Touchless sanitary ware: The new way forward

There have been a number of innovations in bathroom solutions lately which have benefitted customers to a large extent

Gone are the days when all we, as kids, had in the name of a bathroom was a basic tap, a squat toilet and a bucket-tap jodi. This was almost four decades plus back. Over time, innumerable significant transformations were made to this average 5x5 ft-something room to a bigger, better and luxurious space. And on the way, a number of innovations including ones which are energy-efficient and sustainable have made a quiet entry to give it a new avatar.

New-age designs

To meet the ever-changing requirements of consumers, companies offering bathroom solutions extend not only attractive but useful products. “We produce aesthetically engaging products that not only meet the requirements of the consumers but enhance the overall appearance of the space. Our team makes tireless efforts to create space-saving products; they occupy a small area and don’t create hindrances to fixing any other equipment or the space design. We have added a range of SS 304 to 316 grades of material that will serve the consumers better while enhancing their experience. We are giving perpetual emphasis on consumer needs and global practices and are determined to come up with cutting edge products,” says Bhagirath Sorathiya, Founder & CEO, Dolphy India. 

Bathroom solutions company GROHE is credited with the introduction of SmartControl thermostat system with push button and turn technology. “With SmartControl, within a few years, we have captured the largest share of the premium thermostat market in India. We have introduced a number of products such as shower toilets, spalet and new colours ranges that are redefining consumer experiences,” informs Bobby Joseph, Leader, LWT, India & Subcontinent, GROHE. 

Similarly, at Jaquar, the endeavour is to provide best bathroom experiences to its customers. “We aim to ideate, innovate and design breathtaking products. The latest to join the range are Laguna, Continental Prime and Queens Prime,” says Dev Malhotra, Group Advisor - Sales & Marketing, Jaquar. While the Laguna range carries an iconic form with timeless simplicity, Continental Prime range is inspired by the grandeur of India’s ancient pillars and the Queen’s Prime range is designed to evoke the elegance and charm of the Victorian era with a touch of modern times. These three ranges include complete bathroom solutions ranging from faucets to showers, he adds.

At Roca, innovative and cutting-edge bathroom designs embody technology for all types of contemporary bathroom spaces. “Consumers are opting for innovative and unique designs with a wellness quotient attached to the space. We have launched a new range of basins and Water Closets (WCs) under the Beyond and Inspira Colors collection. Beyond Bath includes extremely malleable designs that are more sustainable, well insulated and have twin lever deck-mounted-bath-shower mixer. Inspira collection is available in three design variants for OTC basins – Inspira Round, Inspira Soft and Inspira Square,” says KE Ranganathan, Managing Director, Roca Bathrooms Product Pvt Ltd. He adds that Roca has launched the Roca Smart shower with an advanced design equipped with a coloured screen, temperature control as well as touch buttons. “With the advent of customisable and tech-driven toilet functions, thermostatic and sensor-based faucets, we have introduced a smart furniture unit that can be connected to the mobile phone (via Bluetooth) or a LED mirror with touch-less technology,” he shares.

To create uber-luxe bathroom experience, VitrA offers bathroom solutions with modern technology and cutting-edge designs. “We work every day to better our surroundings through the power of design. VitrA has unveiled new eye-catching colours to the Plural Collection. Then, there’s V-Care Prime, the latest addition to the range of shower toilets. This new shower toilet WC combines the functionality of a standard WC with the personal cleaning properties of a bidet and integrates the latest bathroom technology. The design is almost identical to that of a standard VitrA WC but the intelligent features such as the night light will elevate the design to a more sophisticated level. The LED night light gets automatically activated when ambient light drops below a certain level,” informs Serhan Ates Yagiz, Country Manager, VitrA Bathrooms India. VitrA has also launched the ArchiPlan collection for hotels, restaurants, cafes, bars and homes, especially ones with smaller bathrooms. 

Save water

Almost all companies are doing their bit to conserve water and contribute towards water management. “We are committed to enhancing people’s lives by providing safe and comfortable products and services through responsible and sustainable technologies. We have noticed a growing demand for smart solutions that are hygienic, use less water and simple to maintain. So, we have invested in sustainable solution R&D which is why we want to be a leader in water sustainability. We are working to implement a manufacturing strategy that conserves natural resources for future generations including water-efficient products that help conserve water and reduce waste,” says Joseph. 

At Dolphy India, informs Sorathiya, the products are designed to operate effectively and save water by preventing leakage and other methods. “We ensure complete adherence to IGBC and IPA approved specifications to conserve water, and power and maintain hygiene. Sustainable solution is what we are working for. We are involved in in-depth research to come up with cutting edge solutions equipped with innovative features to promote sustainability,” he says. 

With consumers looking for smart toilets and electronic WCs with state-of-the-art features that are modern yet sustainable, companies like Roca are specifically designing products to ensure the essence of sustainability does not fade away and the demands of the consumers are met. “With sustainable living becoming more mainstream, there is a crucial need for products and fittings that eliminate water wastage without compromising on comfort and aesthetics,” says Ranganathan, adding that with eco-friendly technologies such as Cold Start tap system and Flush-free Urinal, they not only ensure water conservation but make it energy-efficient too.

