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ResourcesCase StudiesCase Study: Aqua Logic Expands into New Markets With Help From Xometry
 An engineer at Aqua Logic TIG welding titanium fitting to a titanium coil.

Case Study: Aqua Logic Expands into New Markets With Help From Xometry

Learn how this aquatic chiller design firm took advantage of Xometry’s global supplier network to overcome local supply chain challenges, quickly scale, and expand its offerings to new customers.

A headshot picture of Nathaniel Miller
By Nathan Miller
March 5, 2024
 7 min read
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Industry:Manufacturing Services Utilized:Project Brief:Solution:
Industry:

Water Chillers and Titanium Heat Exchanger Manufacturing

Manufacturing Services Utilized:

CNC machining

Sheet metal fabrication

Project Brief:

Joel Eggart is the president of Aqua Logic, a 30+ year old Charlotte-based company that provides design and manufacturing services that keep aquatic environments safe for marine life. He needed to find a reliable, simple way to source CNC machined and sheet fabricated parts used in their products to serve existing and prospective customers more easily.

Solution:

Xometry’s easy-to-use quoting engine and reliable customer service helped Aqua Logic source precise metal parts, empowering them to grow their business and expand into new markets.  

In the modern world, we are surrounded by marvels of engineering that make what was once impossible possible. In modern life, we routinely encounter these marvels without asking ourselves, “How is this even possible?”


One of the things that we can take for granted is that there are many spaces where we are able to interact with wildlife outside of their natural habitat. While humans have domesticated land animals for a very long time, marine life has been kept separate from us for most of human history.


Now, organizations worldwide have created thousands of artificial aquatic environments around the world, serving industries like fishing, farming, research, and tourism – creating an urgent need to find technological solutions that will keep those marine environments healthy and safe for the wildlife that inhabits them.

Slide 1 of 1
Aqua Logic's brand logo.
Aqua Logic's brand logo.
Aqua Logic's brand logo.

Many of these organizations turn to Aqua Logic for a solution. Aqua Logic provides precision design and fabrication services for high-performance aquatic systems and components used by large-scale aquariums, aquaculture sites, hatcheries, hydroponic farms, and research facilities.

In January 2023, Aqua Logic came under new management when Joel Eggart, a 30 year veteran of the HVAC industry, partnered with his former roommate and long-time friend, Douglas Russell, current CEO of the Company. Eggart saw an opportunity to grow the business in exciting new directions while spending more time with his son, who is a mechanical engineer for Aqua Logic. 

His first challenge was location; When Eggart joined the company, it was based in San Diego, California, and Eggart had to relocate operations to Charlotte, North Carolina.


He would need to find a way to continue serving his customers and maintaining “business as usual” while balancing the logistics of a cross-country move.

Aqua Logic Relocates and Keeps Opportunities Flowing With Xometry

Recalling these transitions, Eggart explained how Xometry’s digital manufacturing marketplace relieved some of this pressure: “You guys have made my life much, much easier. Being new to Charlotte, I don't have an established supply base for machined parts or sheet metal. The beauty of [the Xometry network] is that you've already vetted all of the suppliers for me. Xometry has also helped him simplify his operations. There may be a good sheet metal supplier in the Charlotte area, but I would have to spend an exorbitant amount of time trying to find one of them.”

Slide 1 of 1
illustrations of Xometry's supply chain.
illustrations of Xometry's supply chain.
illustrations of Xometry's supply chain.

The  Aqua Logic team is among the 52,000 engineers and procurement professionals that use the Xometry Instant Quoting Engine® to instantly access the production capacity of over 10,000 manufacturers with wide-ranging capabilities and certifications across 46 US states, Europe, and Asia. 

Eggart recalled his first time using the Xometry Instant Quoting Engine®: “The whole process from A to Z was incredibly user-friendly and easy. I started with a custom-machined titanium piece that goes on the end of a titanium heat exchanger. [After uploading and ordering my part] I said, ‘Well, hey, that worked great.’”

“Thanks to your quoting engine, I'm always in the loop. I get an email that says, ‘Hey, we expect to ship your parts tomorrow.’ That proactive approach to communication is fabulous. The ease of moving from a CAD file to a price is easy and works well.” 

Titanium Heat Transfer Coils - Part Dissection

Any organization that supports marine life in artificial environments must overcome several challenges to keep the water safe and healthy. 

