Since 1954, Australian manufacturing company, Norris has been supplying the hospitality industry with a range of commercial glass and dishwashers.
Committed to producing a superior range of cutting-edge products that meet industry demand, Norris was motivated to develop and manufacture goods that would reduce energy consumption.
With Norris dishwashers primarily used in commercial kitchens, it's important they are capable of cleaning a large quantity of glass and dishware in a short timeframe.
The use of hot water to support the fast wash cycle on commercial dishwashers ultimately leads to increased energy costs for businesses.
To address this, Norris has integrated a range of energy efficient technologies into their new dishwasher model, the Norris AP500. As this new dishwasher model uses cold water, Norris required an independent scientific assessment to evaluate the energy savings and energy efficiency delivered by the Norris AP500 model.
Innovation Connections Facilitator Dave Fleming, from CSIRO's SME Connect team worked with Norris to understand their requirements. Under the Entrepreneurs' Programme, Innovation Connections service, an Australian Government initiative which is funded and supported by the Australian Government, CSIRO identified the University of Newcastle (UoN) as having the right expertise to assist Norris with their business needs.
Lead researcher Professor Behdad Moghtaderi from the UoN was appointed to assess the Norris AP500. Testing took place at the UoN's research facility, the Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources (NIER). The Facility's experience with new technology meant it could validate the benefits delivered by the AP500 and provide recommendations on how to further optimise its design for energy efficiency.
Through a series of experimental measurements, the researchers developed an in-depth understanding of the working mechanism as well as a mathematical model to assess the thermal performance of the Norris AP500.
The research proved that the Norris AP500 wash cycle could reduce power and energy consumption by up to 50 per cent. This scientific assessment has assisted Norris in marketing the Norris AP500 to both existing and new customers. The AP500 dishwasher won the coveted 2019 Good Design Australia gold award in the Product Design category (Commercial and Industrial) in recognition for outstanding design and innovation. The dishwasher has also won the Excellence in Product Design award at 2018 Hunter Manufacturing Awards. Through a better understanding of the scientific principles underpinning energy efficiency, Norris can apply clean energy technologies to validate its current technology and assist with future product developments and improvements.
COVID-19 forces Norris to pivot
Following the end of this project, when COVID-19 hit, Norris faced a major dilemma early on in the pandemic. With hospitality venues shut, they saw their long history in dishwasher manufacturing looking precarious.
To save their business they did some out-the-box thinking to pivot from dishwashers to producing sanitising products, which at the time were in short supply, with Innovation Connection Facilitator Dave Fleming connecting them with the University of Newcastle . Within months, they were able to get their products onto the shelf around the world. Read more about how they pivoted - Clean pandemic pivot: Norris Industries.