02 | 2006
VTT and Oras develop safer and more energy-efficient touchless washbasin faucet
Feasible manufacturing and competitive product
In co-operation with VTT, the Finnish water fittings manufacturer Oras has
developed a new touchless washbasin faucet. New technological solutions make
it possible to detect the target more easily and cost-efficiently. The new
user-friendly faucet is almost in the same price range as lever faucets.
In co-operation with VTT, the Finnish water fittings manufacturer Oras has developed a new touchless washbasin faucet. New technological solutions make it possible to detect the target more easily and cost-efficiently. The new user-friendly faucet is almost in the same price range as lever faucets.
The improved detection is based on measuring the target's distance, whereas in the earlier models it was based on the amount of reflected light, which strongly depends on the target's properties. The newly developed sensor detects differences in colours, lighting and surfaces more precisely than before. The improved detection method makes it possible to control the running of the water more precisely than with the old faucets.
The touchless faucet increases security for children and the elderly when they wash their hands, as the water will never accidentally become too hot, nor will the faucet remain open, which also saves energy. With the new-generation faucet it is easy to adjust the water's temperature to make it suitable for users. The faucet operates with a durable Lithium battery, and it is easy to install in the washbasin in the previous lever faucet's hole.
Advanced method makes manufacturing feasible
The detection technology based on measuring distance has been used before, e.g. in the auto focus systems of cameras, but the high manufacturing costs have been a problem until now. Oras set clear cost targets that would make manufacturing feasible, and in co-operating with VTT in the development, these targets were met. The reduced manufacturing costs are largely due to the integration of the sensor's optics in the mechanical structure during the injection moulding phase. The concept of the manufacturing method and the dimensioning of the optics were developed at VTT; Oras was responsible for the design of the sensor's electronics, mechanics and assembly, as well as for the implementation with the support of its subcontractors.
- Kimmo Keränen
- Senior Research Scientist
- +358 20 722 2272
VTT is an impartial expert organisation. Its objective is to develop new technologies, create new innovations and value added thus increasing customer's competencies. With its know how VTT produces research, development, testing and information services to public sector and companies as well as international organisations.