Our Clients

flag United Kingdom

plaxton ADL (Alexander Dennis Ltd) Griffon Hoverwork

flag Mexico

volvo man

flag Belgium

VDL Jonkheere Van Hool

flag Spain

Sunsundegui Ayats Irizar Unvi SNP Trains

flag Portugal


flag Italy


flag Holland

VDL Bova VDL Berkhof

flag India


flag New Zealand

Vidre AS

flag Norway

Vidre AS

flag Finland

Timpro Oy OnniBus

flag Poland

volvo Polski Bus

flag South Africa


flag United Arab Emirates


About Shades Technics

Shades Technics Ltd was founded as a crash repair facility in 1977, however the company soon refocused on the development, supply and installation of retrofit on-board passenger amenities.

During the late 1980's, the business recognised a shift in market requirements and developed a range of modular units offered directly to the vehicle manufacturer. Building on the strength of its OEM expertise, Shades Technics has achieved year on year market share growth and in 2010 completed the transition to a bespoke advanced design and manufacturing facility.

The state of the art premises and advanced processes combined with an inherent desire for product innovation cements the company's position as a global supplier to the automotive industry.

Our History


Shades Technics was formed

1st factory

Shades Technics was formed in 1977 having recognised a niche in the UK coach industry for a specialised supplier of on board facilities. At that time the UK Coach specification was not as advanced as in Europe and this was reflected in the inadequate onboard washroom and catering facilities which were restricted to using modified equipment from the marine and leisure industries.


Shades Design their first Modular Severy system

Drinks unitFridge & drinks unit

During the development of the UK market, Shades financed the early years with coach repairs, whilst fulfilling the increasing demand for aftermarket executive conversions. This led to the design of the first 'modular servery' system launched in 1981.


First OEM kitchen and toilet system

Toilet and drinks station

In 1987 Shades had their first opportunity to work as an OEM supplier when they were approached by a European Coach Builder to design and develop a kitchen and toilet system.


Shades Technics move to new premises in Hertford

In order to satisfy increased customer demand and support new growth in the OEM market, transition to new premises was required. In the spring of 1988 the company moved into a 5000 square foot facility in Hertford, Hertfordshire.


Shades Technics form business partnerships

By 1990, the demand for on-board facilities had gained in popularity whilst the UK Coach Builders continued with in house manufacture. Pressure to compete in the receding market at that time forced Coach Builders to review their production practises and in order to remain competitive. They recognised that by forming partnerships with specialist suppliers such as Shades they would benefit from innovative designs influenced by experiences gained both in the after-market as well as the effective use of labour.


Shades Technics introduce the first rotationally-moulded water tank to their range

Moulded water tank

Shades now offer a wide range of plastic tanks suitable for drinking, flushing or waste water in a number of shapes and sizes. A number of tanks include the provision for a 4" access cap and both ½" BSP and ¾" BSP moulded internal threads and baffles.


Development of “Hydroflush” System

hydroflush system

In order to account for the increased demands and usage of a full sized passenger vehicle and to remove the negatives of a chemical toilet, Shades Technics develop their own fresh water flushing system. Known as the “Hydroflush” system, the company and operators soon realise the benefits of the more robust design and functionality of the system which is still widely used today.


Development of 24vDC non-gas refrigeration unit

refrigeration unit

To reduce the labour time involved with re-charging and repairing gas powered refrigerators, Shades have developed a range of electronically powered cooling cabinets. Several capacity sizes and power outputs are available with the added benefit to both the user and the environment of not utilising any hazardous gases to facilitate the cooling function.


Introduction and development of “Swingflush” System

swingflush system

Developed primarily for vehicles that do not generate or use compressed air, the "swingflush" flushing system has proven to be both versatile and reliable in the field and can be offered either as a fresh water flush or re-circulating chemical system.


Shades Technics implements CAD software

CAD software

To allow electronic interface with a growing number of clients, Shades Technics decided to introduce CAD software as the primary design and development tool within the design and engineering department. Every Shades Technics design engineer completes a comprehensive training course together with regular in-house training sessions and updates.


Shades Technics develop the Stainless Steel variant of the “Hydroflush” system

stainless steel hydroflush

Proving popular with high-end customers & operators, the stainless steel version of the standard “Hydroflush” bowl is manufactured from high grade stainless steel and features a highly polished finish. By the beginning of 2011, there were approximately 10,000 of these units in worldwide circulation.


Shades Technics develops Mexican partnership & market

Mexican partners

To ensure uninterrupted supply and support to the important Mexican market, Shades Technics begins to build relationships with Mexican partner companies. Design, development and R&D remains in the UK, whilst manufacture and assembly takes place locally.


Shades Technics develops Turkish partnership

Turkish partners

To cater for the Southern and Eastern European markets together with the Middle Eastern markets, Shades enters a partnership agreement in Turkey. Design, development and R&D remains in the UK, whilst manufacture and assembly takes place locally.


