Self-cleaning pyrolytic ovens have been increasing in popularity over the last few years, with more brands and companies offering the technology every year. Not only do they eliminate the need for oven-specific cleaners and detergents, their integration into the mainstream has allowed suppliers and manufacturers to lower their costs, making them more accessible.
Though these ovens have been marketed extensively, it would seem the focus has landed on busy professionals and parents in order to free up their valuable time by letting the oven clean itself. There are other markets, however, that may benefit greatly from this technology: the elderly and the disabled.
In a previous post, ‘Care Home or Care at Home?, we discussed how smart technology integrated with telescopic slides may be the solution to allowing more independence at home to those who may otherwise require a carer or additional assistance. The technology industry often seems to forget the elderly in their marketing, but they may be missing out on some valuable customers for pyrolytic ovens.
Surveys have found that 51% of consumers found cleaning grease and burnt-on stains from their ovens a more than tedious task, so it is understandably harder for those who have lost mobility due to age or disability. Especially when cleaning an oven can require being bent over low down for potentially long periods of time, which is not easy on joints like the knees, hips and shoulders.
Pyrolytic ovens could be an excellent addition to homes where independence may be trickier to maintain, as the cleaning is done for you. The oven automatically locks its door, ensuring the oven can’t be opened, and turns the heat all the way up to 500˚C to get rid of those hard-to-remove stains, eliminating the need to scrub away for hours. All that is required by humans is to wipe out the ash created when the grease is burnt away. The removal of oven-specific cleaners also reduces the risks of alkaline chemical burns, which can progress from superficial to full thickness burns within a matter of hours if treated inadequately.
As it is now possible to have ovens installed at different heights, it will be even easier to make the kitchen more accessible. The risk of injury will also be reduced, as there will be no need to bend down and lift hot and potentially heavy trays. Instead, trays can be immediately transferred between the oven and the work surfaces with ease.
When pyrolytic ovens were first put on the market, one issue that was highlighted was that the oven shelves had to be removed before the cleaning programme began as the lubricants and greases in the slides were not suitable for such high temperatures. Always eager to help create solutions, Accuride set to developing telescopic slides that could stand the heat.
Our telescopic oven runners were created to be the perfect partner for pyrolytic ovens due to their solid graphite inserts. These inserts provide a constantly-replenished film of lubrication that is unaffected by the extreme temperatures, adding to the simplicity and ease of using pyrolytic cleaning. They are also dishwasher-safe, making them even easier to maintain and ensuring longevity.
Photograph courtesy of Miele
Like all Accuride slides, our telescopic oven slides are able to move heavy loads with ease. This allows end users to slide heavy food trays out of the oven without the danger of tipping over, and means that food can be withdrawn to a more accessible position rather than having to reach inside the oven and risk the burning of arms or hands. For wheelchair users, this can eliminate the risk of over-reaching and imbalance. The need to bend down and then lift is also removed, which can become difficult for elderly relatives.
While the risk of minor burns cannot be completely eliminated yet, Accuride’s telescopic runners mean that pyrolytic ovens are now more accessible than ever. They only require minimal human interaction when it comes to cleaning, which allows the user more time to get on with their daily life. The fact that these slides can endure high temperatures means that they do not have to be removed before the cleaning programme begins, allowing the programme to be used without concern. This removes the danger of injuries associated with the by-hand oven-cleaning process, such as joint and back damage, as well as chemical burns from cleaning products.
As homes adapt to the future and technology caters more to accessibility, what else do you think would help to provide independence at home?
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Our live chat is perfect for any quick questions that you have on the go, as it works just as well on mobile as it does on desktop. You can even log in through your Facebook or Google+ account to make it even quicker and easier.
In order to offer our customers the best service we can provide, we have added a live chat feature to our website. This handy and quick feature means that visitors to the website can get in contact with a member of the team wherever they are. This way we can deal with any enquiries or questions within minutes and with a personal response. Even we are surprised to see how far live chat has come in recent years, 42% of customers prefer live chat compared to just 23% for email, and 16% for social media or forums.
As one of the largest suppliers of linear motion slides and drawer runners in the world for more than 50 years, we wouldn’t have got to where we are today without our dedication to first-class customer support. Our team are always on hand to help out with everything from large volume orders or completely bespoke motion slide projects.
By adding the live chat feature, we are aiming for Accuride to be as accessible as possible for our customers. Many of our clients contact us by phone or by email, but we understand that for some smaller queries it can be easier to message us instantly through the website.
