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spotlight on Europe

spotlight on Europe Region Cool Design Trends Working towards blending into any living environment Key design trends in 2012 are under the spotlight at IFA 2012. Günther Sproll, director of marketing for the Liebherr Group, explains the evolution of design... Günther Sproll Director of Marketing, Liebherr Group “The name Liebherr always represents innovative ideas, outstanding quality and leading-edge design” The design of refrigerators and freezers using shape, colour and materials to communicate visually, and consumer demand for ergonomic, user-friendly interfaces go hand in hand. At the moment, classic materials such as stainless steel and glass are becoming increasingly popular in modern kitchens. SmartSteel, which is used to finish almost all Liebherr stainless steel doors, vastly reduces the visibility of fingerprints and is particularly easy to clean. Appliances in the GlassEdition range come with handle-free doors and are fitted with elegant, reflective glass fronts, available in either black or white. When it comes to user interfaces, intuitive operation is becoming increasingly important. One future trend that has come to light, through the increased use of smart devices, is for touch screen displays with clear and easy to understand modes of operation. Styling is one thing, but ecology is another. How do you perform in this area? The name Liebherr always represents innovative ideas, outstanding quality and leading-edge design, and Liebherr has a long established focus on environmentally friendliness. We use state-of-the-art electronic components combined with highly efficient cooling systems, which enables us to offer extremely energy efficient appliances in all product groups. Already at IFA 2010, we were the first manufacturer to offer NoFrost freezers and regular freezers in the highest energy efficiency class of A+++. Today, we offer over 20 models with this rating, such as the CBNPes 3756 combination fridgefreezer, which combines the benefits of NoFrost technology in the freezer compartment with BioFresh technology, keeping food fresher for longer, in the refrigerator compartment. However, the ecological ethos at Liebherr extends far beyond achieving top energy efficiencies. When choosing materials to use in our products, quality is a prime consideration. The bringing together of efficient energy consumption and high product quality and longevity play a vital role in the overall ‘life cycle’ of an appliance. How would you best describe your brand values? Liebherr is synonymous with cooling expertise. Optimum energy efficiency, premium freshness of stored produce, and very tangible convenience levels impress our consumers on a daily basis. We’ve had decades of experience specialising in refrigerator and freezer manufacture, and today we are a leading provider. We have a vast range of refrigerators and freezers for both domestic and commercial use, which provide solutions for the varied cooling requirements of our customers. And because we invest in customer-focused product development, spawning numerous top-quality innovations, Liebherr enjoys excellent brand loyalty from both retail partners and consumers alike. How is progress going with Smart Grid compatibility? When will this be a reality? Smart grids are intelligent electricity grids that will be introduced in the future enabling communication to take place between energy providers and household appliances. We have been taking part in a field test with the energy supplier EnBW since 2010. The results have shown that electricity consumption in private homes can be reduced by between 5% and 10% using SmartGrid. We are already offering 11 SmartGrid-ready freezers prepped for future developments in this area. This means that appliances are pre-equipped so that they can easily be connected to smart grid systems, once they become available, by introducing retrofit modules. How important is IFA for you as part of your global marketing strategy? For us, IFA is the perfect platform to showcase our new and cutting edge products. We are delighted to see the number of visitors increasing year on year, and are looking forward to presenting our new concepts, sales and marketing initiatives to our retail partners, media representatives and consumers. Our eyecatching exhibition stand is the perfect place for us to provide information and promote our first-class products. Hall 2.1 Stand 201 36

spotlight on Europe Region Keeping a Technological Edge When energy efficiency can also mean high performance Gold for sustainability: Siemens receives highest award from SAM Siemens was named the most sustainable company in its industry at the SAM Sustainability Awards 2012. The SAM group, which specializes in sustainability investing, gave Siemens its highest sustainability rating, naming the company SAM Gold Class Sector Leader. Accepting the award recently in Berlin, Barbara Kux, member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG and Chief Sustainability Officer, stated, "The SAM award is a great honor for Siemens and its employees. Investing in sustainability pays off – for us, for our customers, and for the environment." Sustainable products and solutions create major business opportunities for Siemens. In fiscal 2011, the company generated revenue of €30 billion with its Environmental Portfolio – an amount equal to around 40 percent of the company's total sales and a ninepercent increase over fiscal 2010. Siemens is now one of the world's largest suppliers of ecofriendly technologies. Siemens-Electrogeräte GmbH Managing Director, Roland Hagenbucher, reveals the latest energyefficiency and design innovations across the Siemens home appliance range, including the Eco Plus energy rating... [ Interview by Richard Barnes ] In addition to the very important issue of energy efficiency, we feel that we are obliged to always provide the best possible equipment offering the best value and ease of use. So best possible energy efficiency plus best performance is what the Eco Plus label is all about. Today we’re seeing more and more products with energy labels. How does Siemens differentiate itself with other companies that are also pushing in this direction? One of our aspirations is to successfully achieve the best energy efficiency in as many product segments as possible. On the other hand, we want to make our products more intelligent, more user-friendly and the best possible value. A good example is the technology “The new players moving into the market, especially from Japan, Korea and China, can be very good for our industry” used in our full surface induction cooking top, which generates heat only where it is needed. How important is it to innovate, and to keep on innovating? It is hugely important to maintain technological leadership. And it is essential that we underpin our technological leadership with new patents. We are the sixth German company in terms of the volume of patents filed, which puts us up there with the large automobile makers like BMW or Audi. This shows our creative energy and demonstrates unequivocally our commitment to innovation. We’ve seen a lot of Chinese companies bringing white goods to Europe, now Panasonic is also coming from Japan with white goods this year. Is this a threat or is this good for the industry in Europe? I think that for us it’s a great challenge, and one that of course I’m very glad to face, because we are confident that we can maintain our innovative strength even with this competition. The new players moving into the market, especially from Japan, Korea and China, can be very good for our industry. What is your own personal favourite product? My favourite is actually the full surface induction cooking top. I often have to cook in the evening, which I love to do, and this is a great product for men, Roland Hagenbucher Managing Director, Siemens-Electrogeräte GmbH like the iPhone or iPad, which are also great to play with. I consider it to be very innovative and designed for extreme user-friendliness. How important is IFA as a platform for Siemens? IFA is very, very important as an innovation platform where we present our new technologies to the industry and to consumers. And it is of course the place where we gather a lot of business momentum. It is the leading exhibition for generating interest and sales, and we profit more every year by being here. Hall 1.1 Stand 101 www.ifa-international.org IFA International • Monday 27 th August 2012 37

IFA International