The Chamber of Commerce of the Savinja and Šalek Region presented yesterday the awards for best innovations in the region for the past year. Gorenje's innovators won awards for all three entries: golden award for the Panasonic AutoCare washing machine, a result of joint development with the partner Panasonic Group; and silver medal for the FiltrationSupreme glass door dryer, and Style Line flat water heater. This qualifies our innovators for the national best innovation contest of the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Panasonic AutoCare washing machines, developed from scratch, impressed the jury with a number of advanced functions and features. The AutoCare automatic program automatically adjusts the washing program to the amount and type of laundry for the best washing results. This is made possible by four smart sensors that sense the weight of the load and inlet water temperature, and recognize how dirty the laundry is and also the type of fabric.
In addition, the Panasonic AutoCare washing machines use steam to reduce wrinkling and eliminate up to 99% of allergens as well as odours from the laundry that would otherwise have to be washed. They are also remarkably energy-efficient as the 8-kg load machines use 40% less power than specified for the highest A+++ energy class, while the 10-kg load machines are 35% more economical than the A+++ class. With increased drum capacity that can handle up to 10 kg of laundry at a time, Gorenje innovators have developed an entirely new washing machine interior that also boasts very quiet operation: during spinning at 1,600 rpm, the noise level is no more than 72 decibels.
The most extensive and most important joint project of the partner companies Gorenje and Panasonic
The golden award winner, Panasonic AutoCare washing machine with an 8-kg or 10-kg load capacity, is the first result of joint development of Gorenje and Panasonic. The project lasted two years and a half and it is the most extensive and most important joint project of the two companies to date. Within the project, we have defined a joint platform for future washing machines of both brands. The appliances will share the housing, drum, tub, bottom, and many other components. We have entirely developed the Panasonic washing machines with 8-kg load (mass production was launched in February 2015) and with 10-kg load capacity (mass production launched in January 2016). Development of new generation of Gorenje washing machines is still in progress, and the start of mass production is scheduled for September 2017.
"Washing machine platform that we have developed for our strategic partner Panasonic was a particular challenge for the entire team of co-workers. Reaching a 10-kg load capacity while maintaining high energy efficiency, excellent washing effects, and low noise level were the main development and technological goals," commented Boštjan Pečnik, Gorenje's executive director of development. "In addition, our employees working on the project also faced in their day-to-day work the Japanese culture which is, of course, different than ours. They had to adapt their communication style, decision-making process, and project management. The team successfully overcame all challenges to create a highly innovative product that will serve as a solid base for development of future generations of Gorenje's washing machines and dryers."
Award also presented for the economical and quiet special dryer
The silver-award-winning Gorenje dryer stands out from the crowd as its filtering unit is not housed in the plastic door – which presents a particular challenge in terms of attaining the A+++ energy class. Gorenje dryer ranks in this class and offers a load capacity of 8 kg, but does so in a unique way, without the inverter compressor. Glass door with integrated filtering unit were also introduced on the A++ energy class dryers as this design makes it easier to remove and clean the filter, and the filtering unit does not obstruct the opening and allows easier loading of the laundry into the drum. By introducing the glass dryer door, Gorenje is keeping up with the market trend. Such design results in a more quality and modern appearance, and the user can monitor the drying progress in the drum at any time. Moreover, filter cleaning is easier as well. In the course of development, appliance design was adjusted so that as much as 90% of all integrated materials are recyclable.
Silver award for the flat water heater that adapts to user behaviour
The flat water heater design with two independent hydraulically connected boilers allows the best ratio between the space used and performance. Owing to its half-depth, it takes up notably less space than the traditional cylinder-shaped heaters. In the development process, Gorenje innovators took into account the wishes of the consumers who want their bathrooms to be a place of comfort, and the appliance design should match this aspiration.
Electronic control unit with a LED display unit allows logical use of the display and controls regardless of how the heater is mounted – horizontally or vertically. Special design, as well as smart control of the heating elements (the heater will recognize and learn about user habits and adjust the control of each boiler accordingly), allow this heater to attain best-in-class results. It introduces the new "soft edge" design that gives the heater a modern and timeless appearance, for many years of use.
In 2015, Gorenje made 13,000 flat heaters. By launching this product, while updating the range of other heaters offered, Gorenje has become an ambitious player looking to boost its market share in Europe, while interest in our innovative products has also been stirred in the Middle East and the USA.