Ark: Expanding Horizons

Gauri Singh Shandilaya, Managing Director, Crystal Sanitary Fittings, discusses the evolving Indian market as demand grows for new designs and finishes in faucets, along with quality and durability, and advises on the features that the end-users must consider when making a purchase

What are the latest trends in faucet design and finishes?

ARK Product
Body designs of sanitary fittings have become more geometric or symmetrical, making them more eye-catching. While customers expect that, internally, the fittings would be reliable and require low maintenance, they want the contours to enhance the beauty of their bathroom interiors.

Convenience or ease of operation is the other driving factor in bath fittings design. Since the modern customer is usually time deprived, he/she expects the process of water deliverance to be easy and fast. As a result, Q/T assemblies that open / shut completely in 90 degrees, have replaced earlier assemblies that opened / closed in 720/540/360 or 180 degrees. Consequently, operating knobs too have changed with the lever type handle now ubiquitous instead of the earlier round with grip handles.

During the 1990s, coloured finishes in sanitary fittings were a rage. However, owing to the moist environs in which sanitary fittings operate, and as a result of constant interaction with water, most of these adhesion-based coloured fittings went out of vogue due to the poor lives of the finishes. Chrome over nickel electroplating has remained popular over 50-60 years due to its long life and resistance to scaling. Now coloured finishes are again making a comeback with the advent of the physical vapour deposition (PVD) technology.

What features should a home owner look for when selecting faucets?

ARK Products
Before buying sanitary fittings, a homeowner should first look at the plumbing system in his/her house. Multi-storied houses and apartment buildings have necessitated this approach. Verily, in the same house or apartment building, nowadays there would be zones of hydraulic pressure differentiated by their distance from the overhead water source.

The higher the overhead tank is from a floor, the more water pressure it will get. Typically, the top floor would have water pressures ranging from 0.7 to 1.2 bars, the floor beneath it would have pressures between 1.5 to 2 bars and these pressures would keep coming down to the ground floor unless there is a multi-floor tank storage system in place.

While certain fittings like single lever faucets, multi-function showers, dream showers, steam rooms etc work best in higher pressures (2-2.5 bars), many fittings like health faucets, push cocks work best in lower pressures (0.7-1.5 bars). Also, it is in the best interest of the house owner to not allow extremes of water pressures in any case as they will not get good discharge if the flow is less than 0.7 bars, while there would be frequent maintenance issues if the water pressure exceeds 2.5 bars, given the commonly used pipe technology.

The house owner must also look at various locations in his/her house where he/she would require water to be delivered: there would be basins, sinks, bathing areas, toilets, car wash areas, washing machine areas, typically. Most of these spots are served from the overhead tank. Complications will arise when hot water too is required at some of these places. So instead of single body taps like pillars, bibs and concealed valves, the customer has to go in for wall-mounted or deck-mounted mixers or diverters to enable hot water mixing.
Gauri Singh Shandilaya

Suffice it to say that almost 90% of the maintenance requirement in faucets pertains to changing the rubber seals that give way due to harsh water conditions

Gauri Singh Shandilaya, Managing Director, Crystal Sanitary Fittings

If the house owner is worried about hygiene, he/she might want touch-free sensor faucets instead of normal handle or lever faucets. There is also a growing awareness on the need to save water. Most faucets, nowadays, come equipped with aerators that claim to save 50% water consumption. In case of extreme water consumption as in some metros, the house owner should install a water management system (WMS) between his/her overhead tank and the ground water tank. The WMS comprises of a pressure booster and a water level controller. This keeps water pressure in the plumbing pipes and the level of water in the overhead tank in prime condition, for assured top-class water delivery.

What is the lifespan and maintenance requirements of Crystal’s Ark brand of products?

Typically, the main constituent of faucets is brass, which is an alloy of copper and zinc, brought together to achieve optimum level of ductility, malleability, strength, and anti-rusting. Anti-rusting is a starting point if one considers that we are dealing with water that facilitates rusting and scaling. Having got the metal composition right, one must now ensure proper anti-leakage sealing.

A good brass faucet can typically last eternally, almost. Fittings installed within a house and protected from the vagaries of nature, will only need maintenance requirement such as change in rubber sealing, which would be necessitated due to the salt deposits in water. If water is hard, as in coastal and desert areas, then the rubber seals might need frequent replacements.

