Perforated plate seeks paste
Towards an international standard for shower toilets
Miso versus mustard
The Asian protagonists wanted to use a soy-based miso paste, while the Western faction insisted on testing using mustard. This was compounded by the fact that neither of the two solutions met the criterion of a standardised paste. Markus Gantenbein, Head of the Materials Laboratory in the Technology and Innovation department at Geberit, was tasked with finding an alternative. “I knew that only a synthetically produced paste would end the deadlock in the committee,” he says in retrospect.
Just like grandma used to make
In the following weeks, the lights in the Materials Laboratory burned longer than usual in the evenings – Gantenbein developed pastes. After several prototypes and tests, he found what he was looking for. A recipe of citric acid, calcium chloride, cellulose, water, a dash of food colouring and pectin – a gelling agent that grandma used to make jam, seemed to him worthy of compromise. And he was proven right: The paste withstood the critical scrutiny of all committee members. Miso and mustard were history.
Bone-crushing standard work
Measuring the cleaning effect of the shower spray is just one of 13 test processes currently prescribed for shower toilets, which the IEC summarises under the somewhat unwieldy standard designation “Electrically operated spray seats for the household and similar purposes”. A consensus or majority decision must be reached for each individual test process. Markus Gantenbein knows that working with standards is tough: “Nobody on the committee wants a standard that is detrimental to their own products. This is why every detail of the test processes is thoroughly negotiated.”