Siemens presented several improved products: a more efficient washer, faster programs on washers and dryers, silent vacuums, automatic (BTC) coffee makers with a new design and a color TFT screen. Really new (at least for Siemens, not for the market) is a refrigerator with a vacuum drawer. Remember that the 0°C-drawer, VitaFresh, keeps the food fresh three times longer. When you combine this with vacuum technology, this goes up to 5 times. Vacuum means here a 300 mBar lower pressure. Of course it is not new, other brands such as Spanish FagorBrandt offered this before. Still it is a nice addition for the busy inner city customer who has no time for shopping.
The biggest news came from Miele. Not really new because pictures of the new W1 washer and the T1 dryer leaked out months ago. Hey Snowdon, was that you? But still, everybody was stunned by all-new platforms: only the adjustable feet were not renewed. The washer has 1600 new parts, designed in a project of 100 million euro and a five year time frame.
And what is new? First, a new look, and even in two versions. A rectangular, traditional look and a more curvy model with chrome elements for a younger audience. It was obvious that Apple was an “inspiration”. It was obvious that the flashy look also will appeal to an international audience, where the minimalistic German look is seen as cold and distant.
Next, a new detergent system is added, TwinDos. There are two reservoirs built-in, where you can use Miele detergents with separate detergent and bleach components. You can also use any other liquid detergent and combine it with softener. Then, there is a new additional capsule system for bleach, softener and starch, called CapDosing. These go into the traditional detergent drawer, which still takes powder detergent when needed. A third novelty is the extra circulation pump which takes water from the bottom of the tub to a spray nozzle on top of the door, so detergent is better mixed and divided. Samsung calls it EcoBubble and Miele named it PowerWash; it improves the washing action by at least 10%. Finally, there is a Pre-Ironing option which is a steam generator. Of course there is an inverter motor.
The matching dryer has improved moist sensors which account for minerals in the water. FlagranceDos adds a flagrance using a small dosing module in the door; and here is also a steam option and a inverter motor. To see how much power both machines are actually using they have a EcoFeedback indicator. The dryer has a glass see-through door, very en vogue in Europe but new for Miele. The rotary knob is still there but seldom used options are hidden in a separate option so the overall look is simplified.
Other news is the KnockToOpen dishwasher: a microphone listens for a knock-knock and opens the door; during demonstration it would not work because the power cord was not connected. The press did not care. With this feature you can completely hide the dishwasher, no handles are needed. Another novelty is a new coffee maker and a new ultra silent canister vacuum.
After all this news it was hard for Bosch to impress everybody.
There were new baskets for long-stemmed glassware and a motorized opener for the dishwashers, more models in refrigeration using colored glass doors, hoods with inverter motors and LED lighting, washers and dryers with improved efficiency and more options in shortening running time. Bosch (and Siemens) are still the only brands offering heat pump dryers with self-cleaning heat exchangers; important as you can’t take out this component.
The only real new product was a cordless vacuum, a high-end design with a motorized brush and a 25.4 battery pack. The Athlet is not cheap: it is in the premium segment and is priced over 300 euro.
Regarding stand design, Bosch continued the focus on technology. Several special booths demonstrate techniques as sound insulation and zeolith drying; only the Germans (and maybe the Japanese) seem to be interested in these details. Remember that Germans read (and understand) their manuals.
Last but not least the MyBosch app is now available. It is again a high-end app with a lot of features and it has been in the works for several years now. You can see manuals, which are adapted to the app environment and not just PDF files. Then you can see product videos, as well as service information. Once you see the app you’ll agree that BSH is by far the leader in these type of apps, and a Siemens version will be available too. Also interesting to see was a quality check robot camera from Italian supplier Loccioni, which takes pictures while the robot arm is still moving. A full check cycle now only takes 30 seconds.
IFA opens to the public on Friday Sep 6th, and we will continue our coverage. For the first time ever Whirlpool attended through their German Bauknecht brand, designers of the original Duet washer; and the relaunch of German design innovator Braun is also announced.