On 20 June 2012 Villa Herberstein in Velenje hosted the award ceremony held by the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce for the best innovations in the 'SAŠA' (Savinjska-Šalek) Region for the year 2011. Gorenje received two golden awards: one for the condenser laundry dryer with integrated heat pump and the other for the HomeChef baking oven, and thereby qualified for the selection of the best Chamber of Commerce Innovation Awards at national level which are to be announced on 26 September in Brdo pri Kranju.
Public tender was answered by 12 applicants submitting 17 applications for the best innovations, and involving the participation of 124 innovators. Following the evaluation of the following categories: inventiveness, economic impact, sustainable effects and environmental impact, the Appraisal Board granted five golden, six silver and three bronze merits, and three diplomas.
Boštjan Pečnik, Executive Development Director in Gorenje Group: »The HomeChef oven confirmed the placement of Gorenje in the category of original and progressive home appliance manufacturer with a clear vision of developing technically and functionally superlative products. It represents the ticket to the topmost segment on the market of integrated appliances reserved only for the most innovative manufacturers. Equally, the highly energy efficient laundry dryer with heat pump is intended for the most demanding and ecologically aware buyers, and represents further strengthening of Gorenje position in the European market. Gorenje understands the energy efficiency of appliances as an element of competitive advantage and one of the essential development objectives of the Company.«
Condenser Laundry Dryer with Heat Pump
Gorenje has developed the condenser laundry dryer with heat pump in the A energy class following the market analyses which indicated clear global trend of reducing energy consumption in households, i.e. increasing the energy efficiency of household appliances. Major innovation of the awarded laundry dryer is therefore represented by the heat pump replacing the traditional power heater which is the major energy consumer in the appliance. Consumption of energy has been cut to almost half compared to the laundry dryer from the B energy class. In addition the appliance was fitted with the steam generator which considerably facilitates subsequent care of laundry (much less ironing).
Whilst laundry dryers in energy class A-40% with integrated heat pump are already known to consumers on certain West European markets, in Slovenia they represent novelty. »Such an appliance in combination with steam generator and air ionizer represents novelty even upon the global market of white goods. It is estimated that the product has huge market potential which is expected to have consequences in increased profits as well as in new recruitment and employment,« commented Ms. Tea Dovšak, Head of Development Project.
The innovation has favorable impact on environment. In the past, laundry dryers were among the largest consumers of electric energy in households, and consequently also the largest polluters of environment. »By developing highly energy efficient laundry dryers with heat pump, energy hungry appliances became the thing of the past, which is well reflected in the amounts on power bills in households. At the same time it contributes to the reduction of CO2 emissions. Finally it is worth to mention that appliances are manufactured from materials which are fully recyclable after the end of their useful life, and they do not represent any threat to the environment,« said Mr. Boštjan Sovič, Technical Manager of the Wet Appliances Division in Gorenje.
Laundry Dryer Development Team Manager Mr. Zoran Uršič: »The accumulated expertise enables additional reduction of energy in the operation of laundry dryers, as well as the application of heat pumps in other segments of washing and drying appliance technology. The Project involved collaboration with the Italian development institution 'Sierra' and the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in Ljubljana. But the essential element contributing to the success of the project was proficient team work of co-workers from different areas and production programs in Gorenje. For example the development of laundry dryer involved collaboration of employees from the Cooling and Refrigerating Division.«
HomeChef oven – The most innovative selection of food preparation on the Market
The HomeChef oven from Gorenje was the first oven on the market featuring large color LCD screen and touch screen controls. The paramount advantage of the oven is its extremely simple handling, offered by the enhanced user interface, created as a response of Gorenje to the challenges of fast pace of living and lack of time for quality preparation of food.
Mr. Andrej Kaiser, development engineer responsible for the development of software: »In the creation of the interface for roasting/baking it was necessary to translate the rather complex technology – selection of functions exclusively via touch screen, and sliding between settings – into the user friendly and simple handling of controls. Types of food are selected via high-capacity color screen which offers clear overview of the contents. The oven satisfies the requirements and skills levels of different users offering a choice of handling modes.«
Automatic programs enable simple roasting/baking to anyone wishing to prepare food fast, with limited cooking skills, and avoiding the study of complex menus. On the other hand it is possible to select such mode where all baking parameters are selected individually, it is even possible to deploy roasting/baking in stages which provides maximum control over the procedure and represents innovation in the branch. All settings may be created and saved in memory. Dishes are equipped with recipes describing the preparation procedure and baking/roasting modes. Information regarding the use of oven is displayed on the screen, so traditional instructions are no longer needed. Selection of screen color option provides the possibility of personalizing the minimalist form of the oven.
The HomeChef oven has also positive effect on environment thanking to economic use of packaging materials and low energy consumption because it is classified in energy class A-20%.
Mr. Matej Kotnik, Head of HomeChef Oven Development Project: »The HomeChef oven project involved close collaboration with product management departments, design center, and program development in Gorenje. We had decided not to copy the similar trendy products which usually make users nervous by complicating the controls instead of facilitating them. Accumulated experience will facilitate the implementation of new user interfaces based on touch screens, and the time from idea to introduction on the market will be considerably shortened.«