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Bradley Corp.: Outside-the-box commercial restroom design & innovation

Bradley4

Bradley Corp.: Outside-the-box commercial restroom design & innovation

It may sound cliché but when I say this is really where the magic happens, I really mean it. On a beautiful spring morning earlier this year I had the privilege to visit Bradley Corporation in Menomonee Falls, Wis. For more than 90 years, Bradley has designed and manufactured commercial handwashing fixtures, emergency eyewash fixtures and drench showers, thermostatic mixing valves, washroom accessories, restroom partitions and solid plastic lockers. Bradley recently expanded its washroom accessories division with a beautiful new facility in Germantown, Wis. where they manufacture grab bars, mirrors, vendors, and other commercial washroom accessories products.

Forkliftin’. A Bradley employee transports a finished sink.

Product Applications Manager Arnie Wilke was my gracious guide for the day as I visited the Menomonee Falls plant and toured various showrooms. I was highly impressed by the engineering showroom, which featured Bradley’s thermostatic mixing valves (TMVs), showers and eyewash fixtures — all lead-free compliant and ready to comply with the upcoming January lead-free law. The showrooms really feature Bradley products in all their glory — from sleek paper towel dispenser designs to the functional and practical handwashing sinks. I would highly recommend a visit if you are in the Milwaukee area.

Arnie Wilke talks TMVs and Bradley’s commitment to lead free compliance.

In addition to their focus on American manufacturing — employing 350 people in its plant and office — I was also impressed by Bradley’s high level of innovation. It really shines through on every product. Their R&D capabilities, engineering expertise and attention to detail truly put them at the forefront of restroom design.

Product innovation
Bradley offers a number of unique product innovations including the newly introduced Advocate Lavatory System.  Advocate is the first lavatory unit designed to provide a sink, soap, faucet and dual-sided hand dryer all in one sleek and touchless unit. The dual-sided hand dryer is quite impressive, and dries hands in 15 seconds or less. Advocate is a neat product, but don’t take my word for it. It received the prominent 2012 GOOD DESIGN™ Award presented by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and the 2013 Money-Savings Product Award from Buildings Magazine.

The Advocate sink provides it all: sink, soap, faucet and hand dryer. 

Coming out later this month is the new Verge L-Series Lavatory System. It features a clean, sleek design and is also enhanced reach compliant, providing an easier reach for users to wash their hands. Verge is made from Evero, a blend of natural quartz, granite and other exotic materials in a bio-based resin. The material is more durable than granite and virtually maintenance free.

Another outside-the-box innovation is Bradley’s NDITE lavatory system, which uses light in the room to power fixtures. C’mon. I mean how cool is that?  The patent pending technology converts light to energy using photovoltaic cells. Whether it is natural light or normal room-level lighting, the cells capture light when it is available and store the energy for later use in a battery-free system. NDITE technology eliminates the need for electrical hook-ups and prevents thousands of batteries from ending up in landfills.

Bradley offers a number of handwashing products constructed of Terreon solid surface or TerreronRE solid surface material. Terreon is highly durable, resists stains, burns, chemicals and impact, and is easy to clean and maintain. TerreonRE has all the features of Terreon, but is environmentally friendly. It’s comprised of 25% pre-consumer recycled content and a bio-based resin. Handwashing fixtures available in Terreon solid surface material include the Express Lavatory System —which according to Arnie is Bradley’s biggest handwashing seller — the Frequency Lavatory System, Multi-Fount and Deep Bowl Washfountains and the newly introduced Advocate Lavatory System.

Moving to the safety side, Bradley offers a large array of emergency fixture products. Their latest breakthrough innovation is the Halo eye/face wash. It covers 85% of the user’s face, which is 20% better coverage than other eye/face wash on the market. The design also features separate supply and waste pipes to prevent cross contamination. Halo is available in pedestal mount, wall mount and combination units.

Check out the Halo system here: http://www.bradleycorp.com/halo.

Bradley recently introduced a new stainless steel version of Halo, which is great for corrosive environments such as petrochemical plants and oil refineries where hazardous chemicals are present. Halo technology has also been integrated into Bradley’s swing-activated safety solutions. Swing-activated safety solutions are typically mounted over a sink in a classroom or laboratory and offer fast relief in an emergency. Swing activated products also integrate a new ceramic disc valve, which is extremely durable and built to last for a lifetime of activations.

Getting Into Hot Water
Never satisfied with the status quo, earlier this year Bradley acquired Keltech Inc., a recognized leader in commercial-grade electric tankless water heaters.  The acquisition solidifies Bradley’s standing in the marketplace as a commercial plumbing leader and as a manufacturer of durable, reliable products. “This acquisition continues to grow our leadership position in the commercial plumbing category and provides new, innovative products for our customers,” said Bryan Mullett, President at Bradley Corp.

Arnie Wilke describes the benefits of Keltech on-demand electric water heaters.

Going Global
But it doesn’t stop there. The company seeks to be the dominant choice in commercial restroom design, both domestically and internationally. According to Jon Dommisse, Director of Global Marketing and Strategic Development, “Bradley is eyeing trends that are happening global within the industry. As Bradley continues to develop innovative new products, I’m confident the company will reach its goal of becoming the global leader in the commercial plumbing fixture market.”

For more info on Bradley Corp., visit www.bradleycorp.com.

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