project

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.
Digital design

Natural moss with IoT technology

The 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.
The result
The first pilot project with 45m² of moss is up and running. Close monitoring of the moss itself and the measurement of PM concentration will provide us with valuable information to optimize the design for future industrial upscaling. This project was subsidized by the Brussels-Capital Region Innoviris.

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Focus on Smart Safety

Challenge
Iristick wanted to create a pair of smart safety glasses for industrial use. It was imperative that the glasses were fully Safety Certified, passing strict regulations. The other unique selling points that Iristick wanted to bring to market included a powerful high-resolution zoom lens; they also wanted to leverage the computing power of smartphones rather than any possible onboard processing power, besides adjustable temples, and fully adjustable displays.
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.
System design

Specifications become tangible

First of all, we had to create a comfortable pair of glasses, which the end user was willing to wear during an 8-hour work shift. In order to develop the wearing comfort, prototyping played a very important role in this project from the very beginning.
Engineering

World's first 3D printed safety glasses

The 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.

User comfort through patented technology

Stability of the display proved to be one of the most important details. We came up with a new type of mechanical joint for the display arm. This patented mechanism enables the user to put the display where they want it without worrying that it’s going to move while they are working.
The result
The end result is a Red Dot Award winning, lightweight, and comfortable pair of smartglasses that are also the world’s first 3D printed, fully Safety-Certified glasses. Iristick’s smart glasses transform the way operators work. The powerful zoom lens can scan barcodes from two meters distance, and the user can involve remote experts by sharing camera pictures and having a conversation. Voice commands or hand gestures allow the user to interact with his glasses.
We saw the immense potential of smart glasses that could meet the needs of an industrial environment. Achilles helped us to bring this idea to become an innovative and unique product.

Riemer Grootjans

CTO Iristick

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Security as a design driver

Challenge
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.
Product Architecture

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.
Mechanical Design

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.
Engineering

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.
The result
The result is a product that once again meets the high Worldline standards. For this reason, it was awarded both a Red Dot Design Award & an iF Award.

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All-in-one sun protection system

Challenge

One system, one family

The 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.
User-centered design

Easy to install

Observations 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 process

Our 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.
Mechanical Design

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.

A dream for architects. Rewarded by a jury of experts.

Apart from its versatility, the product stands out with a very clean, pure, compact and timeless design. Its clean lines and hidden screws, make the product blend easily in every building style from classic to modern. These functional and aesthetical qualities were quickly noticed by the experts in the field. In 2016 Z&R magazine rewarded the VZ-family as product of the year. 2 years later, it was one of the three nominees for the “Innovation Price” at R+T 2018, world’s leading trade fair for roller shutters, doors/gates and sun protection systems.  
Engineering

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
The result
The results is a complete product family with a pure and minimalistic look, is straightforward to produce and easy to assemble. The basic system is also easy expandable with different options such as different support structures, LED lighting, additional screens (AIR)... but most important: it works great! even after 10.000 times of opening and closing. The VZ-range is like a Swiss army knife: it offers a solution for every need.

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Speed and quality in a league of its own

Challenge

Blending usability with performance

Xeikon 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.
User-centered design

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!
User-centered design

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.
Styling

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.
 
Engieering

God is in the details, even on the inside.

Beautiful designs can only shine if the finishing is impeccable. That’s why we developed the sheet metal casings up to the very last detail. It is the best way to make the initial design intend come true, without compromises and continue the style everywhere even on the inside of the doors.
The result
The Xeikon CX500 is a new landmark in the digital printing industry. It’s a machine that company owners like to show off and operators love to work with!

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