Smart ‘kitchen aids’ for installers
Easy Fit from Kludi makes the installation of kitchen fittings easier and saves pro-fessionals valuable time
Installing kitchen mixers is always a challenge. Lying on your back under the sink, often squeezed into a narrow kitchen cabinet to tighten screws or connect hoses; it’s not exactly the most comfortable of jobs! “This is what spurred us on to take a closer look at kitchen fittings to determine how we could make installation easier for our trade partners. We really did examine every single detail,” says Guido Wiesendahl. As Director of Innovations, the engineer heads up the Research and Development department at Kludi, the fittings specialist based in Germany’s Sauerland region (www.kludi.com). When Kludi asked HVAC professionals about the obsta-cles they faced when installing kitchen fittings, several factors came out on top: awkward tasks, specialist tools and the need for extra accessories. Especially the very popular mix-ers with pull-out spouts take a lot of time and effort to install. Providing a solution for this problem was one of the goals of the development team when designing the Kludi Mix, M2 and L Steel kitchen fittings. The result? Kludi Easy Fit. This solution is born out of four technical innovations and smart improvements that tangibly minimise the time and effort needed for installation.
“Click-it”: Don’t screw, just click
Although a pull-out spout is a practical asset in the kitchen, it does mean extra work for the plumber when installing the kitchen fitting. This is due to the fact that a counterweight is needed so that the spout can be pulled out correctly. This counterweight (which, in most cases, used to be made of lead, hence the term ‘lead weight’) is usually screwed onto the hose of the pull-out spout – an awkward task, especially when lying on your back inside the sink cabinet. The opposite is true, however, with the Click-it counterweight from Kludi, which has naturally been lead-free for a long time. This counterweight is fitted in a matter of seconds – the plumber simply wraps it around the hose and clicks it together by hand, without the need for any tools or awkward screwing.
“Clip-it”: No getting in a twist
The Kludi Clip-it is an anti-twist quick coupling used to connect the pull-out hose straight to the mains water supply. Gone are the days when an extra adapter was needed! The two elements are pushed into one another by hand, without the need for tools, and the safety clip on the quick coupling instantly forms a secure, leak-proof connection.
“Fix-it”: Hands came before tools
A kitchen fitting is useless unless it is firmly fixed to the sink. After all, no other kitchen ‘tool’ is used as often per day as the mixer on the sink. In many cases, fittings are secured with a stem nut, which needs to be tightened with a special tool. The Kludi Fix-it, however, solves this problem by enabling the stem nut to be tightened easily by hand. Depending on the model, Kludi fittings are fastened even more securely with two or three additional screws, which can be tightened up using a conventional Allen key.
“Do-it”: Length matters!
Standards say that the flexible hose between the kitchen fitting and the mains water tap must be 350 millimetres long. However, structural constraints often mean that the 350 millimetres aren’t long enough and the flexible hose needs to be extended. Installers face additional challenges when they don’t have the necessary special parts with them and have to go and fetch these from a shop or wholesaler. “This issue came up so often that we decided to include extra-long connection hoses with a length of 460 millimetres as standard – at no extra charge,” explains Wiesendahl. “Installation takes less time and effort with Easy Fit, meaning we’ve freed up time for those fitting our products. That’s real added value when they already have to cope with a shortage of skilled labour and full order books!”