The basic brass constituent of the fitting once installed, can typically stand for decades, unless exposed to extreme conditions. Hard water can corrode the insides, or careless mishandling such as putting body weight or bucket filled weight on the faucet, which could lead to its breakage. Suffice it to say that almost 90% of the maintenance requirement in faucets pertains to changing the rubber seals that give way due to harsh water conditions.

How has the Indian faucet industry grown vis a vis import?

The Indian faucet industry has been thriving for the past several decades - though most businesses are small to medium, except for a handful of high-end players. Delhi, Jamnagar, Chandigarh, Jalandhar, and Meerut are some places in North India where many faucet manufacturers have established themselves.

Although there has been a shift towards branded faucets in the last three decades, the unorganized sector is still thriving in India. So, it is not uncommon to find regional city specific or state specific local brands operating in many regions.

It is only if one looks at the cheap quality ‘use-and-throw’ products or at high-end smart faucets that one sees imported products infiltrating the market. Low-end showers, health faucets, hoses, stainless steel accessories are being imported from China, whereas many industry veterans are collaborating with European manufacturers to bring in top-of-the-line high technology products like LED, audio, aromatic showers and smart programmable technology faucets for the elite and high-end customers in India. Several multi-national brands have also entered the Indian market looking at the huge potential that the Indian middle class and lower middle class offers.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of Indian make of faucets vis a vis multi-national brands?

One must look at the basic plumbing systems that exist in India to understand the differences. Much of the faucets made in India during the period of organized sector consolidation were single body taps (pillars, bibs, concealed valves and angle valves), which initially housed a gland dori-based assembly and later a screw-down seat holder-based assembly.

While in the Western word, mixers and ceramic disc-based technology has been in vogue for quite a while, and it is easy to understand why. European countries need hot water throughout the year, hence mixing faucets were invented at an early stage there. Secondly, water pressures in Europe are typically high due to a lower population density and because of better technology of plumbing.

In India, most of the central, western, and southern regions don’t experience extreme cold. Hence, almost 75-80% customers were quite happy with the pillars and bibs produced. Those that wanted hot water, typically used a separate stand-alone pillar or bib, and mixed water in the receptacle or the container. Also, owing to a higher population density and poor water transfer technology (with leakages rampant along the way), water pressures in India are typically low. Under lower pressures, the seat holder screw-down spindles give better performance than the ceramic disc technology ones.

These differences notwithstanding, the modern era is seeing a convergence of technology, driven by customers looking at more features and convenience.

What are the company’s manufacturing and R&D capabilities?

Our brand Ark is now into its sixth decade of existence. The company first began manufacturing brass fittings in 1968. This year, we have expanded to three states with our own factories, while maintaining purchase and other business collaborations with about 50 partners and associates. Our main warehouse is in Panchkula and our main manufacturing facility is in Chandigarh. We have two other units for manufacturing and storage: one in Baddi (Himachal Pradesh) and anther one in Chandigarh.

We are the only faucet manufacturing company in India to be ISO 9001:2015 certified and IS 8931:1994 registered for one of our economy ranges. We have a multi- layered quality inspection system that starts at the stage of brass composition and monitoring till the final dispatch.

Multi-stage inspection is carried out after each stage of manufacturing through calibrated equipment and gauges as per national and international standards. Rigorous tests ensure that load bearing areas or parts of the faucets are strong enough to withstand decades of usage. Rubber seals of the best quality are used to ensure durable and long-lasing performance, even in trying conditions of water supply in India.

We have BIS-backed inspection systems in place to ensure thick layers of Ni and Cr on the brass that are also resistant to corrosion and tough conditions of usage. Hoses and pipes are checked for temperature and pressure, while spindle assemblies are tested for strength, composition and disc quality, to ensure that they run for over 10,00,00 cycles in normal conditions of water supply.

Assembled faucets are checked via pneumatic as well as hydraulic equipment at high pressure to ensure that only the best faucets are dispatched to the customer. A number of periodic checks and product audits also augment the routine and daily checks.

Please name some of your important clients.

We are catering to the private and public sectors besides individual home owners. Our clients include the PWD, NIFT, CPWD, PMCH, L&T, Airports, AIIMS, Hyatt, The Indian Railways, Big Bazaar, CMS School, IIT, Big Bazaar and many others.
Click Here
To Know More / Contact The Manufacturer
Please provide your details we will contact you as soon as possible
Please let us know your name.
Please let us know your Designation.
Invalid Input
Please let us know your email address.
Please let us know your City.
Please let us know your Contact Number.
Please brief your query.
Our other value-added services:

To receive updates through e-mail on Products, New Technologies & Equipment, please select the Product Category(s) you are interested in and click 'Submit'. This will help you save time plus you will get the best price quotations from many manufacturers, which you can then evaluate and negotiate.

