FuzeHub Helps Centrotherm Eco Systems with Additive Manufacturing & Sustainability
Centrotherm Eco Systems, LLC is an Albany-based manufacturer of pipes and fittings for flue gasventing. The company’s InnoFlue® products are made of environmentally-friendly thermal plastics and used with high-efficiency gas and oil-fired appliances in commercial and residential structures.
Centrotherm does not have 3D printers at its U.S. facility, but wanted to use additive manufacturing to produce quick-turn, high-quality, cost-effective prototypes. Company founder Martin Wawrla and Vice President of Operations Joel Dzekciorios attended the halfday FuzeHub Solutions Forum with these goals in mind:
- Learning about available 3D printing resources
- Meeting with business and technology experts
- Evaluating outsourcing of additive manufacturing
After connecting with Regional Technology Development Center for the Hudson Valley Region (HVTDC) and with the Hudson Valley Advanced Manufacturing Center (HVAMC) at the forum, Centrotherm agreed to work with both these organizations. To meet the manufacturer’s requirements for prototype parts, HVTDC’s engineering group reviewed the manufacturer’s data files and submitted them to the HVAMC for 3D printing. HVAMC then used 3D printers to create prototypes made of various plastic materials, including polycarbonate, nylon and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS).
HVAMC prototyped several different types of parts, and Centrotherm was impressed with both the speed and the turnaround times. In meeting the Albany manufacturer’s technical and business needs, HVAMC delivered high-quality, cost-effective prototypes that met the flue-gas temperature requirements and featured a smooth, clean finish that did not require post-processing.
Centrotherm’s connection to NYS2PI at the FuzeHub Solutions Forum also delivered strong results. NYS2PI performed both a streamlined life cycle assessment and a high-level risk management assessment, including risk response, for InnoFlue® ducting as compared to polyvinyl chloride (PVC) venting. Based on the results of this study, Centrotherm anticipates an increase in total sales and the addition of over 20 new jobs to support increased manufacturing at its Albany facility
“We wanted a faster, more cost-effective way to prototype parts. What we got back from HVAMC were almost like finished parts. Now we’re getting the test parts we need without the large capital investment in additive manufacturing equipment. Thank you, FuzeHub and HVTDC.” — Joel Dzekciorios, Centrotherm Eco Systems, Vice President of Operations