With many high speed hand dryers being slammed by leading noise researchers, Mitsubishi Electric is doubly proud of the Quiet Mark approval awarded to its Jet Towel hand dryer by the Noise Abatement Society.
The Mitsubishi Electric Jet Towel is the quietest dryer in its class with an operating sound level of 58dB, while many of its competitors exceed 85dB. Because the decibel scale is logarithmic, this difference is even greater than it seems and further, Mitsubishi explains that the Jet Towel does not produce high and low frequency sounds can be intrusive to people. Also, with a drying time from as little as 9 seconds, the duration is only about one-third that of conventional dryers.
Sound researchers at Goldsmiths, University of London, pointed out in their research findings that most washrooms have hard-surfaced walls, floors and ceilings, so echoing and reverberating the sound of noisy hand dryers considerably. They say that loud dryers can have the same impact on the human ear as that of a road drill at close range, and that this is particularly troublesome to vulnerable groups such as the elderly, dementia sufferers and nursing mothers.
They can also adversely affect the navigation of visually impaired people and force hearing-aid users to turn their devices off when entering public toilets.
The research was led by Dr John Levack Drever, Head of the Unit for Sound Practice Research at Goldsmiths. His suggestion that dryers’ sound signatures could be tuned to be less invasive, follows the lead set by Mitsubishi’s designers. As part of its very long-term business development strategy, Mitsubishi Electric has adopted the mission statement: “Changes for the better”. As such, it strives to improve quality of life by developing products that are not only technically better than competitors’, but which are also designed to reduce users’ stress and have minimal impact on the environment.
In early 2012, it launched the 8th generation of the Mitsubishi Electric Jet Towel hand dryer, which reset the benchmark for quiet operation, as well as improving energy efficiency (using a minimal percentage of the power of a conventional dryer) and hygiene performance. UK product specialist Fawn Litchfield explains:
“The Mitsubishi Electric Jet Towel has an integral drain, into which moisture removed from user’s hand is directly blown. Incredibly, other hand dryers just let the water drip to the floor or evaporate it to the atmosphere so that it re-condenses onto door handles and other cold surfaces! “Because of its minimal acoustics, Mitsubishi Electric Jet Towel has become the hand dryer of choice in many sound sensitive locations throughout the UK. It is installed in stately homes, business and conference centres, council chambers, universities, libraries, hospitals, hotels and the residential houses of several leading schools.”
Fawn says Goldsmiths is to be congratulated on its work – identifying an issue before it becomes even more widespread and suggesting ways that it can be addressed.