The brief for this project came from a manufacturer of energy-saving monitoring and control products. They have developed a method of reducing the energy used in commercial refrigerators by using a bottle containing wax which has the same thermal properties as common foods.
Inserted into this bottle is a thermocouple probe that measures the core temperature of the wax and can therefore provide a simulated measurement of the temperature of the food inside the refrigerator. The refrigerator's compressor is normally controlled by a thermostat that activates the cooling cycle when the air temperature rises too much, for example when the door is opened. While the air temperature may rise rapidly in this instance, the temperature of the food takes longer to rise. The probe is linked to the refrigerator compressor and controls it so that it only activates when the temperature of the wax rises above the required level, instead of just the air temperature. The compressor is therefore activated less often, saving energy and still maintaining the correct food temperature levels.
The client asked Hillside to develop two bottle sizes with a tooling option for interchangeable branding. The parts were modelled in CAD and prototyped using our 3D printing facilities. 2D control drawings were prepared and issued along with the 3D data to the toolmaker. Hillside maintained a close liaison with the toolmaker and moulder during tool design, build and trials through to full production.