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Motorisation for all
Tuesday, 30 June 2015 00:00

Louvolite is one of the pioneers of the motorised blind  and has new products for 2015

Very occasionally something happens that has a significant impact on the way an industry functions. On very rare occasions such changes can permeate through the industry and have a noticeable impact on the client base that the industry serves.
Louvolite has been fortunate enough to have been involved in a number of such events over the years certain ones of which perhaps deserve mentioning.

In 1988 Louvolite pioneered the concept of the Spectrum design of the fabric collection books for vertical blind fabrics. This involved grouping fabrics by colour – the only real buying criteria a consumer has at the time of order.

In 1990 Louvolite introduced the first cut length facility across vertical louvre, roller blind and its then new pleated blind fabric collections. This massively reduced stock holding values for blind makers and allowed the market to offer a wider collection of products without financial impact.

In 1995 Louvolite launched SPC which allowed the industry to supply a better performing product to meet the new EU directive regarding reduction of glare. In addition the solar reflective qualities of SPC revolutionised the pleated blind market that at that time was using metallised fabrics.

In 2005 Louvolite brought Perfect Fit to the market and gave the industry a new way to install blinds into sealed double glazed window systems – no drilling, no screwing.

Now at the beginning of 2015 Louvolite is ready to launch to the industry a product that it believes could in the future be considered as another game changer, the Louvolite One Touch programme.

Over the last few years as child safety issues have taken centre stage in our industry, the ingenuity of the industry has again been put to test. Chain and cord based operating systems – the foundation stones of modern window shades – have been reviewed, evaluated and modified to provide child safe operating systems featuring integral, or none integral, safety devices. However it has been stated that the true spirit of an industry full of entrepreneurs and innovators will prevail and drive the industry forward to again re-invent the (window blind) wheel and eliminate cords by design. The wand operated vertical blind has fast become the product of choice as a safe by design option for this popular product. Tubular operating systems perhaps create the biggest challenge.

For many people, motorised operation has been seen as an obvious and immediate solution to child safety issues because it negates the need for chain operation. In reality, the only real issue with motorisation is that the sophisticated means of operation typically leads to price points that, whilst totally reasonable in some industries, are seen to be restrictive within our own. If the product could be made available in its simplest, purest form it could add oxygen to the motorisation industry and transform the offer to the consumer.

Louvolite has taken on this challenge with its One Touch product. Essentially the basic One Touch product is measured for, manufactured like and installed the same as any chain operated product. No specialist knowledge is required and the standard adjustments for manufacturing are designed to be the same as for a manually operated product.

The tubular motor is housed within the new 35mm tube. On the two entry level products, the motor is powered by regular AA batteries; these are all neatly housed in a cylindrical tube which simply clicks into place at the back of the open cassette which carries the One Touch programme.

From the operating end of the One Touch product, instead of a chain there is a wand, this is connected to the motor unit with a flexible grommet allowing movement. At the end of the wand there is a stylish switch with two obvious buttons – press the top button once and the blind will rise, press the bottom button once and the blind will lower, press the appropriate button again during the travel of the blind and the unit will immediately stop in any position. Obviously the blind manufacturer will “set” the resting height and recess drop at the time of assembly and these can be adjusted at a later stage should this be required. That’s it - One Touch, pure and simple, but of course the best things always are.

To install One Touch it requires the appropriate number of top/face fix spring brackets, just clip the open cassette in place and hey presto – done. One touch and the blind goes up, one touch and the blind comes down and one touch for it to stop at any level you want. One Touch can currently be used to operate Louvolite Roller Blinds, Vision Blinds and its Roman Blind programme.

The entry level One Touch products might not offer the additional features of some other motorised solutions in the market, yet by making the concept as simple as possible and utilising its own engineering design and manufacturing capabilities, Louvolite believes it has created a product that the industry will make available to a totally new audience for motorisation.

One Touch doesn’t stop at the entry-level offerings. Louvolite is also launching a remote control motor that is powered by a rechargeable Lithium battery. The increased power of the motor will operate larger blinds and the One Touch radio frequency remote control unit has 5 channels to operate up to five different blinds independently.

Mains powered AC units are also considered and Louvolite has included two options for this specialised area, a 1.5 Nm unit and a much larger 6 Nm unit. These units are designed to work with Louvolite systems and feature stylish remote control options that have 15 channels.

The depth of the Louvolite range reflects the expectations of those companies already involved in motorisation, however it must be the entry level products that will, for the first time, open up motorisation to the masses.

 

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