Petr Chlada works in the company Miele as its Sales Director of the home devices division. He graduated the Faculty of Education at Charles University in Prague. After a brief stint in teaching and entrepreneurship, he has worked in the area of home appliances for over twenty years.
The company Miele, spol. s r. o. is a global brand of premier home appliances. Since its founding, the company has maintained the motto “Forever better”. This is an ambitious principle behind which hide high demands that the company places upon itself and its products. Products are tested for a service
life of 20 years. In the area of smart living, it is the only one on earth to offer connection of all of its products with an intelligent home.
The Miele brand is affiliated with prestige and reliability. In Germany, it has been awarded three years consecutively as being among the “best brands ever”. What is this award based on?
“‘Best brands ever’ for us is an important estimation, and goes to show that customer satisfaction is our number one concern. The ranking in the assessment of the best brands is based on research by GfK dealing with market success of well-known brands from around 40 branches of industry. This award is proof of the long-term trust in the Miele brand and its constant forward-thinking development.”
Many other widely diverse and important awards (e.g. award for design, innovation, sustainable development, customer services, most reliable brand and others) also back up your motto “Forever better”. What lies behind the main share in success?
“Numerous awards for design (the red dot design award, the iF product design award, etc.) have made us extremely pleased. We are happy to be able to present a brand that continuously moves with the times, and a large part of the thanks belongs mainly to our designers and developers, who have concerned themselves from the start with creating a product that especially provides maximum user comfort.
However, what we appreciate much more is the fact that customers keep coming back to us because we constantly show them that we do not produce appliances that need replacing in two years time, but that they will be able to rely on our products perhaps even over an entire generation. It is not in vain that we test all of our appliances and devices for a 20-year service life.”
Now let us focus on our main topic – smart living. Our regular readers have already been able to become familiar with the system Miele@home, which can be a part of an intelligent home. Can you summarize the main advantages for users?
“A household equipped with communicating appliances is safer, it provides more comfort and we can also be economical in their operation. Here are a few practical examples of use:
I purchase large amounts of meat, and I can use my mobile phone remotely to switch on the freezer to the SuperFreeze mode. I then place the meat into the chilled space with a temperature of -30°C, the meat freezes rapidly and will taste better later.
- The time until the end of the program or error messages of a fully integrated dish washer, i.e. with hidden control panel, clearly shows up on the display of the baking oven. I spend Sunday morning lazing in the garden, and a message comes to me on my smart phone that the roast in the convection oven is done and ready to be served.
- Prior to leaving for work, I simply place sorted laundry into the washing machine. I set the right program, dosing of laundry detergent and other added functions using an application on my tablet in the comfort of my office. I leave for the last meeting and switch on my washing machine. And just when I get home, the laundry cycle is complete and I simply put the laundry right in the dryer.
- We are leaving for our vacation under stress, but thanks to the mobile application we can rest assured in the knowledge that all home appliances are shut off. If by chance they are not, I can do it remotely.
- Maybe however we receive a briefly upsetting message right on the beach that the kids left the freezer or refrigerator door open. The door of the smart appliance cannot close by itself quite yet, but one call home can certainly fix the problem.
In the near future in the CR, already purchased devices will be able to be connected to the Miele service desk (today it only works in neighboring Germany). Service diagnostics will then be able to be performed quite simply, and without interrupting the user via the Internet. The Call Center dispatcher may advise the customer on remedying the problem, or if necessary, send a technician out to the home with the right replacement part.”
In what way do devices in this system Miele@home communicate, and what is necessary for them to do so?
“If the customer purchases a home appliance labeled with the Miele@home logo, he or she only needs to additionally purchase communications modules. These modules connect to one another in the network over radio frequencies (the system ZigBee – the industrial version of Bluetooth ). Information on the status of individual appliances may appear on the selected device. However, the best is on the display of a baking or steam oven, which we have built into the kitchen counter.
If we want to connect to appliances remotely, to check them or control them automatically, it is necessary to connect to the network the communications gateway named appropriately “Gateway”. Gateway has its own IP address, and via the Internet, we can connect to it by tablet or smart phone, onto which we have downloaded the application Miele@mobile. Another option is an integrated gateway to the central control of the smart home.”
May I therefore use the system Miele@home even if I have previously purchased appliances, or does this concern selected types?
You can connect into the system Miele@home built-in appliances of the latest generation G 6000 – steam or baking oven, washing machine, coffee machine, microwave oven, refrigerators, wine conditioning unit, freezer, cook tops and range hoods. We can also remotely control the washing machine and drier of the class XL Tronic. You can find a list of communicating appliances and other detailed information here: www.miele.com
We encounter ever more diverse means to save on energy, hand in hand with more frequent use of renewable resources. Are you preparing something new in this direction for the Czech market?
For selected devices with the Miele@home label, we are reading their expansion to include the function SmartStart. It can be described simply as a special mode of automatic startup in conjunction with more advantageous tariffs of energy providers, where they use the lowest priced electricity tariff. After connecting to the FV system, automatic startup is founded on the same principle, only that here, Smart Grid does not replace the actual solar equipment. In the Czech Republic, so far only test operation of the network Smart Grid is underway, but full operation can be expected here too in the future.
In regards to energy savings, I can also mention the high energy efficiency A +++ or A ++ for home appliances of the new generation 6000 according to the new energy labels. For example, driers in class A+++ are up to 63% more efficient than class A. In terms of energy needed for the actual manufacture of appliances, Miele employs a well refined energy consumption management system. Thanks to this, the company recently received certification for all its European plants according to the international standard ISO 50001.