Here’s a Sampling of 2017 Restroom Innovations

Demand for service convenience and a better user experience drive manufacturers to offer new products for portable sanitation providers.
Here’s a Sampling of 2017 Restroom Innovations
The T blustar RapidLoo can be quickly assembled and knocked down on location for compact transport.

Memorial Day weekend is in your rearview mirror and you’re looking ahead at the busiest part of the season. Placing restrooms for all sorts of customers — from the job site to that favorite special event — you’re always looking for a new twist that brings the “wow” factor and keeps them asking for more of your product.

With rising standards in portable sanitation and a desire to present new designs, manufacturers are always striving to improve the user experience — both for the technicians delivering the units and the end users who want a clean, comfortable restroom. Evidence of those efforts was on display at the 2017 WWETT Show in Indianapolis earlier this year.
Upstart innovators showed unique products aimed at improving service efficiency and the reputation for cleanliness for the entire industry. At the same time, established brands were on hand with enhanced build quality, ergonomic advances and more product choices for a wider variety of users.

Makers like PolyJohn Enterprises, PolyPortables, Five Peaks, Tuff-Jon and Satellite Industries are always looking to broaden their offerings to satisfy the changing needs of the industry. A new manufacturer at the 2016 show, Sansom Industries, was on hand again with its Zenith model with hands-free entry.

The innovations on display were many and I could never cover all of them in one column. We’ll have Product Focus features covering each manufacturer’s latest and greatest products coming in future issues of PRO. However, I stopped and snapped photos where crowds gathered to see new exhibitors’ offerings. In case you weren’t able to travel to Indianapolis for the WWETT Show this year, here are a few of the products being presented for restroom contractors:

Three units in one

Armal showed a European-styled Triple Cube unit that provides a central changing room flanked by a shower on one side and a restroom on the other. The unit is manufactured in the company’s plant in Italy and available for import to the U.S and around the world. Early interest at the WWETT Show was from contractors serving agricultural operations, and it seems it could also be popular at camping venues. Cube units can be fastened together in any configuration, and the company believes they will be popular mounted on trailers carrying freshwater and waste holding tanks.

The innovation that you couldn’t see on any of the Armal display units is the SanaFor Infused Anti-Bacterial Agent, a formulation incorporated into the polyethylene panels for antimicrobial protection. Armal has been known for its Scent Box technology that infuses restroom panels with a variety of fragrances aimed at creating long-lasting freshness. Learn more at www.armal.biz.

Nesting restroom

A prototype collapsing restroom called the P-Pod made its debut, with inventor Rob Weir constantly demonstrating how the unit folds down from the size of a standard portable restroom into a 36-inch-high cube. Once the three injection-molded segments are lowered, three cubes can be stacked together for transport in the same space as a standard restroom. The units are 90 percent recycled polyethylene, so bodies will all be gray, while the doors come in seven colors. They have removable, rear-venting 45-gallon waste tanks and urinals, weigh 160 pounds and can be locked in the closed position for added security. The units are manufactured in Windsor, Ontario. To learn more and see the P-Pod prototype opened and closed, go to www.p-pod.ca.

Assembly on site

The crew at the T blustar Holding Co. booth was constantly assembling and tearing down bright purple RapidLoo modular restroom units, without tools, to the amazement of show attendees. If you weren’t on hand to see it, go to www.tblustar.com and watch the video showing the unit being built in 90 seconds. Walls, tanks, roofs, bases and accessories are put together like puzzle pieces and secured with latches. Units weigh 158 pounds and are 42 1/2 by 42 1/2 inches and 90 1/2 inches tall when assembled. The restrooms are aimed at contractors who want to save on transportation/delivery and storage costs. A 53-foot trailer will carry 112 unassembled units to a job site. When units are not being used, they can be stored in a Smart Package of four restrooms that take up the space of one traditional unit.

A flushing base

The VIP Best 1 restroom base transforms most manufacturers’ standard shell into a large-capacity flushing toilet with portable power provided by a solar panel and storage battery. The retrofit adds an on-demand motorized exhaust fan with light, ceramic flushing RV toilet, 80-watt adjustable solar panel and secure battery compartment to bring full functionality off-grid. And all of the traditional maintenance can be done from outside the unit, so it can remain in service at all times. The rear housing includes water- and waste-tank access and a Sure Seal odorless tank design incorporating a P-trap similar to what’s found in household plumbing. As a result, there are no lingering waste odors, according to Bert Ito, the product developer. For more information, go to www.vipbest1.com.

Cape Cod feel on wheels

There were many great restroom trailers on display, and one of them was the 814 Cottage model from Ameri-Can Engineering. The compact unit is built on a 14-foot trailer to resemble a cozy cedar-shake shed or outbuilding like you might find on a New England farm. The WWETT Show model had four individual unisex bathrooms with toilets and pedestal sinks and a central corridor. The unit was finished with paneled walls, woodworking and fixtures influenced by Arts and Crafts and Mission styling. The prefinished cedar-shake siding is panelized, glued and screwed into place for durability when transporting the unit down the road. Though it has a rustic look, the unit has a stereo system with USB, AC and heat. It carries a 640-gallon waste tank and water is provided by a hose connection. For more info, go to www.ameri-can.com.

WHAT’S YOUR EXPERIENCE?

If you were at the 2017 WWETT Show, what was your favorite new product or innovation to serve restroom providers? Did you order any of the items on display, and if you did, how are they working out for you? Some of you are early adopters to new products and technologies, and the industry could benefit from your observations based on real-world use of these innovations.



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