We are always trying to think of small changes that can make a big difference. It is this kind of innovative thinking that means that Accuride slides can be found in everything from luxury cars to bespoke warehouse picking systems. Our innovative approach has lead us to think more about how linear motion slides can entwine with technology and we are always developing our capabilities with smart solutions such as Access Control.
The live chat feature is just another step to increase our communication abilities and, like integrating Scrum into part of our manufacturing and development processes, it reinforces our dedication to offer our customers the best experience possible.
Through the use of Scrum, we have improved not only communication between our staff and teams but also with our customers. It is now easier than ever for our customers to have their input into the design and development stages of their ball bearing slides and drawers. Not only does this mean that they end up with a better product but it also means that we are more effective and can produce prototypes more efficiently. This can save our customers time and money on every single bespoke project as well as some from our current ranges. You can find out more about how and why we use Scrum on our blog post here.
We are always embracing new methods and new technology in order to improve our end products and customer service. Our live chat is just another feature that allows us to connect better with our customers. What better way to find out how well our Live chat works than going to our homepage and testing it out. We’re happy to answer all of your questions and we’re confident that you’ll love it as 92% customers feel satisfied when they use the live chat feature.
In order to make this happen, we take our research and development very seriously and our expert teams of engineers and designers have the latest tools at their disposal. But it’s not just our fantastic people at Accuride that allow us to come up with the inventive solutions to our customers’ headaches.
We love efficiency at Accuride; our working and engineering frameworks are designed to get the best out of our teams every time. In order to make our teams even more efficient, our project development in Germany has begun to implement Scrum as part of their working processes.
Scrum was first coined in the early ‘90s and the first Scrum paper was published in 1995. Scrum is now described as a framework within which people can address complex adaptive problems, while productively and creatively delivering products of the highest possible value.
Scrum itself is a simple framework for effective team collaboration on complex products. While it was originally designed as a framework for software development, Scrum is equally as useful for engineering projects where an end product is being produced.
One of the major benefits of Scrum is the daily scrum. These allow us quickly to get members of the team together to discuss progress and outline any areas for improvement. This also gives better visibility of progress for the project and we can show our customers prototypes and designs at an earlier stage and allow them to give feedback and input into the ongoing project.
This means that our customers can have an input into the projects before they are complete so that they are guaranteed to get more out of the end product. Not only does Scrum mean that our customers get better products, the quick processes also means that we are able to cut down timescales.
Thanks to Scrum, Accuride Europe can now design and engineer more innovative linear motion slides and drawer runners for our customers in even quicker timescales. But it’s not just our new telescopic slides that benefits from Scrum.
We are also using Scrum and our customers’ feedback to influence the development process of our existing products. We like to take a fresh look at our existing product line and look for ways where we can improve our world-leading products.
This way we are ensuring that our sliding solutions are always made to the highest quality and are constantly being updated with the latest technology and techniques.
Since Scrum has been integrated into Accuride Europe our engineers and designers have loved working in a much more efficient way and has allowed us to already implement Scrum into some of our automotive and oven projects.
Progress with Scrum is already extremely exciting and we are seeing results that our customers are very happy with. We are currently evaluating expanding Scrum to other areas of Accuride and hope to bring those benefits to our customers.
As Scrum allows our customers to have more influence in our development processes, how would you like to adapt one of our slides to fit your latest project?
Office design is moving into a new era with advances in technologies, improved ergonomic furniture and strategic lighting replacing the tired and often boring offices of the past. But as our work spaces are changing is this having a knock-on effect in the way we are working?
Our offices no longer consist of simple desks and fax machines. Open spaces and adaptive furniture are all starting to be incorporated in an attempt to boost productivity in the workplace. Moving on significantly from the early 80s where the biggest considerations were cabling and the overheating of bulky new technology, to today, where creating minimalist spaces to boost creativity is fast becoming the norm.
From paperless offices right through to hot desking, the office dynamic is starting to see a change. Many of us are still sitting behind desks from 9-5. But as these trends are developing they could quickly end up coming our way. The way offices are being designed is changing in a variety of ways, with open plan offices encouraging team collaboration and versatile furniture enabling work in an array of environments.
The push for a reduction in expensive office real estate has also lead many companies to introduce open plan design and hot desking, sometimes with little thought to the impact on workers.
