Jun 27, 2023

FenX: empowering sustainable building insulation

Alexis Leibbrandt

FenX, a spinoff from ETH Zurich, is transforming the insulation sector with their high-performance and sustainable insulation products. To support quality control, they use LoRa sensors to measure wall temperature and relative humidity and the akenza platform for real-time data collection, storage, and visualizations.

In today's society, sustainability is at the core of any new construction or building retrofitting project. From renewable energy to eco-friendly building materials, businesses are embracing innovative solutions to reduce their environmental impact. FenX, a spinoff from ETH Zürich, is transforming the insulation sector with their high-performance and sustainable insulation products.

In this article, we'll explore how FenX uses IoT in their product development and quality insurance process to develop innovative insulation materials for the building industry.

Transforming waste into high-performance insulation

FenX has developed a novel, highly scalable method of producing ultra-stable mineral foams using mineral waste from different sources. This method allows FenX to bring to the market, for the first time, insulation panels that are cost-effective, with a low carbon footprint, without compromising the thermal performance or the flammability.

FenX products make use of the largest mineral waste source in Switzerland: excavation material fines. This circular approach combined with a low-energy production process reduces the CO2 footprint by half compared to conventional insulation materials. Additionally, the FenX products are certified with the highest fire protection class (A1/RF1), have the lowest mineral foam densities and show the best thermo-mechanical performance.

Empowering quality control with IoT

Ensuring the quality and performance of insulation products is a key aspect of FenX's product development process. Hence, FenX's has streamlined their pilot project monitoring and gained valuable insights into their products' behavior (on-site/ in the final application) by analyzing their performances over time with the help of connected sensors.

More precisely, FenX uses LoRa sensors to measure temperature and relative humidity variations across the wall thickness, testing the effectiveness of their insulation technology. These sensors transmit the temperature and humidity measurements via LoRaWAN to the akenza IoT platform, allowing for real-time data collection and storage. The engineers can then remotely access the collected data, enabling them to perform comprehensive performance benchmarking and ensure their insulation materials meet their requirements.

Finally, the akenza platform provides built-in visualizations and reporting features, facilitating data analysis. The data can also be connected to third-party data analytics tools for further analysis.

Why FenX chose akenza

"akenza has been instrumental in the remote monitoring of our pilot projects. The low-code features of the platform enabled us to quickly register our sensors and benchmark our product’s performances, saving us time and resources."
- Enrico Scoccimarro, Co-founder, Chief Product Officer

FenX's decision to partner with akenza was driven by several key factors that align with their needs:

User-friendly interface: akenza's platform offers a user-friendly interface that makes it easy for FenX to manage their sensors and access their data effortlessly.

Cost-effectiveness and low maintenance: akenza provides a predictable and low-cost solution, ideal for FenX's requirements, particularly when managing a relatively small number of sensors.

Smooth onboarding process: akenza's low-code features and self-service capabilities allowed FenX to start using the platform for their product development and quality processes within days, without the need for extensive training or technical expertise.

Accelerating innovation and collaboration

By reducing technical complexity and empowering companies like FenX, akenza is accelerating the broader adoption of IoT technology, making it more accessible to businesses of all sizes.

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