Leading innovation with unique technologies
The sanitary industry is populated by technological pioneers and brims with creative ideas. There is hardly a faucet, shower or WC which has not been optimised and refined time and again over the years. More often than not, it is the small elements and technologies, hidden deep inside the products that make the big difference. Take the cartridge for example. It is at the heart of every faucet and a masterpiece of modern engineering. GROHE is one of only a few manufacturers worldwide to produce all the cartridges for its faucets internally, which has earned the company its reputation as an international innovation leader. But what is the secret behind GROHE cartridges and what are their most important features?
GROHE high-tech cartridges have a special feature that is shared by no other cartridge: they offer the unparalleled GROHE SilkMove® experience of silky lever action and precise fine-tuning of the water flow and temperature. This unique user comfort is the result of the interaction between more than ten different high-grade components in each cartridge. The most important element are two discs, made from an aerospace-proven ceramic alloy, that glide across each other with great precision. A special lubricant with Teflon technology is applied to their mirror-smooth surfaces during production. Micro pores in the ceramic alloy serve as a lubricant reservoir to ensure that the discs retain their smoothness throughout the life of the faucet.
So how does the cartridge work inside the faucet? The operating lever is connected to the ceramic discs via a solid connecting element, which transmits its movement to the control element. Lifting the lever clears the way for the water, while the swivelling movement changes the relative amounts of hot and cold water. Even after many years of use, the low amount of force required to operate the lever remains the same – a great advantage that makes GROHE faucets stand out from the rest.
Unique comparative test of international manufacturers
This long-lasting functionality has also been confirmed by Germany’s TÜV SÜD, whose experts have tested the mechanical resilience of the faucets from nine renowned international manufacturers in a large-scale comparative test. This endurance test simulated 20 years of use and maximum strain. Among the aspects tested were the operating forces in the movement of the lever, the breakaway torque after an extended rest period, the operating precision and the tightness. Thanks to the excellent GROHE SilkMove® technology, GROHE came out as the clear winner.
The cartridge competence centre
Hemer is the home of the GROHE cartridges. This is where the company produces different cartridge variants in sizes of 28, 35, 46 and 56 millimetres for its global faucet production. Different sizes are used depending on the faucet diameter and the draw-off point, as well as the required flow properties. The new 28 millimetre cartridge, for instance, can be found inside the S-size Essence faucet launched this year, which is the most slender faucet introduced by GROHE to date. Featuring a spout height of 111 millimetres and a very small operating lever, it offers great operating comfort and perfect proportions.
The GROHE plant in Hemer can produce up to 5.4 million 46 millimetre cartridges and 4.8 million 35 millimetre cartridges per year. All cartridges manufactured in Hemer are made from high-quality precision components. The individual components are assembled on two production lines operated by three workers per shift. All parts must pass a 100 percent pressure test of 16 bar and are precisely calibrated. Even the smallest deviations would affect the world-class performance of the cartridges.
For over 140 years, GROHE has been influenced by their “Masters of Technology” – the inventors, developers and manufacturers whose creative DNA has been instilled in the company. The great enthusiasm for innovative technologies, which is also shared by today’s GROHE employees, is felt by customers day in and day out, year in and year out, whenever they control the water flow of their faucet with the same unfailingly high comfort and precision. This unique experience comes courtesy of GROHE cartridges and GROHE SilkMove® technology.