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Design Fusion

Cence Power Case Study

Design Fusion

At A Glance

Demand Controlled Ventilation, Low-Voltage DC Power Distribution, Differential Pressure and Temperature Monitoring, Digital Twin Software, Wireless RF Mesh Network for IoT Devices
Canarm Inline HVAC Blower, Belimo Damper Actuator, Multiple HP Jet Fusion Pro 3D Printers, Differential Pressure Sensors, Thermistors
Cence LV Suite, Sensors, the Cence App
Cherishome Living
Design Fusion 3D Printing Lab
Commercial - Multi-Tenant
Toronto, Ontario
July 2020
CapEx: roughly 50%, OpEx: roughly 70%
Design Fusion

About the Client

Additive manufacturing brings digital flexibility and efficiency to manufacturing operations, and Design Fusion is making additive adoption easy.

  • Design Fusion is a leading Siemens PLM reseller, and their 3D Printing Lab is an additive manufacturing facility
  • The Design Fusion 3D Printing Lab is also one of Cherishome's tenants
  • Cherishome is a major developer that's worked with the Cence team on other projects. Cherishome was founded in 1981, when its founder purchased an apartment building in North York, Ontario
  • Cherishome owns over a dozen rental buildings in Canada, as well as nine communities and 2100+ suites in the United States

Vincent Adinkrah, Energy Storage Solutions Engineer, had this to say about the team at Design Fusion: 

"No simulations task is too small or too complex...the Engineering Team brings their knowledge of multiple industries, materials, NX Simulations and Flow FD to ensure the uniqueness associated with all simulations are kept front and center." - Vincent Adinkrah - SPS
Design Fusion

The Challenge

Design Fusion was experiencing problems with the air extraction system for their printers, and this was slowing their printers down, so they contacted Cence to help them improve the uptime of their printers. In order to optimize the printers' operation, the real challenge was to maintain a constant, specific pressure level at the outlet of the printers' exhaust.

Design Fusion also wanted the ability to connect a central exhaust system to multiple printers, and improve the efficiency of this system. To do this, they needed to be able to monitor and automate fan speeds to minimize fan power consumption.

Air quality is another important factor that contributes to how efficient an air extraction system will be, so they also wanted to be able to monitor the air quality in their space. They wanted to ensure that these controls could also be automated so that energy output of their HVAC system could be increased or decreased depending on the ventilation demand. This would take some of the workload off of the HVAC system itself.

Cence Power's system provides solutions to all of these problems, while additionally enabling Design Fusion to control the automations related to these systems on one cloud-based app. This app (the Cence App) has integrated digital twin software that makes controlling and automating Design Fusion's devices, intuitive.

A Short Summary of the Challenge: 
  • Improve uptime of 3D printers. 
  • Precisely control and monitor pressure at the exhaust of the printer. 
  • Monitor air quality. 
  • Automate the HVAC system based on pressure and air quality readings. 
  • Monitor and control everything on a web based dashboard.

The Solution

Based on the client’s request, our team at Cence determined that Cence LVDC (low-voltage direct current) DC power distribution panel, wireless sensors, and the Cence App (digital twin software) would be the ideal solution to monitor and automate Design Fusion's HVAC system and improve the uptime of their printers. This system provides direct current (DC) power to the DC device that needs it (the Belimo actuator). By providing this device directly with the DC power it needs, inefficient AC to DC conversions are eliminated.

The wireless sensors we used: 
  • IEQ Sensor - (Indoor Environmental Air Quality) sensor: The IEQ sensor enables the client to monitor air quality, temperature, humidity in the room, and more. Data collected from the IEQ sensor can be used to verify leaks in the exhaust system by monitoring VOC (volatile organic compounds) content around the printer.
  • Pressure Sensor - The pressure sensor allows the client to monitor the pressure and air temperature inside of the air extraction system, and at the 3D printer outlets.

The Cence App brings the system and data together by allowing all of the collected data to be visualized and tracked over time. With the Cence App, Design Fusion can also monitor, control and automate all of the devices powered by the Cence panel, giving them much more control over their HVAC system’s power consumption and efficiency.

The technology and Cence products we used to achieve Design Fusion's results include:
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Icon of wireless sensor
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The combination of these Cence products provides these additional benefits (and more): 

  • The smart nodes that are a part of the system (and create a wireless mesh network), enable the Cence system to optimize fan speeds, and reduce energy consumption
  • All actuators (ex. electric motors) use only a single cable to carry power and control data, saving 50% on wiring and installation costs
  • Wireless air quality sensors push wiring costs down further by eliminating the need for extra power cable
  • DC power distribution provides DC devices with the DC power they need

Devices Connected to the Cence System: 
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Icon of a 3D printer printing a ball
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By integrating these devices with indoor environmental quality (IEQ) sensors, occupancy sensors, and our digital twin software, we enabled Design Fusion to monitor, control and automate their HVAC system and printers based on real-time sensor data. This allows Design Fusion to optimize energy consumption, as well as equipment performance.

Deployment Photos

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The Results

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Automation and energy savings

The Cence system essentially took various pieces of low-cost HVAC equipment that are not natively intelligent, and turned them into “smart devices”. These devices can now be automated, with features like demand controlled ventilation, to save energy.

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Improved equipment uptime and energy savings

Cence improved the uptime of Design Fusion's printers, and made them more efficient, enabling their facility to be more productive.

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Reduced cable costs

All actuators (ex. electric motors) use only a single cable to carry power and control data, saving 50% on wiring and installation costs. Wireless air quality sensors push wiring costs down further by eliminating the need for extra power cable.

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Intuitive control

With the Cence App and digital twin software, HVAC systems and equipment can easily be controlled in real-time.

Financial Results

50% Capital Expenditure Savings
  • A standard pressure control system would have required complex integrations, and the use of higher cost HVAC equipment with smart features. Cence Power's products were used collectively, as part of a system, to achieve the same (or better) results, when compared to what a standard pressure control system would have provided
  • Less cost for controls
  • Less wiring costs
70% Savings in Operational Costs
  • Connection of the Cence Digital Current™ System to their HVAC systems and printers is mainly where these savings come from
  • New ability to precisely control fan speeds (demand controlled ventilation). This is enabled by real-time data collection, and our building control and automation system (the Cence App). Without these technologies, the client would not be able to automate their air extraction system based on their specific pressure requirements
  • Design Fusion now has historical records of air pressure and temperature at the 3D printer's outlets (can be used for validating warranty claims and service requests)

All in all, we implemented demand controlled ventilation, Power over Ethernet (PoE)/DC power distribution, differential pressure and temperature monitoring, digital twin software, and a wireless RF mesh network for IoT devices. Ultimately, since the implementation of our system, Design Fusion has been able to save energy costs, reduce emissions, improve the uptime of their printers, and optimize the efficiency and performance of their air extraction system.

the Cence Power team, Bolis, Sagar, Will and Bill

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