In 1929, Miele, based in Gütersloh, Germany, introduced Europe’s first
electric dishwasher. The 1929 model, with a round metal tub, has evolved
into a high-tech appliance.
"The current appliances feature especially sophisticated technological finesse where electronic sensors determine programs," noted
Dr. Markus Miele, great-grandson of Carl Miele, who founded the company
and started dishwasher production in Europe.
Carl Miele and Reinhard Zinkann founded Miele & Cie in 1899 and developed
the dishwasher in 1929.
Dishwasher Technology Circa 1929
The 1929 dishwasher was operated manually.
After crockery and cutlery was loaded, hot water was poured into
the tub for the wash cycle. Beneath
the tub was an electric motor with a drive shaft for a propeller
inside the tub. When the motor was started the propeller swirled water
the tub, cleaning the crockery.
The real technological breakthrough came in 1960 with Miele's launch of the G
10 fully automatic home dishwasher. The unit was loaded from the front and
had rotating spray arms. The three wash programs were controlled fully automatically,
from pre-wash to main wash, rinsing and drying. Integrated heating with thermostatic
control ensured washing temperatures were maintained.
Another significant technological step came in 1978 with the world premiere of
electronic sensor touch controls. Miele attributes electronic controls to greatly
simplifying dishwasher operation and with making enormous reductions in consumption
possible. All Miele dishwashers have been produced with fully electronic controls
As a result of advanced sensor technology, Miele says, it's units now use latest
technological developments even make programs possible to automatically adjust
to the dish load and the degree of soiling. Miele's Eco sensor was its first
to measure water turbidity.
From 1960, when the first fully automatic dishwashers left the Miele plant
in Bielefeld, until January 2004, ten million dishwashers were produced.
This plant, Miele's second-biggest, currently produces about 2,200 appliances
A Miele dishwasher today is made up of no fewer than 340 individual parts. Miele
explains that the various steps in production must be closely coordinated,
and during production man and machine work virtually hand-in-hand. This enables
dishwasher production times of only three hours.
The manufacture of dishwashers begins with the drawing, pressing, and welding
of the inner cabinets, followed by the application of bitumous felt matting
and seals in pre-assembly operations.
The work-in-progress is then transferred to the final assembly line. Here, componentry
is fitted and finished appliances undergo functionality and safety testing.
Finally, the dishwashers are sent to the finishing and shipping operations.
Finished products go from Bielefeld directly to the high-bay distribution
warehouse at Miele’s Gütersloh headquarters, and from there are shipped
out all over the world.