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 Special Report ImmerBesser

Tomark the 50th anniversary ofMiele setting out its stall in the UK market, Neil Nixonwas invited to visit the company’s headquarters in Gutersloh, Germany. What he found was a company steeped in history but at the very cutting edge of technology - technology that is being applied to product development and manufacturing processes.

Miele Professional is undoubtedly a global leader in themanufacture of commercial laundry equipment, dishwashers, washer disinfectors and sterilisation equipment. Fromrigorous engineering and programme design, to build quality andmind-boggling product innovation, allmachines are thor- oughly tested before leaving the plant...and then by business users all over the world.

Fromhumble beginnings

In 1899 CarlMiele and Reinhard Zinkann, together with 11 employees, four lathes and a drill, founded a company tomanufac- turemilk centrifuges. Over 110 years later, the company is now in the fourth genera- tion of family ownership,managed today by Dr.MarkusMiele and Dr. Reinhard Zinkann. DrMiele took time fromhis schedule to meet withme duringmy visit, a clear demonstration of his hands-on approach to every aspect of the global business. Fromthe beginning,Miele’smotto has

been ‘Immer Besser’ (‘Forever Better’), and this philosophy is still reflected in the qual- ity and longevity of the products.Miele has developed fromits first butter churn, via a periodmanufacturingmotorbikes and cars, to the globalmanufacturer of professional laundry and cleaning equipment, and do- mestic high-tech kitchen appliances, it is today. It now employs some 17,000 people globally, over 10,000 of whomare employed within Germany. The company’s turnover is approximately 3.15 billion Euros per annum, of which around 400million Euros are generated by the Professional division. Duringmy visit, we concentrated on the

new H2O and Heat Pump dryers, and wit- nessed an innovative, eco-friendly installa- tion at the Hotel Höltje in Verden.

H2O dryers: virtually eliminating running costs

Miele Professional recently launched a range of commercial tumble dryers which are heated using hot water. This water can be obtained froma variety of sources - for example, solar-thermal energy, district heating, an on-premise co-generation plant, or the residual heat froma laundry. The hot water is used to heat process air

in a heat exchanger in an H2O dryer, with programmes designed to take care of laun- dry at lower air temperatures. This new method of heating is available on tumble dryers with load capacities ranging from 325 to 800 litres for 10 to 32kg of laundry. Allmodels also featureMiele’s patented honeycomb drum. These new H2O dryers reduce heating

costs to virtually zero if the source of heat is a co-generation plant: in this case, the

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Thanks to on-site co-generation, thema- chine is heated cheaply as it no longer draws any conventionally generated elec- tricity fromthe national grid. Some of the dryers have a ProfitronicMcontrol unit which has freely programmable parame- ters and 199 programme slots. The Resid- ualMoisture Control sensors precisely monitor the desired drying level of the laundry and come as standard on allMiele dryers.

Heat-pump dryers: innovation and efficiency atwork

One of themost innovative ofMiele’s prod- ucts is the all-new Heat-pump dryer (PT5137WP, PT7137WP, PT8257WP and PT8337WP), offering running costs that are typically up to 60%lower than with a con- ventionalMiele condenser tumble dryer. LesMarshall, sales andmarketing director atMiele Professional in the UK - and host formy visit - said: “The combination of lower energy input, reduced operational consumption ‘wastage’,Miele’smanufac- turing quality, and extended design life, en- sures the impact of a Heat-pump dryer upon the environment and natural re- sources is lower than any comparable tra- ditional tumble drying solution.” Heat-pump dryers operate on the princi-

Above, the H20 dryer: Miele Professional recently launched a range of commercial tumble dryers which are heated using hot water.

Right, one of the most innovative of Miele’s products is the all-new Heat-pump dryer, offering running costs that are typically up to 60% lower than with a conventional Miele condenser tumble dryer.

hot water is a by-product of cooling the generation plant and does not need to be heated separately. These dryers are already being used in

Germany. One example is theWahl nursing home inWietze near the German town of Celle. The experience there has been very positive, withmachines working around the clock, washing 650kg of laundry a week.

ple of two separate circuits, one for process air and the other for coolant. Process air is heated and absorbsmoisture fromthe laundry load. The evaporator then causes themoisture contained in the air to con- dense. The condensate is drained off and the heat contained in the process air is used to provide the second circuit contain- ing the coolant with energy via a liquefier. The reheated air re-enters the drumand the cycle begins afresh. Miele’s powerful heat-pumpmodule

brings drying times for a 10kg laundry load down to only 44minutes. Thismeans that only 0.21 kWh is required per kg of laundry, equating to a reduction in energy consump- tion of 60%compared to a conventional Miele vented dryer with the same load ca- pacity. Thanks to a low rated load of 5.0 kW, heat-pump dryers are ideal wherever the electricity supply is weak or where the power supply is capped during peak hours. TheMiele Clean Streamcounter flow

principle ensures that lint collecting on the heat exchanger is automatically rinsed off by condensate on its way out of the system. This ensures that performance remains as good as on the day of purchase. Unique fabric care, low process air tem-

peratures, intensive dehumidification by the heat-pumpmodule, andMiele’s patented honeycomb drumwith its rounded SoftLift ribs, ensure the ultimate drying of textiles.

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