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issue: October 2006 APPLIANCE Magazine

Europe Report
Cutting Edge Washing from BSH


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by Paul Roggema, Europe Correspondent

The first week of July was an unusual time for a large-scale product presentation, but BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH used the new Munich soccer stadium as the venue for presenting its wares to almost 10,000 German, Swiss and Austrian white goods retailers.

Other innovations introduced by BSH in July at the Munich soccer stadium event included a new dishwasher developed with toy maker Lego® and said to be the first dishwasher for plastic toys and dishes. Building bricks, rattles and other toys are cleaned gently by the Lego 40°C dishwasher cycle.

The biggest hit seemed to be a new top-of-the-line, horizontal-drum washer, to be sold under Bosch and Siemens brands and designed with three significant innovations. These include a new stain removal system, a new drum with variable mechanical washing power and a larger drum capacity (8 kg instead of the usual 5-6) within the same standard 60 cm width.
The stain removal system allows the washer to be set to one of 14 different stain types, and the wash cycle will be adapted accordingly. Bloodstains, for example, are treated with a long, cold pre-wash. The user is expected not to mix the stained items with the normal laundry, but to collect other items with the same fabric as the stained item and wash a lighter load. The washer control adjusts water usage accordingly and provides detergent-use guidance to the consumer.
Teardrop-shaped structures on the drum surface and the agitator paddles have an asymmetrical shape that is steeply inclined versus flattened. This is engineered to provide a mechanical wash action that is smooth in one direction and powerful in the other, allowing for a much shorter washing time with robust fabrics. Long wash time is seen as a primary disadvantage of European horizontal-drum washers. Americans are shocked when they see the 120-minute cycle time for a 60°C (140°F) load.
The third innovation is the large drum size. BSH engineered the unit with more advanced drum balancing and a sensor system to precisely monitor the drum’s position in 3D space. The resulting level of advanced control means the tub needs less room to move within the outer casing. As a result, the drum could be enlarged without expanding the outer cabinet size.
The innovations may give BSH new advantages in the premium washer market, as well as an image boost. The washer price, at about 1,000 euros (approx. U.S. $1,280), is quite reasonable. Many Northern Europeans are already accustomed to paying 700 to 800 euros (approx. $890 to $1,018) for a German quality washing machine.
The machines are produced in BSH washer plants in Nauen, in the Berlin area. One can only speculate what these innovations may mean when they are added to U.S.-sized Bosch washers; it may be
serious ammunition in the battle against the Whirlpool Duet models, which are also German-designed and manufactured.

Suppliers mentioned in this article:
BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgerate GmbH
 

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