An interview with executive director.

Miele executive director, Dr Reinhard Zinkann, recently sat down with Appliance Retailer to discuss the company’s product line-up, key market trends, challenges and opportunities within the appliance industry.

“The highlight from our upcoming product portfolio is our Dialog oven as it revolutionises cooking. It is a result of six years of ground-breaking research of technology and is an enormous step forward. We are very glad to have it now. I think it will change a lot in the kitchen but it will take time. We started a journey today and that journey will be a long one.

“Our Scout RX2 robotic vacuum cleaner takes us one step further ahead in a sense that it has more capacity in terms of battery and dust pick-up. It also has improved navigation and camera which allows you to view your home. The vacuum cleaner will send a signal to your smartphone that only you can see (end to end encryption).

“Due to the energy label system, we have introduced a new line of vacuum cleaners. We also have apps and voice control capabilities, which relate to the topic of convenience and smart home. We have a number of products soon to be released, but our most important product is the Dialog oven,” he said.

Dr Zinkann confirmed that the Miele products showcased at IFA will come to the Australian market but timing is to be confirmed.

Market trends

“The major trend is increased convenience and the connected home or interconnectivity of appliances. We have more than 400 appliances that can connect to one another. But the main issue that in your household, you can combine the products of any manufacturer and that means a joint standard is required. Personally, it does not make sense that every manufacturer has its own standards. In the end, we need a joint standard and the future will be a complete connected home with one remote that can control your heater, air conditioner, lights, alarms, garages and more.

“A big challenge for the industry is the trend toward new energy labels because the point is that you can save energy, but at what cost in terms of, what is the disadvantage for the consumer? For example, cycle times on washing machines are much longer. We have to figure out how we can solve the problem of using less energy and still having a good result for the consumer.

“Both connectivity and energy consumption will be ongoing topics for the years to come until, concerning energy consumption, the physical maximum is achieved. The fact is that you will always need energy, you will always need water and you will always need detergent. But the question is, how much of it do you need? I think the most important point is user convenience to give better results and make consumers lives easier,” Dr Zinkann said.