WWYD What would you design?

DrPepperTechMay 12, 2011

I am interested in hearing about the machine people would design if they could.

Yes, they can be outrageous or they can be entirely simple and practical.

Electronic controller or timer?

Front load or Top load?

Water (miserly or never enough water for me)

Agitage/Spin times (set or programmable)

Built in heater?

About the only limit I would ask is that the cost of the machine be considered so would it be marketable enough to justify? This is simply meant to balance fantasy of what is wanted and the reality of making a machine that could be sold profitably.

Thanks and I hope to hear from lots of people.

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This one is so easy for me...

*220 volt combination front loading VENTED washer/dryer.
*Large capacity drum (4 or 5 cf).
*Cycles for any fabric. Software could be updated as needed.
*Soil level selector from light to heavy (5 settings total) to increase wash times as needed.
*Heater, of course.
*Cold water only input so every wash is a profile wash.
*Temperature selector from tap cold to 205 degrees in 10 or 15 degree increments (or, ideally, via numeric keypad input). Temp increase is "stepped" as cycle progresses for optimal enzyme action.
*Water level selector for wash AND rinse (low & medium for wash and high or extra high for rinse).
*STANDARD three rinses with high speed spins after wash and in between each rinse.
*User ability to add one or two additional rinses.
*User ability to select cold or warm rinses.
*Spin speed selector from no spin to 1200rpm.
*Dryer heat settings would be based on fabric type. A no heat setting would be available as well.
*User could select wash AND dry at one time...or use wash only or dry only.
*Dryer would be sensor based just like any modern dryer today.
*Delay start of up to 24 hrs.

I think that about covers it. With my washer, the USER is in control...and could design any cycle necessary for his/her particular needs.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 11:38PM
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I like that. A lot of options that can be individually selected for a particular type of fabric or cleaning need.

It almost sounds like a commercial washer extractor. I know I said that a limit would be marketability, but did you know that some washer extractors are programmable from computers? You could have dispensors loaded with different soaps, fabric softeners and bleaches?

Imagine a Wifi enabled washer/dryer that you can sit at your lap top and design specific soak, wash and rinse cycles profiles and just transfer them to your machine!

I am interested in the three standard rinses plus and additional rinse if desired. That uses a lot of water and wouldn't the additional rinse/spin wear out clothes faster?

Is there that much soap left after a wash that all those rinses are needed?

Thanks for your thoughts!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 8:17AM
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A couple of thoughts about marketability in the US:

A dream front-loader could easily meet the mandatory Federal Standard for clothes washers, but it likely won't meet the much more stringent requirements for the $250/unit direct-to-manufacturer tax credit. Many if not most US-market FL's do qualify for that credit. So you're starting out at a competitive disadvantage, price-wise and/or profit-wise.

Outstanding wash and rinse performance tends to mean long cycle times. A machine with only long cycles will never be more than a niche player here. So a selection of shorter cycles (say, no more than 45 minutes) would be a good idea.

Other thoughts:

I'd rather see 1400RPM than 1200RPM. Incidentally, the term "washer/extractor" makes you think that those commercial machines extract especially well. In fact, their G-forces tend to be pretty low, lower (sometimes much lower) than, say, my 1400RPM Miele W4840.

I'd like the washer to give some indication, at end of cycle, if it wasn't able to achieve the full selected spin speed.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 1:26PM
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Suburbanmd, you are right about the extraction speed. I beleive that it started out being an accurate description when it was used against the speed of a tlw years ago. Today it is more of a means of defining a machine that is larger than the small chassis of the homestyle of washer.

Once you get into high speed extractions in a larger capacity you are looking at very expensive suspensions or hardmounting a machine to a solid (6" depth) of concrete.

From my observations there are many different desires in features. Options where each aspect can be defined versus some who want a simple knob to turn.

Some can never get enough water. Whether it is in wash or rinse. When I think about it, water is required to work with the detergent, suspend the dirt until it can be emptied after the wash. More water requires more soap to equal the same results even though the extra soap may not get out any more dirt, it just goes along for the ride and gets wasted.

How many rinses and how much water is needed to rinse a load? If properly used, those who are not allergic or have special requirements should get a finr results with one rinse. Possibly an extra rinse available for special washes?

Back to high speed extractions, that is usually very important because it means that you will have a much faster dry time. Variability here seems to be important because some people I have read cliam that too high an extraction leaves them with wrinkles they cannot get rid of.

Thanks for you input and it seems as though you have a very deep knowledge of the industry.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 6:14PM
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