TOTO
TOTO
  • 4. Evolution of Faucets and Showers  ─  Changing Lifestyles with the Power of Water
  • Prologue The Shower Lifestyle Sought After by the Japanese
  • A small gas water boiler in the kitchen and gas bath boiler for an indoor bath were typically separate in homes in the 1960s. At the time, Japanese envied the lifestyle with hot water always available from the faucets and showers in homes with central heating that appeared in American/European movies and television shows. A shower able to wash away sweat and clean hair easily at any time was a symbol of personal success. The consumers’ high expectations heightened the goals of future living environments in Japan for an easy hot-water supply in the home.
  • Western plumbing space at that time
  • Prologue  The Shower Lifestyle Sought After by Japanese
  • Challenge of Metal Showers in the Home
  • Hotels advanced the implementation of showers in Japan before the introduction into homes. They pioneered the growth of technology in shower fittings that mixed hot and cold water. This established the foundation for four different types of showers - the two handled, mixing, thermostat, and single handled showers. However, the problem with expanding these showers in the residential market was the difference in with water pressure between hot and cold water. The metal shower s for hotels supply hot and cold water at almost the same amount of pressure, but the pressure of hot water was lower than cold water after it passed through a residential water heater. This prevented adoption without innovations to the conventional technology.
  • Flush mixing valve. Surface thermostat. Single lever mixing faucet
  • Technology expanded to homes with a foundation in showers with versatile functionality developed for hotels
  • Accumulating Every Technology to Develop a Comfortable Shower
  • We used a wide variety of creative ideas that lowered the water passing resistance of hot water to resolve the difference in water pressure between the cold and hot water. This effort allowed low water pressure to be used safely and saw the release of the Home Shower (HS) series in 1978. The first metal showers were able to secure a sufficient amount of water dispersion overall. The comfortable showers that people had only experienced in hotels before had now reach the residential market with the appearance of a two valve  showers with a temporary stop function to switch between the shower and bath faucet.
  • HS series TM115C two valve shower bath faucet
  • A new lifestyle proposed to respond to the needs worldwide
  • 4 Evolution of Faucets ─ Changing Lifestyles with a Mastery of Water
  • A shower to use hot water at any time was desired by everyone. It has now become a standard residential equipment through the evolution of a broad range of technology. In the future, we will continue to revolutionize faucets even further for not only Japan but for the worldwide market.
  • Chapter 1 The True Purpose of Faucets
  • Mastery of Water by Reviewing the Origin of Manufacturing
  • As we entered the 1980s with the growth of shower faucets in homes, the market demanded even greater designs. TOTO responded by releasing variety of faucets that were welcomed. However, the TOTO management team saw trouble on the horizon in the faucet business department. “Shouldn't we review the origin of our manufacturing?” This question sparked new action within the business department. We stumbled upon a question as we furthered the exchange of information both internally and externally. “What is the true purpose of faucets?” However, there were many answers. This was because the specifications for kitchens, restrooms, and washrooms were all different even for a single faucet. We were able to find the answer to this question when looking at it from perspective of “faucets are an interface between people and water.” The answer was to master water flow for each application and situation.
  • Chapter 2 Pursuit of Perfect Water Flow
  • The Endeavor for Water Flow Perfect for Kitchens, Restrooms, and Washrooms
  • TOTO released the f series in 1990. The diverse shower variations caught attention. In addition to the standard type of spray, we commercialized a diverse range of comfortable sprays tailored for use in the shower such as the cascade flow of hot water with the joyful feel of a waterfall. We researched superb water flow for all occasions in our faucets for kitchens. This brought a soft spray process to life that prevents splashing even when washing a ladle. This became an industry standard thereafter. In this way, the f series brought about from the pursuit of the perfect water flow for showers, kitchens, and washrooms massive success in our faucet business department. This established the direction of our core technology to enhance our manufacturing activities through cooperation even further in design, layouts, technology, and production.
  • f series shower variations
  • A soft spray flow was developed to prevent splashing through water flow innovations (water flow mixed with air)
  • Chapter 3 Challenge of Casting Removal
  • Discovering the Future of Casting Technology
  • The New Family series released in 1994 and the New Joy series released in 1995 shocked the industry as products incorporating our ingenious casting removal technology. The challenge was to adopt tubing with superior corrosion resistance in the faucets themselves. This technology established a water route integrating the functionality of a super engineered plastic that has more strength than metal. This integration was made possible by TOTO’s skilled metal processing technology and high-precision plastic modeling. However, combining these two skills was not easy. This required us to drive success in technology development with powerful manufacturing able to actualize new ideas and strong on-site capabilities.
