The warmth of the past few days makes it hard to believe that summer is long gone and winter is quickly approaching. Our memories of beach days and backyard BBQs are starting to fade. We can all think back to sweltering summer days when all you wanted was an ice cold drink—but all you had was a room temperature 24 pack.
Blue Quench started as a way to rapidly chill beverages by circulating ice cold water around each bottle or can. The Empire team took the clients vision from idea to a fully functioning prototype. Engineers and model makers worked hand in hand on the
design and function of this unit by both sourcing and prototyping each component. In testing, this device was able to cool 3 drawers of room temperature beverages to a chilling 34 deg Fahrenheit in about 5 minutes.
The complexity of Blue Quench’s electronics posed a number challenges. Many of our previous projects involved simple electronics but nothing of this caliber; however, here at Empire, we look at uncharted territory as an opportunity to be more proficient. The completed unit integrated various types of relays, solenoids, limit sensors, water level sensors, RGB LEDs, and coded Arduino boards.
Bringing Blue Quench To Life
The Blue Quench unit was modeled completely in Solidworks. Sheet metal parts were used to create the folded stainless steel front faces as well as the many bent polycarbonate pieces (these make up the majority of the inner components: drawer bodies, drainage passages, water tank, etc.). Flat patterns from the computer model were created, cut, and bent in house.
Hobby sized FDM printers were used to create the mechanisms that would be incorporated inside of the unit. Each part was then tested, refined, and reprinted using stronger materials in the RP department.
All testing took place in house. Each part of the system was tested individually to prove out the concept before being incorporated into a single functioning unit. This helped to minimize revisions. Final testing of the unit’s function was also done in house with the customer present to ensure the product’s performance met/exceeded expectations.