Shades Technics recruits dedicated Mexican representative

Mexican representative

Building on the organisation's success in the Mexican market, Shades Technics recruits a Mexican employee dedicated to the support and growth of the local market.


Shades Technics invests in CNC machinery and associated CAM software

CNC machinery

Finally able to benefit from additional space within the new facility, Shades Technics was able to realise its ambition of investing in a three axis CNC machine to enable faster and more accurate patterns to be manufactured.


Shades Technics move to 20,000 sq/ft facility in Hoddesdon

Hoddesdon facility

July 2010 saw the completion and transition of the business to an advanced design and manufacturing facility in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire. The new site is approximately three times the size of the previous facility affording space for state of the art machinery and processes. The new site also provides the necessary facilities, services and secure accommodation to carry out vehicle conversions and repairs.

Shades Technics develop MKII version of “Hydroflush” and “Swingflush” bowls

mk2 hydroflush and swingflush

A more efficient, streamlined and better performing version of both types of system is developed using ABS. The new bowl surround removes the requirement of a metal splash shield, benefits from anti-bacterial properties and can also be offered in stainless steel.


Shades makes further investment in Rapid Prototyping

prototype3D machine

Building on the success of the CNC Routing machine, the addition of a 3D rapid prototyping machine to Shades’ capabilities enables the in-house manufacture of samples, prototypes and scale models. Using CAD/CAM software, the ABS models offer a high level of strength and durability and can be painted or coated to give a realistic finish.

Shades Technics Ltd wins contract to supply leading worldwide hovercraft manufacturer.

prototype3D machine

Shades Technics Ltd wins contract to supply WC and Kitchen equipment to Griffon Hoverwork to be installed on twelve craft supplied to the Indian Coastguard. This constituted the largest order that Griffon Hoverwork had ever received and is due to be completed by 2014.


Shades Technics Ltd transfer to market leading CAD/CAM software solution; Solidworks.


Increasing levels of customer interface and technical requirements lead to Shades Technics Ltd evaluating and selecting the market leading CAD specialist Solidworks for their CAD/CAM software and support.


Shades Technics Ltd develop integrated centre staircase and cubicle assembly.

3D machine

In order to achieve maximum efficiency during installation, Shades Technics Ltd develops a combination centre toilet and staircase assembly. This unique single assembly "plug & play" approach to manufacture, assembly and installation offers significant labour saving potential and weight reduction to the coach builder.


Shades Technics Ltd win Volvo contract for 3 new vehicles for Mexico and United States.


Shades tender for and are awarded both the design and supply contract for three new top level projects within the Volvo group of North and Central American companies. All three projects were to be run in parallel and successful completion and timely implementation was only achievable due to Shades’ skilled and sophisticated in-house design and tooling development facilities. The new products demonstrate a “step change” in both the design and engineering of the final product augmenting Shades’ reputation as one of the leading global suppliers in the industry.


Shades Technics Ltd supply DD cubicles to Kiwi Bus Builders in NZ intercity vehicles

Vidre AS


Shades Technics were asked to provide a retrofit solution for a long-standing global customer developing an intercity network in New Zealand. Due to five existing vehicles being classified as VOR, the project was time critical. By modifying an existing design to the unique specification of the final customer, Shades were able to manufacture, deliver, install and provide training for the first units within a short time frame.


ADL Partnership:

Shades, working in partnership with ADL help develop the highest specification vehicle that ADL have delivered to date. Shades’ scope of supply included centre sunken toilet and step assembly, full width rear kitchen (including refrigeration, freezer, microwave & hot drinks), metallic effect tables, metallic finish ceiling panels and winterisation kit.

Gaudalajara Expo Stand

Guadalajara Expo 2015:

Shades present new product range at the largest Coach & Truck Expo in Central America gaining positive customer feedback.


Shades expands UK facility

In order to accommodate increasing market demand, December 2016 marked the acquisition of a neighbouring 15,000 sq/ft facility. The purchase effectively doubles the company’s production capacity and furthermore creates a secure and exclusive 20,000 sq/ft yard. Total factory and storage space now stands at over 40,000 sq/ft which is a fivefold increase in less than seven years.

Dual Flush System

Shades develop switchable dual-flush system

Flush System – In order to allow vehicles to continue to operate across areas of limited water supply or sub-zero temperatures, the “Dual Flush” system was developed. The system allows the operator to easily switch between “fresh water supply” and a “chemical recirculating” system depending on the operating environment.



The latest edition of our flagship centre toilet now comprises of a gas fridge and integrated step pan, tanks and ambient lighting. Transforming the design has allowed the installation to be carried out as a single process (saving many hours of installation) whilst giving the product a fresh look. Interior space has also increased and the door made larger for easy entry.

Our Premises

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