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.
Shades Technics was formed
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
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 Ltd develop partnership with Egyptian Bus and Coach market leader MCV (Manufacturing Commercial Vehicles). The brief was to develop a European quality & specification product (hot drinks, refrigerator etc), but crucially that manufacture could be transferred locally in Egypt within 12 months of development. It was crucial to consider this remit during the entire design and development stage to ensure that the required processes and quality control existed within the local supply chain. Several training visits were carried out to underpin and support the transfer of manufacture from the UK to Egypt and ensure a seamless transition.
Wireless/USB Charger Table
Shades Technics Ltd develop Bus and Coach table capable of incorporating both wireless and USB charging facility.
Griffon Hoverworks Ltd
Shades Technics Ltd wins contract to supply leading Global Hovercraft manufacturer; Griffon Hoverworks with a contract for two large craft for Saudi Arabia. A modular design was developed for the entire crew area (including galley, toilet and rest areas) that could be modified and adjusted for future projects without additional tooling costs whilst benefitting from economies of scale associated with Shades Technics’ global market.