TOTO
TOTO
  • 5. WASHLET™ ─ Innovation Each Day for the World ─ Tracing the Struggle between Water and Electricity
  • Prologue Turning Point of the Japanese Toilet
  • TOTO developed new toilet seats featuring a warm water shower founded in Wash Air Seats imported and sold from abroad in 1978. This was the year the company stepped up to the challenge of entering new domains. As anyone can see, this was the first step to creating the first WASHLET™. The Wash Air Seat manufactured for medical purposes by American Bidet is the archetype of the WASHLET™. These seats focused sales to proctology hospitals, but customer feedback complained of unstable water temperature and a wavering dispersion angle. In 1967, we were entrusted the production as a domestic manufacturer after acquiring the patent and exclusive sales rights from the import trading company in Japan to add functionality that included some improvements and a heated toilet seat feature. The comfort of a hot water wash then spread by word of mouth in the late 1970s and sales dramatically increased.
  • Wash Air Seat (domestic product) Wash Air Seat (import product)
  • Sales boom with word of mouth about the great feel and comfort
  • Prologue Turning Point of the Japanese Toilet
  • Toilets transitioned from a “Place” to Do Your Business to a “Space”
  • This was a time when Japanese toilets had reached a turning point. The dramatic change from Japanese-style squat toilets to western-style toilets in Japan took place in 1970 when the Osaka Expo was held. Then, in 1977, shipments of seated toilet bowls surpassed that of Japanese-style toilet bowls. This change did not stop with the toilet bowls. The western world had become accustomed to a cold toilet seat while many Japanese used covers because they were not used to this new western style. This gave birth to new demand for a heated toilet seat. Japan launched into this new generation of toilets with the transition of the restroom as a place to do your business to a space.
  • Transition form Japanese-style to western-style toilets brought a new generation of toilets to Japan
  • Challenge of a Clean, Comfortable Toilet
  • TOTO decided to develop a new Wash Air Seat of its own by aiming to open avenues to new markets as the company saw clear needs for clean, comfortable toilets in the market. TOTO generally assigns three years for the development term of new products. However, we only allowed for just a year and a half in the development of this unprecedented product. Our development team who engaged in this unsurmountable challenge put WASHLET™ on a path toward success. This success was found greatly due to the vigor, strength, and teamwork of the team members who were mostly in their 20s
  • The challenge to realize a new lifestyle habit of rear washing had begun.
  • 5 WASHLET™ Innovation Each Day for the World ─ Tracing the Struggle between Water and Electricity
  • WASHLET™ proposed a new lifestyle that included rear washing ingrained in Japan. We moved into the next stage with the release of WonderWave Cleansing that surpassed conventional thinking up to that point while addressing the issues of integrating electricity and water by never wavering from this endeavor. Today, we are undertaking new challenges in WASHLET™ on the worldwide stage.
  • Chapter 1 Project that Staked the Fate of the Company
  • Endeavor to Attain Unknown Data
  • The clue for what direction to take wash air seats came in the form of the feedback we received. “There isn’t enough warm water spray. Cold water is dispersed if I use the washer for a long time. “The warm water is not right on target.” As a response to the feedback we received, the development team members fixed the specifications necessary for the product by solving each and every issue with themselves as the product testers. More specifically, the development created numerical data by placing steel wire in the center of the toilet seat and setting paper in the various positions of the anus to guide the hot water to the accurate place. The temperature of the cleansing water adjusts in 0.1 ℃ increments to disperse the proper water temperature for each person’s body. However, we required even more people to test the product. The angle of contact required scientific data for each aspect from the proper angle to the amount of water, the amount of time needed, and the position of the nozzle to disperse the hot water.
  • Image
  • Solving each and every issue with them-selves as the product testers
  • Chapter 2 Basic Data of WASHLET™
  • Sincere Effort and Thorough Verification
  • The development team worked hard internally and found people to assist them in acquiring this data. Although this data was vital to our new product development, testing directly on what is essentially the rear end was met with significant resistance, and it was difficult to get cooperation, especially from female employees. However, more than 300 participants finally provided useful data won over by the passion of the development team. As a result, we gained invaluable data indispensable in the development of new toilet seats featuring a warm water shower that included a 38℃ water temperature for the warm water shower, 36℃ for the temperature of the toilet seat, 50℃ temperature of the hot air for drying, and a 43 degree angle to disperse water for washing from the nozzle.
  • Angle to water shower to disperse from nozzle
  • Approximately 300 employees cooperated in data collection moved by the passion of the development teamObtained basic data.
  • Chapter 3 Confronting Taboos
  • Integration of Water and Electricity
  • The new toilet seats featuring a warm water shower pursued three fundamental functions; warm water shower, drying with hot air, and a heated toilet seat. Electronic technology able to control the temperature quickly and accurately was required for every single one of these features. However, this was a massive obstacle when the technology needed to be incorporated in a plumbing equipment product. The more difficult issue was technology to quickly and accurately detect changes in temperatures for the necessary control of the toilet seat to sustain the right amount of heat. The answer the person in charge discovered to confront this technical challenge was IC control. However, the use of precision components such as IC in products with the potential to get wet was unthinkable at the time.