“Jaquar products come equipped with cutting-edge technology that’s adept at providing perfect bathroom experience and at the same time saving water at every turn. Our faucets come equipped with flow restrictors and sensors that make saving water easy without compromising on your bathroom experience. Jaquar’s signature dual flush system gives the user a combination of 3/6 litres or 2/4 litres of water eliminating extra water wastage,” says Malhotra.

VitrA’s “green” bathroom solutions promise environmentally friendly products which save costs since they reduce energy consumption by 24-50 per cent, reduce water use by 40 per cent plus 70 per cent decrease in waste without disturbance in the overall experience, informs Yagiz. “VitrA faucets come with water flow restrictors and flow rate limiters inbuilt which help save a lot of water,” he says. 

Recycling Processes

Sharing views on the recycling processes to save water, Sorathiya says Dolphy India strongly believes in recycling. “All our products manufactured in ABS is Food Grade or antibacterial material. We also use PC/HDPE/LDPE/PP materials for manufacturing our products. These materials are durable and can be recycled. We recycle used ABS and other materials and use them for the further manufacturing process. We are expert in manufacturing recyclable products,” he says. 

Joseph informs the company has launched GROHE Cradle to Cradle Certified® products that promote circular manufacturing. “Three GROHE water faucet products and a shower rail set received gold level certification, meeting criteria in five categories: material health, material reutilisation, renewable energy, water stewardship and social fairness,” he says, adding that in FY2020, LIXIL set an ambitious Environmental Vision 2050, pursuing a net-zero carbon footprint by 2050 in alignment with the Paris Agreement. “We use recycled materials, design products with long life spans and recyclability in mind, offer functional parts that can replace or upgrade some of our existing products and expand its range of product-as-a-service options that can be used on demand,” says Joseph.

Drawing attention towards W+W Revolution, a “Recycle & Reuse” technology that offers users to recycle the wastewater by storing it in the cistern ready for the next flush, Ranganathan says, “When grey water is selected to be reused, it is diverted to fill up the cistern where it automatically passes through a double filtration system. To eliminate bacteria and odour, this system filters particle debris as well as chemically treats the grey water before storing it to flush the WC. Once the water has been filtered and treated, it is stored in the grey water reservoir and used to fill the cistern as required. The reservoir holds up to four litres of water and if there is an overflow, excess grey water is discarded via the main waste outlet.” 

Meanwhile, Jaquar believes that recycling should be at the core of its push towards a sustainable future. “Jaquar generates up to 650 tonnes of brass waste. We recycle most of it and the rest is repurposed. Chemical pollution caused by the likes of chromium is also taken care of as Jaquar has a huge recovery system in place for managing chromium effluent which recovers about 7 metric tonnes of chrome salt per year, terminating its entry into our spoil and river systems. All the water that’s used in Jaquar’s building is recycled through in-house sewage treatment plants for Non Direct Human Contact Use,” says Malhotra.

Safe solutions

Talking about touch-less and/ or hygiene-safe elements in their solutions, Ranganathan says, “Post-pandemic, consumers prefer products that ensure minimal human touch and prevent germ buildup. In terms of functionality, touch-free bathrooms have become more accessible than in the past and the industry is switching to offer more innovative solutions, ensuring maximum safety and hygiene.” He draws attention towards Roca’s series of smart products with sensor-based technology that not only offer contactless ecosystem in the washrooms but also enhances the bathroom experience. 

With focus on hygiene the world over, especially at homes and in personal spaces like bathrooms, GROHE’s Infra-Red sensor taps, feels Joseph, allow for a new way of washing hands. “The sensor registers when your hands are approaching and automatically activates the flow of water. If the tap’s sensor no longer detects movement, the water jet automatically turns off. Thus, it is easy to operate and extremely hygienic,” he says, adding, “Our world-class touch-less sensor faucets offer better hygiene, especially in public spaces.”

Jaquar spokesperson too feels the pandemic has made us change the ways we interact with environment. “Our range of sensor taps require no physical contact to operate. A simple sensor gives out a beam which is broken when someone places their hand below the tap, releasing water flowing from the tap. The Pressmatic range of taps require minimal contact from the user. A single press of the knob releases a sufficient quantity of water. This not only saves water but allows for minimal contact,” he informs. 

To provide extra hygiene and converse water, VitrA has launched sensor faucets that operate on a complete automation process. When the photocell feature senses your hand, the water flow begins and the faucet shuts when it can no longer sense your hand. “Our water-saving faucets come in the AquaSee range and Nature photocell basin mixer. VitrA‘s Aquasee, technologically savvy, practical and hygienic water-saving photocell faucets operate with a brand-new sensor technology that helps you preserve natural resources. The Nature photocell controlled basin mixer automatically stops the water flow after 60 seconds of continuous detection of an object. VitrA’s Powerbox converts the flow of water into electricity with its internal power generator. It is easy to install and can be used smoothly for years. VitrA sensor faucets are ideal for commercial use because of their user-friendliness, hygiene-friendliness and water-conservation,” says Yagiz.

This article was published in BW hotelier issue dated '' with cover story titled 'BW HOTELIER MAY-JUNE 2022'


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