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issue: October 2009 APPLIANCE Magazine

International Report: Europe
From the Floor at IFA


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Paul Roggema, Europe correspondent

APPLIANCE magazine was in Berlin for IFA 2009, September 4–9, and the second staging of Home Appliances @ IFA.

The steel and aluminum die-cast housings on Philips’ Robust line makes the appliances resistant to scratching, corrosion, and heat.

APPLIANCE magazine was in Berlin for IFA 2009, September 4–9, and the second staging of Home Appliances @ IFA.

Loads of German tech-savvy trade members and consumer flock here every year, and in the past such great innovations as color TV were introduced at IFA. The white goods sector joined the fair in 2008 with great success.

A full report on the show will run in a later issue of APPLIANCE magazine, but here is a first glance from the floor of Home Appliances @ IFA 2009.

Appliance Innovation @ IFA

BSH took up the most floor space with its Bosch and Siemens brands and lived up to expectations with product news in all categories. First, the company introduced a built-in cooling platform with a new architecture in which the compressor and condensor are built into the base, which then hides under the existing standard built-in space. This space is limited (European kitchens are small compared with kitchens in the United States) and one could not have all the premium features (A-40% efficiency, frost-free operation, and 0°C drawer) without sacrificing interior space. Base-mounting is new for Europe.

In dishwashing, BSH announced an appliance with water usage of just 7 L, down from 9–11 L, for a full-capacity cycle. This level of efficiency is achieved by using a new water reservoir that stores the water from the fourth, final rinse of a wash cycle and uses it for the first rinse of the next cycle.

Electrolux brand AEG promoted a cold wash laundry appliance feature, as well as a new hob (cooktop) with a TFT screen to give better feedback on cooking temperatures.

LG Electronics unveiled an 11-kg washer in a standard European cabinet size (24 in). This capacity was seen as unfeasible with the current architecture. LG achieves it by letting the drum move within the tub, where normally the drum and the tub move as one unit .

Philips returned to the premium small appliance market with the IFA launch of the Robust series of five ultra strong small appliances. The products were designed using the most durable modern materials: shockproof glass and plastics, die-cast metals, and couplings made from Zytel plastic (Zytel 70G35)—a light metal replacement that is also used in BMW and Mercedes automobiles. The steel and aluminum die-cast housings make the appliances resistant to scratching, corrosion, and heat.

“Positive Mood” Helps Grow the Show

Show organizers and many exhibitors called the show a success. Dr. Reinhard Zinkann, head of German appliance maker Miele & Cie. and chairman of appliance trade association Fachverband Elektrohausgeräte im ZVEI, said, “Our expectations have been more than met. Without exception, exhibitors are reporting a very good level of orders. We had more visitors than we did last year, and we are particularly pleased with the presence of more dealers from abroad.”

In fact, IFA reports visitor attendance was 228,600, up 8% over 2008. There were 119,000 trade visitors, up 14%, and about 20% of trade visitors came from abroad. Several testimonials from OEMs such as BSH, Dyson, Electrolux, Liebherr, and others indicated the event was better for business than the first Home Appliance event in 2008.

Rommelsbacher Elektrohausgeräte, a German maker of premium cooking appliances and electric housewares, exhibited at Appliances @ IFA for the first time in 2009. General manager Sigrid Klenk called the fair an “ideal platform for presenting our new products.”

“The mood was very positive right from the start, and this was reflected in financial terms. The volume of orders far exceeded our expectations,” said Klaus Wührl, Electrolux’s chairman of the board. “The concept whereby consumer electronics brands are brought together with those of the home appliance industry has proved effective and makes sense in particular because of the substantial customer overlap between these two sectors.”

APPLIANCE magazine Europe correspondent Paul Roggema was in Berlin to attend Home Appliances @ IFA and will provide a full report next issue.

 

 

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