Featured in HVACsource

Canadian Ingenuity Perfects Residential Air Quality Using IoT Monitoring   

Burnaby, BC, Canada – July 9, 2020 – British Columbia’s high tech sector is fueling a growing industrial base for innovative solutions and opportunities within Canada. Supported by strong and diverse electronics manufacturing, BC is now known for more than its natural resources. Vancouver’s TZOA and Burnaby-based Dorigo Systems are examples of forward thinking companies collaborating together to bring innovative products to market and fuelling BC’s growth within the high tech sector. TZOA is redefining how residential indoor air quality is monitored and managed, vastly improving daily life.

“We spend on average 90% of our time indoors in spaces that are heated or cooled for our comfort,” says Kevin Hart, President of TZOA. “These indoor spaces often consume a lot of energy and contain potentially harmful pollution levels that directly impact our health and well-being.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a more intense use of a typical home and most installed residential air control systems are not designed to keep up with this sort of use. “Peace of mind in breathing the cleanest air in your home is now at the forefront for most property owners. The better the air we breathe, the better off all of us will be.”

TZOA focuses on controlling indoor air quality throughout the entire home by adding a layer of intelligence to residential HVAC systems. Their solution is HAVEN, an Internet of Things (IoT) monitoring system that uses artificial intelligence to empower residential users with the ability to control their own indoor environment. The HAVEN whole home central air monitoring solution was launched in 2018 and is designed to leverage the efficiencies of cloud computing and IoT to properly monitor and control indoor air quality where it needs to be – in the air duct. HAVEN monitors air pollution levels to understand what activities need to be taken for more ventilation and filtration in our homes.

Partnering with the right electronics manufacturing services (EMS) provider was critical to TZOA’s growth. Working locally with Dorigo Systems turned out to be the best option for TZOA’s design team, as time between iterations was vastly improved. The team didn’t need to wait weeks to receive prototypes from overseas to see if they “got it right”. Instead, establishing a ‘belly to belly’ relationship with a local EMS provider was preferred.  

“Bringing HAVEN to market required the creation of prototypes to validate design with professional production runs,” states Hart, “and we also needed the ability to ramp up manufacturing of our monitors as our solution was embraced by the market.” 

Dorigo facilitated onsite tours from potential investors and HVAC suppliers to view how HAVEN’s central air monitor was being prototyped to the highest standards and capabilities. “Dorigo Systems in Burnaby was the best fit for providing us with the strong manufacturing capabilities we were seeking along with a willingness to partner with us to bring HAVEN to market,” says Vlad Lavrovsky, CTO at TZOA. “When you are in start up mode it is difficult for a small company to build PCBAs when you are focusing on designing the technology platform,” states Lavrovsky. “Dorigo Systems’ ability to iterate on the circuit board and dial-in all of the settings upfront gave us a critical advantage.”

The HAVEN whole home air monitoring system uses a PCBA with a unique shape and length which presented a number of design challenges for TZOA. “The bow and twist of the PCB impacted yield and strain on solder joints,” states Lavrovsky. “We also had to refactor the design by moving parts inward to reduce strain and displacement.”

The HAVEN PCBA’s were inspected using Dorigo Systems’ Koh Young KY8030-3 Solder Paste Inspection System (SPI) and 3D AOI system providing true automated optical inspection. This system detects all kinds of potential assembly defects using patented shadow-free 3D vision technology.

“When it comes to building high-precision electronics, there is no margin for error, states Paul Vasvary, Business Development Manager, Dorigo Systems. “We continue to adapt our electronics manufacturing processes and technologies to achieve close to zero defects while ensuring a seamless customer experience.”

Dorigo’s automated SMT assembly equipment includes high-speed Panasonic multi-functional pick and place machines that can place chips as small as 01005 and can handle a broad range of components with lead pitch as small as 0.3mm, including micro BGA, BGA, CSP, LGA, FN, QFP and other odd-form packages such as connectors as large as 150mm in length. “Dorigo has provided us with flawless execution in manufacturing our boards,” states TZOA’s Lavrovsky.

As demand continues to rise, TZOA leans towards Dorigo Systems’ local supply chain and new world-class industry 4.0 manufacturing facility located in Burnaby’s Glenlyon Business Park to ensure strong and stable growth.

“Using Dorigo’s turnkey capabilities will enable us to scale more gracefully over time,” says Hart. “It’s the best combination of the right team and the right manufacturing.” Dorigo’s turnkey agreements are flexible and enable companies to benefit from the company’s purchasing power and the ability to quickly optimize all steps of the process.

TZOA Haven LR

TZOA's HAVEN Home Monitoring System