The introduction of ActiClean is the culmination of nearly four years of consumer research and product development conducted with the goal of creating a cleaner toilet. We conducted interactive focus groups with both young couples with children as well as older empty nesters to design a product to suit a variety of needs. This system was designed with the convenience and pleasure of the user in mind, to address their pain point of having to clean the toilet by hand.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
ActiClean is the self-cleaning toilet that cleans itself and removes stains with a simple press of a button. It employs the power of the exclusive, award-winning VorMax flushing technology – which delivers the cleanest flush ever engineered – with a fully integrated, user-activated self-cleaning system. At the touch of a button, the ActiClean system will scour the bowl with cleaning fluid using a single powerful jet of water, then soak and rinse for a sparkling clean bowl.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
The user presses the button for the preferred cleaning cycle: a Quick Clean that takes one minute; or a Deep Clean for an extended, 10-minute cycle. Cleaning solution travels through a designated channel in the tank and mixes with water. The cleaner is released into the bowl with the powerful VorMax jetted force, scouring the bowl from top to bottom. The cleaner soaks in the bowl for the chosen amount of time. Finally, the system will automatically siphon the cleaner and rinse the bowl.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
The ActiClean toilet is the result of nearly four years of research and product development. Product design and development took place at the American Standard Design Studio in Piscataway, NJ.
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
Our engineering team employed ANSYS Computational Fluid Dynamics software to completely reinvent the toilet flush by eliminating conventional rim holes around the inside of the bowl that deliver water during a flush cycle. Instead, both the toilet flush and the ActiClean cleaning cycle use one powerful jet of water that vigorously scrubs the entire surface of the bowl from top to bottom, including the hard to reach spots. We used CREO 3D CAD modeling software to design a unique, integrated cleaning system that delivers the cleaning solution in an operation that is independent of the flushing and the waste removal process.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
The ActiClean toilet, with its siphon action jetted bowl, boasts a fully-glazed 2-1/16” trapway and dual injection flush valves for optimum flushing and rinsing. Its CleanCurve Rim eliminates the rim punchings where dirt builds up and its patented EverClean finish inhibits the growth of stain and odor causing bacteria on the surface. This two-piece toilet measures 30-3/16” deep x 20-11/16” wide x 31-3/8” high. It has a 12” rough-in and a comfortable 16-1/2” rim height for ADA accessibility.
toilet, bathroom, self-cleaning toilet, sanitaryware, automatic toilet
We used initial consumer focus groups to determine desired toilet features/benefits. We then tested various toilet innovations to determine the importance of specific features to the user. This was followed by professional shopper research conducted among designers, installers and corporate buyers, and finally interactive feature optimization focus groups. The findings led us to develop the ActiClean toilet with its current design and discreet, user-activated operation.
It was a challenge to design a self-cleaning toilet that met user demands but would not harm the tank trim. Users demanded hidden controls, a flat tank lid, easy to access batteries and a user-selected cleaning system. On the engineering side, it was necessary to design a system that would protect the components inside the toilet tank from the cleaning solution, but would not require users to access the inside of the tank.
TEAM MEMBERS (7) :
James Walsh, Vice President – Chinaware & Commercial Products, Jean-Jacques L’Henaff, Vice President of Design , Dave Grover – Advanced Concepts Engineer, Christophe Bucher – Chief Industrial Designer, Chinaware, Chris Helmstetter – Technical Design Director, Chinaware, Ali Ekbatani – Engineering Project Manager and Krystal Benko – Product Marketing Manager