The Development of the Modulo Slimline - Behind the Mirror Washroom Cabinet System
Following the recent launch of the new Modulo Slimline Behind-the-mirror washroom cabinet systems we thought we’d ask our Engineering and Design Manager, Andrew Marsh for some insights into how our Modulo range came into being.
What was the key thinking behind the new Modulo Slimline range?
A lot of it was about simplicity. We had identified a need for an easy-to-install cabinet system; a fully integrated system based on a protective, wall-mountable cabinet together with a choice of dispensers.
It was also about versatility, which is really important in terms of value for money. We wanted the dispensers to be fully interchangeable so that clients could adapt them to suit their settings and the amount of user-traffic. Besides allowing customers to choose a particular combination of dispensers, we also wanted to give them a choice about where to place each of them in the cabinet itself. In this way, we felt we could offer a range that could be tailored for optimal performance in many different situations.
How is the Modulo Slimline range different to other washroom cabinet systems?
The difference is really simple: it’s the fact that the whole cabinet system hangs securely from wall brackets. And that the brackets are incredibly easy to fix to a wall. It requires no rebate, no mess and no expensive refurbishment and if using the battery operated soap and paper towel dispenser it doesn’t require mains power either. It’s probably quicker than installing multiple soap dispensers and hand drying options.
What was the main challenge in making the Modulo Slimline range easy to install?
The biggest design challenge was making that base plates ‘universal’; ensuring that they would work equally well across all the different types of dispensers and that they would accommodate the various apertures they needed. (That’s to say, the air output from the dryer, the right sized aperture for paper towels, and the dispensing nozzle for the soap dispenser.)
What are the benefits of easy installation to the customer?
Ease of installation is really important. We wanted to create a system that would work with existing washroom décor and not require an expensive washroom re-fit or redecoration afterwards. That’s obviously a key cost-saving feature.
The simplicity of the wall bracket approach also means that there are no intrusive works, and the installation involves minimal disruption. That again saves on cost and downtime. Part of the design brief specified that it should take no more than two people to install – and even then, that's only necessary when actually lifting the cabinet onto the brackets; everything else can be done by a single operative.
On another cost-related point, we wanted to make sure the cleaning and maintenance teams were considered. We made sure that the cabinet door was easy to open, so it’s supported by gas struts for assisted opening. That helps to keep hands free and makes the dispensers very easy to top-up. The shelf that’s incorporated into the cabinet also holds spare consumables.
Why was versatility an important consideration?
Different environments – offices, public buildings, transport hubs, retail settings – they all have their own characteristics in terms of foot traffic, maintenance demands and how people tend to use them. By making our system modular, we enable clients to choose the contents of their cabinets to suit those particular characteristics. It isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. It means that every cabinet can be tailored to some extent. It also means that if user-demand changes, there’s the option to adapt by swapping out one dispenser for another. That’s a far better and more cost-effective solution than having to buy and install a completely new system.
How much choice does the Modulo washroom cabinet system offer?
A cabinet will typically feature a soap dispenser plus either a paper towel dispenser or an electric hand dryer. Importantly, they don’t have to be fitted into the cabinet in just one way. They’re really easy to reconfigure if that’s ever necessary.
Do the internal elements – the dryers and dispensers – feature completely new technology?
No we are using proven technology. We wanted to provide maximum customer choice but from a fairly concise range of products. In that way, we aimed to reduce complexity and costs. We felt that the products needed to be designed around our existing technology, which has proved its reliability over many years. Consequently, we can confidently support them with up to 10 years’ warranty, even in the busiest of washrooms.
Are there any other variations available?
There is a shelf-only option, which we added to the range in response to feedback from several of the designers and fit-out companies that we work with. They loved the modular system and the dispensers, but they didn't require the full cabinet because they were incorporating them into their own bespoke designs. The shelf-only option can still be installed very easily but it gives designers the option to put them behind their own chosen cabinets or façades.
Do you feel that the Modulo range is a success in design terms? Did you meet the challenges that you set yourself?
I think we did, yes. We carefully scoped out our place in the market and we planned the range accordingly. We wanted to design a robust, reliable, high-quality system but one that was also cost effective for customers in both the short and long term. Through those key features I mentioned – the ease of installation, the use of proven materials and technologies, and the variety of configurations on offer – I think we achieved all that.
It was an interesting project for all of us. It proved the point that it’s sometimes more challenging to design something simple than it is to create an ‘all singing and dancing’ product that’s packed with the latest gadgets. So it’s been an experience – and a good one.
Discover Dudley Industries’ Modulo Slimline Range
Browse the Modulo Slimline Behind the Mirror range to find the right solution for your commercial washroom. Or get in touch with the team for more information on how to maximise space in your washroom.