There are three critical steps to conditioning water and keeping it clean. First, the water must contain salt to match the natural environment of the supported wildlife. Next, waste, a natural byproduct of marine animals, needs to be removed from the water. Finally, the water must be sterilized to remove any dangerous bacteria left behind after waste removal.

After the water has been filtered and sanitized, marine life faces another significant challenge: temperature regulation. Both water circulation and UV sterilization systems produce heat through operation, which can alter the water temperature to unsafe levels. 

Aqua Logic provides end-to-end solutions for each of these challenges, designing custom-built Chillers, UV sterilization systems, titanium heat exchangers, and more. 

Slide 1 of 1
 An engineer at Aqua Logic TIG welding titanium fitting to a titanium coil.
 An engineer at Aqua Logic TIG welding titanium fitting to a titanium coil.
 An engineer at Aqua Logic TIG welding titanium fitting to a titanium coil.

Eggart and his team use Xometry’s CNC machining and sheet metal services to procure precise metal parts used in their products. While some of Aqua Logic’s products use materials like powder-coated aluminum, most are made of titanium. Titanium is a versatile metal and one of the best options for applications that need to survive continued exposure to sediment and salt water.  


Eggart has used Xometry to procure titanium components for many products, including its custom titanium heat exchangers. These heat exchangers, which the end user can clean after, are typically coupled with cooling or heating units to offer life support for all kinds of marine life, from trout and salmon to oysters. This equipment can range in size from a 48-quart igloo cooler to the size of a pickup truck.

Expand Your Business With the Power of the Xometry Network

Since joining Aqua Logic, Eggart has slowly positioned the business to serve new markets. Many industries need water to be chilled or heated, and Aqua Logic’s custom solutions can serve them as well. For example, Eggart believes Aqua Logic’s chilled water systems can serve the broader process cooling market, providing solutions like chillers for comfort cooling in commercial buildings or for microbreweries that need to cool giant stainless steel beer vats.

To meet these growing demands, Eggart needs to expand its manufacturing capacity. At first, Eggart tried to overcome this challenge by building up the company’s in-house manufacturing capacity, but staffing for new capacity was an additional barrier.

“We do some machining in-house, and I have been struggling to get a full-time machinist.” Eggart said, “I'm scratching my head, thinking, ‘Do I need a full-time machinist in-house? Or should I be buying from Xometry?’ Over the last two or three months, I've been testing the water [with Xometry], and every experience has been positive so far.”

With Xometry, you can start building your big ideas right away. While many of our customers use our diverse manufacturing services to supplement their existing internal capacity, others bypass the need to build internal capacity entirely, instead choosing to source all of their custom parts from one easy-to-use digital marketplace. 

Soon, Eggart found that Xometry’s value extended beyond the quoting engine and prompt lead times. He also gained tremendous value working with our dedicated and knowledgeable team, which helped him design more well-optimized parts for his customers.

Eggart was particularly impressed with Jacob Kitchens, a Lead Applications Engineer at Xometry. “I'm working on another project where I needed professionally done sheet metal covers. I spoke with him, we provided drawings, and he made some minor recommendations. And we got our prototypes, and they worked well.” 

He recalled a specific conversation with Kitchens: “In fact, Jacob said to me, ‘Listen, Joel, if you need anything, just let me know – Here's my personal cell phone. That was great customer service.” 

What’s Next for Aqua Logic?

As Eggart reflected on his work in Aqualogic, he took stock of the company’s future, “As the dust has settled from our cross-country move, we’ll now shift gears into expanding our portfolio to support new market entry. Chillers for micro-breweries, food processing, and cold immersion therapy are targets for the coming years.”

For those looking to expand into new markets, Xometry’s team of experts can help you make changes to your product that can help you serve new customers.

Our dedicated in-house engineering and account management teams have years of dedicated industry experience. They are committed to supporting you at every stage of your project, offering expertise in project management, material selection, manufacturing process optimization, and best practices for design and production. Be sure to schedule a consultation with our team to see how we can help optimize your supply chain.

To learn more about how our global supplier network is helping reshape the manufacturing industry, we encourage you to check out our recording of the Xometry Marketplace Summit: Powering Tomorrow's Supply Chain. In it, Xometry’s CEO, Randy Altschuler, spoke with leading executives, manufacturers, and software developers about the need to create locally resilient supply chains and the vital role Xometry plays in the rapid digital transformation of the manufacturing industry.

A headshot picture of Nathaniel Miller
Nathan Miller
Hi, I'm Nathan, a Marketing Content Writer at Xometry; I help tell the stories of our customers and how Xometry helps them build their big ideas.