Equipment & Machinery
Invalid Input
Building Products
Invalid Input

5 Tips for planning plumbing systems for your dream home

Plumbing is one building service area that needs careful planning before starting construction as plumbing is the only service in a building which is directly connected to human health and hygiene. Improper plumbing planning can lead to various hygiene issues Read More ...

GRAFF Presents the Bali Collection - Honoring Bali’s Commitment to Wellness and Nature

GRAFF’s Bali Collection is a tribute to Bali’s intricate subak water system in use since the ninth century; the collection evokes closeness with the land, water, and nature. The collection’s spherical features pay tribute to Mother Earth and her resources. Gently sloped Read More ...

APL Apollo: Revolutionizing Construction

APL Apollo is adopting the latest technologies and gaining a competitive edge with innovative, cost-efficient products, says Sanjay Gupta, CMD, APL Apollo. APL Apollo has maintained a dominant position in the branded structural steel tubes market Read More ...

Rhinox: Making Connections Strong

Howard L, Asia Business Director, Rhinox, introduces world-patented technology Triple (VV) Press Fittings, which are known for safe and reliable piping solutions, besides durability and cost-effectiveness with minimum repair and maintenance Read More ...

The Right Choice

Johnson Pedder, a Roca Group brand, has launched two new faucet ranges and has also forayed into the PTMT bathroom fittings market. K.E Ranganathan, Managing Director, Johnson Pedder, describes the features and functions of the new products Read More ...

Contact-Free & Water-Efficient

Contact-Free & Water-Efficient Maintaining proper hygiene has become even more important in order to contain the spread of any disease-causing virus or bacteria. This is driving sanitaryware brands to introduce products that are touchless and backed by Read More ...

Pojiali® Faucets: Setting a Trend

Taiwan-based Pojiali Enterprise Co. Ltd. has brought to the Indian market its unique lead-free faucets that incorporate an ultra-filtration membrane for giving clean, purified water. Norman Wang, Senior Marketing Manager, discusses the faucet’s unique features and its use in Read More ...

Limitless Possibilities of Concrete

With the advancement in technology, today, concrete can be moulded into a piece of art; in fact, every product crafted in concrete is not just beautiful but functional and durable as well, says Ajaay Srinivas, Founding Director, Nuance Studio Read More ...

Watertec India - Amalgamation of Technology + Design

Bantwal Ramesh Baliga, CEO, Watertec India, shares with MGS Architecture the company’s focus on R&D and innovation for developing sustainable, water efficient and affordable products; plans for setting up more factories across India; diversifying into Read More ...

Grundfos SCALA2 enables right water pressure

In residences and commercial buildings, pressure boosting has become an important element in distributing water, to ensure that a consistent water pressure is maintained. Unmanaged or excessive pressure could waste water while reducing the lifecycle Read More ...

LIXIL: Bringing Global Technology

LIXIL is offering a multi-brand, multi-category portfolio, as the company believes in transforming the end-to-end home solutions and make the experience easy, enjoyable and of true value to consumers, avers Bobby Joseph, General Manager Read More ...

Colour in the Bathroom

The VDS trend forum Pop up my Bathroom at the world-leading ISH fair 2019 in Frankfurt turns colour in modern bathrooms into a talking point for the industry, The arrival of colours in what has traditionally been a "white Read More ...

GRAFF Presents Two New Cutting-Edge Finishes

GRAFF®, manufacturer of contemporary precision-engineered kitchen and bath products, has added two new cutting-edge finishes: Brushed Onyx and Brushed OR’Osa. The attractive metallic look of Brushed Onyx is a contemporary finish with a refined Read More ...

Lipka: Tuned to Market Demand

The Lipka brand has carved a niche in the Indian market with its growing portfolio of products across categories such as Faucets, Kitchen Sinks, Floor Drains and Bathroom Accessories. Kapil Gupta, Founder, Lipka Group, informs that the 100% made in India products Read More ...

Design + Technology

JAL has designed and developed many patented products such as the foot-operated valve, ant-theft tap, timer assisted urinal system, and the latest 'green' shower, which automatically stops after delivering the required amount of water. Our wide Read More ...

Long Life Plumbing

Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride pipe (commonly referred to as CPVC pipes) is the most commonly used piping for plumbing in residential and commercial buildings. Made of highly durable thermoplastic, CPVC has remained popular for over 5 decades Read More ...