  • New Family series TMF40C bath faucet for thermostat shower (Built-in SMA thermo unit)
  • Faucets developed with new casting removal technology that rocked the faucet industry
  • Chapter 4 TOTO’s Unique Technologies
  • Development of Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) Thermostat
  • We also surprised the industry with our SMA Thermo Unit unique technology built into the same products. The mechanism used Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) in the central area that detects heat. The response speed was astounding compared to conventional mechanisms. One problem thermostat faucets faced for many years was the overshoot that occurred when continually using a hot water shower. Overshoot is a horrible phenomenon that caused scalding water to spray from the faucet instantly because the system was unable to keep up with the hot and cold water adjustments. Completely eliminating this phenomenon had been thought impossible. The solution was found in materials able to control the water flow by detecting the temperature changes more quickly. The idea that came to mind was SMA. However, technology to create SMA that made changes with the power above the water pressure and the temperature had never been realized. TOTO was able to achieve this feat
  • SMA thermo unit
  • TOTO realized SMA that made changes to the power above the water pressure and the temperature
  • Chapter 5 Impact of SMA Thermostat
  • Innovation of Core Technology
  • The impact of the SMA thermostat surpassed the plumbing and residential equipment market. We were recognized by researchers worldwide when we announced our SMA thermostat at the 1995 ICOMAT, which was an international conference about shape memory alloy held in Lausanne, Switzerland. Moreover, the technology had a synergistic effect that increased overall SMA production in Japan by 15% through industrial use of SMA thermostats. In addition to the New Family series and the New Joy series, several technologies appeared such as a water-saving showers that sustained comfort while reducing the amount of water used by 15 percent. We also developed an insulated structure that improved safety by preventing high temperatures on the surface of faucets by routing cold water around the hot water. These new technologies were then reflected in our products as core technologies.
  • Research and development at the time
  • Core technology innovated through continued ingenuity from the collective knowledge at daily development meetings
  • Chapter 6 Persevere to Overcome Challenges
  • Evolution of Core Technologies Grounded in 6S
  • We have shaped the common understanding about the source of our core technologies through developing the New Family series and the New Joy series. There were several keywords we have learned to value greatly; (1) Water/energy conservation (2) Safety, (3) Operability/visibility, (4) Installation ease, (5) Sanitation, and (6) 6S for noise. In the changing social backdrop, core technologies evolved with development grounded in 6S. This stance saw the birth of products from the Click Shower that pursued water conservation and better operability in 1996, to the Wonder Beat shower that increased blood flow and offered a massaging effect, to the universally-designed touch switch faucet that revolutionized the operation from a twist to a push in the 2000s. All of these products earned high praise in the Japanese market.
  • Table1 6S Standardization
  • Standardization of water conservation and better operability resulted in higher praise from the market
  • Chapter 7 Transition to the Next Stage
  • Establishment of a Manufacturing System from a Global Perspective
  • A unique product came to fruition in the spring of 2003. This was the multi-functional Shower Bar that integrated the overhead shower, body shower, and hand shower. The sleek metallic design on the entire exterior in addition to the high functionality and installation ease gained popularity not only in the luxury property market in Japan but also overseas, which resulted in global expansion. We tried to understand the market needs in each country at the same time as expansion progressed globally. We built systems to smoothly conduct the development, manufacturing, and sales of products by clearly grasping the local needs based on core technology.
  • Shower Bar (2003)
  • We established manufacturing systems that understood the market needs in each country in parallel to the global expansion of the Shower Bar.
  • Chapter 8  Aiming to Become a Global Brand of Faucets
  • Integration of Unique TOTO Technology and Beauty
  • TOTO faucets boast beautiful design and the advanced core technology found within. The evolution of our core technology resulted in the conversion of human sensations to design values such as the joy of a comfortable bath.  This also achieved a wide-range of water flow technology such as the AIR-IN Overhead Shower and the Gyro Stream that realized water conservation of roughly 35 percent (comparison by TOTO) compared to conventional showers. TOTO shower technology was recognized worldwide and was even awarded the GREEN GOOD DESIGN AWARD in 2015 for the AIR-IN Overhead Shower showerhead. This was the beautiful faucet TOTO aimed for. Therein was the value we held for 6S and the technology we cultivated to master water with our belief that faucets are an interface between people and water. The shower technology originating in Japan will continue to evolve until the day TOTO faucets change the lifestyles of customers worldwide.
  • AIR-IN (left), pulsation AIR-IN (middle), and Gyro Stream (right) realized through revolutionary core technology