‘Smart solutions’ is a term that best describes the products launched by LG at its recent InnoFest 2013 event in Berlin. Anna Ryland reports.
The Korean manufacturer, which holds the number one position in the global laundry market, with a 10.9% market share, and the second place in refrigeration, with a 9.7% share of the market, has demonstrated its technological expertise by integrating its smart technology into domestic appliances.
“Today ‘smart’ solutions stand for efficient management of natural resources but they also save consumers time and money,” said Andy Mackay, LG commercial director, CE, home appliances & home entertainment.
The appliances which LG unveiled in Berlin included smart refrigeration that give the user easy access to most frequently consumed food and drinks – without disturbing the cooling environment of the fridge. LG’s laundry technology was designed to be gentle of clothes but efficient, while new steam dishwashers completely eliminate the need for prewashing the dishes. Meanwhile Hom-Bot Square, the robotic vacuum cleaner, with its simple but ingenious design and advanced camera technology, gets to the hard-reach places.
“At the Berlin event we presented our latest R&D breaks-through. Yet the most important are the consumer benefits of this technology,” commented Andy Mackay to IER. “At present the most significant are the eco developments. In the global context these are real eco technology innovations, while in the UK market, where consumers are more pragmatic, of key importance are the efficiencies relating to saving money and time. For example, every single washing machine in our new range has the improved energy efficiency of A+++.
“LG products are about innovation and performance. For example we lead the market with our laundry products. We launched our Direct Drive washers 15 years ago and they are still profoundly different from laundry products of other manufacturers. We applied the same technology – the Direct Drive – to our new dishwasher and it has become a very successful product in the UK. Our sales doubled and this is mostly because of the USPs of the product – the steam function and the Direct Drive engine – which also allow us to expand the cavity of the machine. Putting a10-year warranty on our Linear Compressor allows us to say to the consumer – ‘you can trust us’.
“LG leads in the technology so one of our challenges is to make sure that the company’s infrastructure, its supply channels and distribution go hand in hand with the pace of the technology. That’s why we are working very hard to develop our relationship with independents. We are particularly committed to the Shop-in-Shop concept that gives a true representation of the LG brand on the shop floor. The first LG Shop-in-Shop has been opened at Gillmans in Gloucester in December 2012, Alun Vaughan has just opened one in his store in South Wales and the one in the Stellison store in Colchester will be unveiled in May. Our target is ten Shop-in-Shop by the end of 2013.”
All LG smart appliances unveiled in Berlin have clear USPs and offer tangible benefits to consumers. The new range of Eco-Hybrid washer-dryers and dryers save energy, water and time due to their innovative air-drying system, in addition to conventional drying. The latest LG washer-dryer has the largest capacity in the category – washing 12kg of laundry and drying 8kg.
An USP of the new SBS refrigerators is the double layered Door-in-Door compartment that gives consumer quick access to their favourite snacks and drinks. They also deliver greater reliability and energy efficiency thanks for LG’s Linear Compressor that comes with a 10-year warranty. Meanwhile the new dishwasher comes with LG’s TrueSteam technology that delivers powerful cleaning performance and eco efficiencies (it’s A+++ rated). Operating at only 38dB it also fits well into an open kitchen/dinner environment.
One of the stars of the Berlin event was the Hom-Bot Square – LG’s first robotic vacuum cleaner. It’s equipped with the Corner Master set of features – that include the product’s square design, a Dual Eye 2.0 camera, improved sensors and new longer brushes – giving the cleaner superior cleaning performance.