2016 Technology Exchange Conference of Smart Toilet Seat Industry, organized by the Smart Bathroom Product Committee of China Household Electrical Appliances Association (CHEAA), was held in Hangzhou on June 7, 2016. The ever-increasing popularity of smart toilet seats boosts the confidence of industry insiders and indicates a trend towards high-quality and technology-driven products in the industry.

Quality: key to industry development

This conference brought together nearly 120 representatives from more than 70 enterprises and institutions. Jiang Feng, president of CHEAA, stressed that quality wass the top priority amid widely concerns from the government and various sectors. She said, " With the rapid development of the industry, a surge of sales and an intense flock of new entrants, we need to keep a clear mind in our efforts to regulate the industry and improve product quality, especially the safety performance of products. Any problems of this product might deal a deadly blow to the whole industry, because of its close connection to the health and safety of consumers ."

Wu Xiangqian, director of the Quality Management Department of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of P.R.C (AQSIQ), underlined that quality was the lifeline of smart toilet seats.

Wu said, only 60% were qualified in a national inspection conducted by AQSIQ which had 45 batches of products from 45 enterprises in 15 provinces inspected by 36 indicators including water depth, water efficiency, and protection against electric shock.

Given the result of this random inspection, Wu said, a rise in product quality required manufacturers' active involvement to introduce advanced quality management philosophy, techniques and experience from home and abroad, promote advanced quality management practices such as lean manufacturing, build a craftsmanship spirit, self-declare their quality standards, use and declare quality standards tighter than national standard and industry standard, use same standards, same production line to produce same-quality products for both domestic and international market, and improve the competitiveness and added value of their brands.

The application for smart toilet seat as a segment of home appliances to be listed in China Compulsory Certificate (CCC) catalog is under approval, according to Zhu Jun, Secretary General of CHEAA. He said, "CHEAA will continue to promote this application to get approved."

Standards and regulations need attention

Standards and regulations set a baseline for quality control. Yan Bangping, manager of the business division of Arrow Sanitary, and one of the directors of Smart Bathroom Committee of CHEAA, blamed the low qualification rate of smart toilet seats partly to unsound quality standard system, for instance, the incompleteness of cross-industry standards. "We manufacturers didn't do well in this inspection. For example, we haven't fully mastered the skills on power load, heat resistance and cold resistance." Yan said, in all honesty.

A sound standard system is called for urgently in this case. Wan Chunhui, director of CHEAA's standards and laws department, briefed polices and regulations involving smart toilet seats at the conference. She said, China's smart toilet seat market should keep a close eye on laws and regulations including the forthcoming Restriction of Hazardous Substances in China (China RoHS2.0) which would officially come into effect July 1 this year, Management Directive on the Recall of Flawed Consumer Goods that went into effect January 1 this year, and Directive on Qualification Evaluation of Green Products launched at the end of last year.

Zhu Yan, assistant chief engineer of China Household Electrical Appliance Research Institution (CHEARI), introduced recent revisions of national standards on smart toilet seat industry in the conference. He said, GB/T23131-2008, a national standard for smart toilet seat industry, had been submitted for government approval, and the revision would  involve application scope, standardized terms and regulations, technical parameters, technical indicator, testing and evaluation method etc. The revision was yet to be officially launched.

In addition, Ren Shaoyang, director of the business planning department of Panasonic, introduced Japan's standards and regulations on smart toilet seat industry. And Zhou Wei, technical expert on electrical and electronics from TÜV Rheinland, introduced international market access standards and related requirements in the conference.

Technology exchange on full industry chain

"To improve the quality of smart toilet seats, technology should be prioritized. We should enhance technological exchanges and cooperation to address the current issues in smart toilet seat industry, including a lack of technical talents, low technology level and low manufacturing level, thus advancing the industry development." Jiang Feng added when spoke of the purpose of this conference.

This conference saw technology exchanges between compete machine manufacturers, as well as parts manufacturers. Fu Zhiping from the sales department of automotive spare parts of the Shanghai branch of Kyocera introduced the 17-step manufacturing process of ceramic heating tube. Yang Xifan, deputy technical director of Semitec Trading (Shanghai) Co.,Ltd, introduced the manufacturing and assembling technology of high-performance chips and sensors in silver migration. Lin Jiahua, business manager of Microban, shared Microban's exclusive antibacterial and mould proof technology for smart toilet seats . In addition, the representative from Kingfa, and the representative from the South China Technology Center of LG Chem, gave lectures of The Application and Trend of Modified Plastics in Smart Bathroom Toilet Seats, and The Newly Application of Fireproof ABS in Smart Toilet Seats respectively.

Representatives visited the Industrial Park of Panasonic located in Hangzhou following the conference.

(Source: China Appliance Magazine   Authour: Qin Li)