Business owners must consider changes to the office environment, from physical appliances to interior design, in an effort to promote a positive mood throughout the office. According to RIBA, thousands of people are using their office space for 50% or more of their waking hours, so ensuring that these spaces are effective, inspiring and energetic is high on the priority list.
However, distracting noise and visual stimulus in open-plan offices can actually account for a drop in employee effectiveness. The workplace still needs to be balanced so that workers can choose their work space depending on the task.
Advancing technology allows companies to be less reliant on keeping their staff in one place throughout the day. Employees are becoming more flexible in the way they work and with adaptive space and new technology, the office of the future looks set to keep staff on the move.
Innovative companies such as LEGO® have introduced flexible work zones with no designated seating arrangements and a management team without offices. Bali Padda, COO and Executive Vice President, explained, “the lack of fixed seating is a very tangible consequence but the biggest impact is that the traditional physical concept of department has been dissolved, which enables cross-organisational collaboration even more than we are used to.”
The new office in Central London offers different floors for different zones of work. These open plan zones encourage employees to collaborate right across the company, introducing central locations for various teams to integrate, discuss ideas and resolve problems.
In a survey undertaken by JLL, a staggering 81% of those surveyed believed that open office plans promoted improved behaviours when compared to individual office plans. By opening up space and encouraging engagement between employees, many businesses are seeing a positive impact in both happiness and productivity.
Brad Krauskopf, CEO and founder of Third Spaces Group, on behalf of Entrepreneur, said, “The distant future of functional workspace will also be about using virtual reality and creating a fourth dimension’ throughout office spaces.”
Keeping up with both design and technology is a big factor in many offices of the future. But with these futuristic ideas are the smaller, less advanced offices going to fall behind and will employees be able to adapt quickly enough to stay ahead of the game?
In a report by Arcadis, it is expected that by 2020 the number of physical objects connected to the internet will grow to 50 billion. This added pressure will introduce more technology to the workplace, making progressive technology even more important to allow companies to succeed in the digital world. There is also the addition of augmented and virtual reality being introduced into many office environments to encourage increased work flow. This advancing technology is leading the way with offices of the future.
Additional material from JLL, Workplace Design and Practise on the Ethical Environment
Families put off moving their loved ones to a care home, but eventually, it can feel inevitable. A recent survey of British adults found that, on average, they estimate that residential care will cost £549 a week. In reality, the figure is £866 for a place in a standard nursing home.
Often, the huge cost of nursing homes is a deciding factor when choosing where a relative receives care. However, the social and emotional impact of living away from home and keeping loved ones together is also of the utmost of importance when deciding, along with the concerns with the quality of care. Staying in their own home and keeping their independence is becoming a more attractive option for the elderly.
With technology moving forward so quickly and the arrival of smart technology, the possibilities are endless when it comes to integrating it with your home. One of the biggest concerns for families with relatives who receive care at home is ensuring that they can maintain their independence while being subtly monitored to reduce age-related risks.
At Accuride, we can imagine a world where interconnected devices throughout the home aid the care of the individual. We see a future where sensors, appliances and devices can talk to each other to provide the same level of care from a qualified professional with full discretion and independence.
By relaying certain information to family members, they can have peace of mind that their loved one is being looked after properly and continue to live their life without the hassle. By utilising the technology available families can gain a better understanding of the care that their loved ones need and receive.
A simple process could be a device recognising that the person in need has woken up, which then would prompt the blinds to open and turn the television on, it could even boil the kettle. While this would be fantastic for anyone, it would also let a concerned family member know that the one in care has woken up and could inform them of the duration and quality of sleep.
For family members who require tablets or prescriptions, making sure they take them on time can be tricky. The safe storage of medication is also a consideration when elderly relatives are living with the family and young children are present. Having medication kept out of sight can cause elderly relatives to forget to take it. Sometimes, the best approach can be a gentle reminder that tablets need to be taken if they haven’t already.
With Accuride’s Electronic Access Control Locking Systems, the storage and control of medical products could not be any easier or safer. Family members can discreetly check which compartments are being opened and if a draw hasn’t been opened after a certain amount of time, a notification can be sent to any family member. This discreet and gentle system allows elderly or vulnerable people to have as much independence as possible while giving peace of mind to the family.
At Accuride, we love to break down boundaries and develop drawer slides that will inspire future generations. Our Electronic Access Control Locking Systems are ready for future applications with retina scanning and fingerprint technology, making sure that they are as secure and adaptable as possible.
The possibilities are endless with smart technology and the Internet of Things, so when will we see more families choosing care at home over a care home?
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