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FIRA Project Manager, Sue Calver presented the findings of a study into the real usage of kitchens at kbb 2012 on Monday 5 March.
The FIRA funded study for Blum has looked into how real-life kitchens are used and the impact this has on the design, manufacture and installation of furniture fittings. The project aimed to review data relating to the usage of drawers, doors and lifting systems within real kitchens. The study compared how kitchens within the UK are used in comparison to kitchen usage in Europe – particularly Austria.
The study has involved FIRA technicians, trained by Blum, fitting the designated kitchens with monitoring equipment, including sensors and 6-digit counters to determine:
• Loads applied to doors and drawers
• Cycles of doors, drawers and lift systems throughout a kitchen lifetime
• Changes in use over time (i.e. moves towards full extension, changing storage options etc)
FIRA technicians have returned to the households to gather results which are focused primarily on the following cabinet areas of the kitchens:
1. Cutlery – main
2. Daily used crockery
3. Daily used glassware
4. Daily used mugs/cups
5. Pots and pans
7. Consumables – tins/jars/packets
8. Utensils – spatulas/whisks/fish slicers/ can openers etc
9. Cling film, foil, bags etc
The study showed that the drawer space is mostly used for provisions, followed closely by utilities, pots and flatware. Results showed that just 3% of drawer space is occupied by rubbish storage; however, the rubbish drawer was the most used part of the kitchen.
Frequency of use - Hinges
Results from both the UK and the Austria sample showed that the cupboard or drawer used for rubbish is the most commonly used part of the kitchen. However, the number of times the rubbish receptacle is used is much higher in Austria, suggesting that people in the UK are more likely to have a standalone bin. Hinge counters in the UK measured up to 165,000 uses over 20 years, with Austria showing usage of up to 286,000 cycles over 20 years. This figures is in excess of the Standard (BS6222 part 2. Domestic kitchen equipment) to which cupboard hinges are tested for – which anticipates that just 90,000 cycles are likely to take place over a 20 year period. This has highlighted a need for the Standard to be amended.
Frequency of use – Drawer Cycles
The study showed that again, drawers containing rubbish were the most frequently used. The Standard for drawers anticipates up to 120,000 cycles over a 20 year period, however, the study showed that drawers were used in excess of this. The estimated average figure for the cycles for the most used drawer in the UK was 300,000 times over a 20 year period, with an estimated maximum of 640,000 cycles. Austrian results were less than this, with an average use of 176,000 cycles, and a maximum use of 290,000 cycles over a 20 year period. This again suggests an amend to the Standard for
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