issue: December 2008 APPLIANCE Magazine
IFA 2008 Berlin
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Paul Roggema, Europe correspondent
European OEMs used their new stage to debut energy-saving innovations.
IFA Berlin’s first edition of
Home Appliances @ IFA was widely regarded as a success. Trade visitors
liked the combination of brown goods (consumer electronics, which are
the staple of IFA) and white goods appliances. Consumer attendees were
more than willing to stop by the appliance makers for a cooking
demonstration or a free cappuccino.
expected that BSH would launch a heat pump dryer in response to other
such appliances already marketed by competitor Electrolux, but BSH
topped expectations with an innovative and unique self-cleaning heat
exchanger. Customers do not like to do appliance maintenance, but
energy use goes up when lint plugs the exchanger. Both are very good
reasons for this feature, and it is easy to explain on the retail
floor. BSH claims energy savings up to 40%, and all this in a
convenient 7-kg capacity. The different temperature parameters allow
for a lower drying temperature, compared with an air-to-air condenser
A second innovation was the new
dishwasher absorption drying feature using zeolite. During drying,
moisture is absorbed into this natural mineral, to shorten the drying
time and allow for a lower water temperature during the last rinsing.
This reduces overall energy use by 15%. Read more about zeolite
dishwasher drying at: ApplianceMagazine.com/content/2090
third BSH innovation was somewhat harder to see. A new upright freezer
requires 40% less power by its use of vacuum insulation panels. And BSH
already provides an outstanding range of A++ cooling appliances. Vacuum
panels seem to be the most effective solution at the moment for
achieving excellent insulation while retaining the present standard
measurements for appliances.
admitted that BSH is not sure if this is the future of insulation
technology. The price is high and savings potential is limited as the
energy consumption of cooling and freezing appliances is already quite
Miele Revives Dual-Feed Appliances
Happily, ultrapremium brand Miele
reintroduced an important energy-saving product: a washer with dual
water inlet. Americans might be surprised that this is seen as a
novelty, but remember that European washers typically only have a cold
water inlet with built-in electric heating. Europe’s 230-V electric
voltage allows for this.
energy-saving feature on all models is a 20°C program, to be combined
with selected detergents. This is almost like washing with cold
water—also unusual in Europe.
presented a new heat pump dryer. “Our heat pump dryer uses just 1.8 kWh
in 104 minutes, compared with 3.3 kWh and 90 minutes for a comparable
condenser model,” explains Michael Endt, product manager, laundry. “All
components (evaporator, condenser) are new except for the compressor.”
Raising the Bar by Reducing Water Use
In dishwashing, a new milestone was announced
by Miele: a new appliance uses just 8 L of water for a full machine
cycle. Most competitors still use at least 10 L.
cooking, the Con@ctivity feature enables the hood to react
automatically to hob (cooktop) settings—venting doesn’t wait until
steam and vapors start to rise. Communication between the hob and hood
happens over power lines.
large-capacity MasterCool cooling and freezing modules were first
presented in Europe. Called Independence in the United States, they are
far too large for most European houses, as the heights are 30 and 36
in. (fully integrated). Design is very contemporary, with German
understatement. The interior is illuminated with halogen lights. In
some markets, Miele offers RemoteVision, a servicing system allowing
remote monitoring of the fridge.
CombiSet line of half-width cooking modules (29 or 38 cm), an
interesting new Salamander unit is available from Miele. It has an
infrared heater to heat downwards (keep your cooked meals or plates
hot, make a crème brûlée). The heater, well known in professional
kitchens and normally quite bulky, lowers itself in the countertop.
Cooling with Liebherr
insiders view Liebherr as Europe’s innovation leader in home
refrigeration. It may not be the largest, but it does have a wide
product line, especially in high-end, low-energy models. The company
confirmed its status with several interesting new products at IFA,
including some models so energy-efficient that they do not fit into the
standard European classification system. One Liebherr chest freezer
uses 40% less energy than Europe’s best energy efficiency label, the
Another new model, called Freshness
Center, is a high-end, large bottom-freezer combination with a French
door design—actually quite unusual in Europe. The 90-cm width is also
uncommon in Europe. The appliance is all stainless steel, has a touch
screen user interface, and LED illumination. Liebherr engineered this
unit to be the most sturdy and solid on the market—to justify the €3600
price tag and to distinguish it from Asian side-by-side models.
Next Year at IFA?
In spite of the success of the first edition, some wishes remain for next year’s Appliances
@ IFA. The Italians were absent this time, as was France’s Groupe SEB
(their Krups and Rowenta brands are important in Germany). Attendees
also missed the full range of Philips small appliance products. Also
absent were Spain’s Fagor and Turkey’s Arçelik and Vestel. Perhaps the
success of this year’s show will convince these companies to be a part
of the next edition.
The success of IFA raises speculation about Cologne’s Domotechnica fair. Will any in the industry return to Cologne? What will industry suppliers do?
should also not expect the same level of new developments at IFA 2009.
Appliance OEMs can’t always plan their innovations according to the
Berlin schedule. With that in mind, we can still look forward to next