Who wouldn’t like kitchen tasks to be easier and more hygienic? TÄMNAREN kitchen mixer tap with sensor functions is a step on the way. You can turn the water on and off with a slight hand movement ― without touching the mixer tap. But what if water starts running every time your hands move by the sink? The solution was quite simple: we placed the sensor on the side. This improved the look of it, too.
Product developer Giorgia Nervi demonstrates with her hand how to turn the water on.
"Sensor technology is more hygienic in the kitchen since you don't need to touch the kitchen mixer tap with your hands,” says Giorgia.
“It also saves water thanks to the sensor mode which gives a reduced flow of water when compared to using the lever."
"When I got to IKEA, I realised we practise what we preach about sustainability," Antony says. "It's a refreshing experience, but it makes our job really difficult because we genuinely have to deliver on sustainability with each product."
So why is conserving water so important? Because water is one of our planet's most precious resources. Earth may be covered in a lot of water, but very little of it is drinkable and even less is accessible. No organism can survive without it, and no new water is created. It's constantly recycled, but our freshwater supply is overused; not evenly distributed; and impacted by pollution, contamination and climate change.
IKEA values the quality and quantity of water so much that we are committed to being water positive by 2020. One aspect is finding simple ways for people to conserve water. Aerators are a step we took long before our water commitment, but Antony and his team are working hard on new water saving taps using sensors or spray technology.
Behind the scenes, there's more to our commitment than what we develop for kitchens. Our initiative also includes exploring ways to improve water efficiency across the whole product process, whether it’s at our suppliers, distribution centres or stores. It can mean providing factory workers and their families with fresh drinking water, ensuring all factory water is cleaned before release, reducing water usage in textile production or using rainwater to flush toilets in stores.
"We make things hard on ourselves for good reasons, Antony says."
See why the aerator in your kitchen mixer tap is a small part of our bigger effort to conserve water?
"Some people who live where you can just turn on your tap and get water may not really think about saving water; it's taken for granted," Antony says.
But he and his team think about water at every step. It's part of creating a positive impact on people and the planet. We think every water-saving action adds up and thank you for helping with your kitchen mixer tap!
With the same simple movement, Giorgia turns the water off, or a timer automatically stops the water flow anyway after 10 seconds. That was an important detail.
"Imagine you’re filling a pot with water and then the phone rings or something starts burning on the hob,” Giorgia explains.
“Suddenly two minutes have passed and many litres of water have been wasted down the drain ― and all for nothing."
Giorgia and the team tested until they found the ultimate time.
"We tested filling different glasses with water, and with the flow we chose it takes about 10 seconds to fill a medium-sized glass."
A sensor is usually located at the front of a mixer tap. Why?
"Think about everything you do around the sink without wanting to use water, like cooling down a pot of soup or peeling vegetables. You don't want the mixer tap to start running suddenly.”
We placed the sensor on the side instead. It gives the tap a cleaner look, too.
TÄMNAREN contributes to better hygiene and less water consumption ― while also reducing energy consumption to heat hot water.
"It's simply easier now to be more sustainable in the kitchen," Giorgia concludes.