  • Controller (IC for warm water temperature control)
  • Use in products that could get wet was thought difficult due to the chance of electrical shorts
  • Chapter 4 Built-in Hybrid IC
  • Birth of the WASHLET™
  • This problem was solved with Hybrid IC that coated the IC in special resin. The development team members took a hint from traffic signals that blink even in the wind and rain and adopted hybrid ICs coated in resin to clear this obstacle. An even more refined control was realized by using a thermistor (electronic component that changes the resistance value with variations in the temperature). WASHLET™ G is a new product that celebrates its origins, which overcame all of the different obstacles it faced. Its completion took advantage of leading-edge knowledge and state-of-the-art technology.
  • WASHLET™ G
  • WASHLET™ came into fruition thanks to the flexible thinking that went beyond conventions and the passion driving the creation of new products.
  • Chapter 5 Overcoming Crisis
  • “Wipe” to “Wash”
  • WASHLET™ sales began in June 1980. The sales were favorable with almost insufficient inventory right after WASHLET™ was released. WASHLET™ may have had a wonderful start, but we suddenly received a large number of complaints that the warm water became cold water only three months after the product hit the market. Katsuji Yamada, the 9th president of TOTO, addressed this crisis by replacing each product rather than repairing the existing ones. This bold decision earned the trust of the market and eventually drove our success. Many people still remember the “Even your rear likes a wash” copy from 1982, which was two years after the release of WASHLET™. Moreover, the television commercial broadcast nationally became a hit. This drove sales of WASHLET™ while cultivating a new toilet culture moving from a “whip” to a “wash”.
  • Second  Kokura Plant with a mass production system for the WASHLET™ G III
  • Our proposal of a new lifestyle habit of rear washing overcame crisis
  • Chapter 6 Innovation After Evolution
  • Advancement of the WASHLET™
  • At the time, the number of units shipped estimated to be 2,500 per month broke one million units by 1987 after seven years when looking at the accumulated total sales. These sales then exceeded ten million by 1998. As the sales gradually grew, further innovation was brought to the evolution of WASHLET™ from self-cleaning mechanisms that heighten sanitization to a moving and massage shower pursuing comfort, the development of ozone deodorization, a main unit and toilet seat offering cleanliness to a generation of active women as well as a removable toilet lid while the principle foundation remained three primary features; washing, drying, and a heated toilet lid.
  • Trend in total number of WASHLET™ shipments and transition to additional functionality
  • Endless technical innovation accepted by the market
  • Chapter 7 Massive Expansion of Cleansing Technology
  • Integration of Functionality and Design
  • The basic design of WASHLET™ up until this point had earned sufficient trust thanks to the extraordinary performance and durability at the forefront of this machine, but the product could not be called high design. Furthermore, the development at the time tended toward functionality and only approached the design after considering the necessary components. We decided to incorporate a method in the development of our new WASHLET™ that give designers full freedom before the necessary functionally was incorporated into that design. The finished design realized compact simplicity. A hot water storage tank was not feasible in achieving this geometry. The meant that we could only use a mechanism to produce hot water that was instant. However, the amount of hot water produced in an instant water heater system was minimal compared to a hot water storage tank. The key to the technical development was ingenuity able to realize better washing power and comfort with less water.
  • Development testing
  • We researched high washing power without running out of warm water to achieve a design with compact simplicity.
  • Chapter 8 Emphasis on Cleansing
  • Washing Thought Impossible
  • The idea that formed was for an ongoing spray of spherical droplets. The development team believed this could achieve a satisfying washing feel with a minimum amount of water. This was because an intermittent steam resulted in a greater amount of stress than a continuous stream. The development team repeatedly conducted testing to verify their hypothesis. The testing proved that an alternate strong and weak stream could provide an even better wash than before by continuously alternating these streams repeatedly over 70 times a second. A washing method named WonderWave Cleansing revolutionized the cleansing technology of WASHLET™.
  • WonderWave/Rear Wash (Image) First-generation Apricot
  • WonderWave Cleansing revolutionized the cleansing technology of WASHLET™ with the concept of spherical water droplets
  • Chapter 9 Supplying WASHLETs Globally
  • Global Strategy for WASHLET™
  • TOTO has expanded its businesses to 18 countries and regions around the world from Japan, China, and the rest of Asia to the Americas and Europe as of 2016. We are supplying WASHLET™ worldwide from two plants in Japan and four plants in Malaysia and Shanghai around an axis a global platform (part integration and common design of functional parts).
  • To give people worldwide the gift of a rear wash
  • Chapter 10 Expanding WASHLET™ Worldwide
  • Giving Comfortable Toilet Spaces to the World
  • WASHLET™ are a product offering rear wash functionality to the world. TOTO has also heightened the toilet bowl functionality with cleansing features that include Cefiontect and sanitizing water as well as advanced water-saving features. NEOREST is a product that heightens designs by integrating the WASHLET™ and toilet bowl. NEOREST has been adopted by luxury hotels and residences due to its features and superior design even overseas, where the design is much more a point of appeal than in Japan. In other words, NEOREST unifies clean technology cultivated under the strict eye of the Japanese market and the design power forged in the overseas market up until now as a new driving force able to expand the WASHLET™ market even further. The presence of the WASHLET™ has clearly grown in the overseas market.
  • NEOREST NX (ISH2017* Reference Exhibit)