1 year ago

Day 1 - IFA International

  • Text
  • Products
  • Consumer
  • September
  • Electronics
  • Lifestyle
  • Philips
  • Consumers
  • Sony
  • Berlin
  • European


PRODUCT TRENDS LG STEAMS AHEAD Innovation and sustainability are the core drivers for LG’s expansion goals Young Ha Lee, President and CEO of LG Electronics Home Appliance Company As Korean manufacturers attempt to position themselves in a white goods market traditionally dominated by European companies, a whole range of innovative products is emerging onto the marketplace. One of the prime movers is LG Electronics Home Appliance Company, the first Korean manufacturer to launch an 11kg washing machine onto the market. Richard Barnes talks to Young Ha Lee, President and CEO of LG Electronics Home Appliance Company about some major new developments. Can you briefly introduce your new 11kg washing machine? The new 11kg washing machine features the industry’s largest 11kg wash load and 78 litre drum volume in a standard 61cm cabinet. The core benefit for consumers is that they don’t have to wash as frequently and it uses less energy for each wash cycle. In terms of energy efficiency, there are less moving parts which means that the machine is far more efficient. The absence of a belt system also provides a much greater internal capacity so you can wash far more items, and much bigger items, at a time. What are the core technologies and features behind the new machine? Firstly, there’s the Direct Drive Technology, which enables LG’s Direct Drive motor to eliminate the belt and pulley to create one single, quiet, durable motor attached directly to the drum. This helps to maximise the inner space of the washing machine and saves a lot of energy. Other new technologies include our new damping system, which helps to reduce the washing machine’s vibration. LG’s cutting-edge steam technology helps eliminate allergens, mites and even detergent residue from clothing and linens for people with allergies or sensitive skins. LG has been instrumental in developing the use of steam. Could you please tell us more? When you think about it, the way we do laundry hadn’t really changed for decades. So it was a case of completely rethinking the machine, challenging not just aesthetic design or secondary features but the fundamentals of laundry itself. That’s where the idea for steam instead of just water came from, and obviously it’s revolutionising the laundry industry. Steam helps to minimise the pain of laundry, and I think that’s why it’s such a success with consumers as they move over to it. But probably the biggest news with our steam cycle is the Allergiene function. This steam literally dissolves allergens, and it kills dust mites, germs and parasites – that’s a massive breakthrough. What are the other major developments that have happened over the past year? Clearly, energy efficiency isn’t a ‘nice-to-have’ any more, it’s an elementary part of appliances and it’s been fascinating to watch over the past year or so as it’s risen to become a major purchase motivator for consumers. It’s obviously even more of a concern as consumers look to save money in the current global economy, but needless to say they don’t want to compromise on innovation and performance, so our big challenge is to meet both those challenges. Is there any change in your strategy caused by economic downturn? We’re focusing on core capabilities, the real hero products and innovations, to keep sustainable growth on m/s and profitability in advanced markets. And we’re preparing for expansion, specifically the with the built-in market in North America and Europe, the oven market in North America, and bagless vacuum cleaner market in Europe (short-term) and North America (mid/longterm). Those are our big goals for the near future. It’s exciting! Hall 1.1 / Stand 103 Hall X.X / Stand XXX 30 IFA International • Friday, 4 th September 2009

SONy'S GREEN COMMITMENT IS “PART Of THE COMPANy DNA” SONy'S ExECUTIvE vICE-PRESIDENT, EUROPE, SERGE fOUCHER, OUTLINES THE COMPANy'S INTEGRATED ENvIRONMENTAL COMMITMENT Serge Foucher, Sony's Executive Vice-President, Europe Green practices are, according to Serge Foucher, Sony’s Executive Vice-President, Europe, deeply integrated into the company's structure and overall ethos. The electronics giant is, alongside its competitors, profoundly aware of the mood among consumers, who increasingly demand bona fide green practices by manufacturers, preferably accompanied by accountability and transparency. Greenwashing has, it seems, made us all a bit more cynical. Environmental practices are very much integrated into every aspect of the company, from manufacturing through to R&D and even our marketing,” said Foucher. “It’s genuinely part of our process and it has been for a long time. As far as I know, Sony was the first Japanese company to issue a report detailing its environmental impact and, as a result of having been involved in ecological activities for so long, it’s part of the company DNA.” The company may well be exemplary in its conduct but there is always more that can be done: “Our future environmental efforts will be heading in three directions. The first is to reduce the impact on the environment caused by the life cycles of our products and the reduction of greenhouse gasses,” Foucher said. “The second area in which we are upping our game is chemical substances. This might not be a very sexy area in terms of PR, but the management of chemical substances is hugely important. It requires a lot of work and does make an important difference. The third area is the development of a recycling scheme for finished products.” CO 2 gasses come from three main sources, continued Foucher. “Greenhouse gasses come from manufacturing, the energy consumption of our products and transportation,” he said. “If you look at the quantities of emissions from these three sources you see that one of the main contributors of gasses is the electrical consumption of our products. This is why the company is determined to drastically reduce the energy consumption of all our products but particularly with the TVs. Our sets now have heavily reduced energy consumption and even on standby mode and in the remote controls, there has been significant progress in cutting down consumption. I think that there are still a lot of people who do not realise that the standby consumes energy. Consequently, we have cut that back to between 0.1 and 0.2 watts, whereas the maximum recommended by the European Community is 1 watt and we are well below that. In fact, in 2007, we were given an award by the EC for our extremely low standby mode consumption of the Bravia TV.” Manufacturing is also an important source of emissions with Sony’s total manufacturing process producing 2 million tonnes of CO 2 . “Even though we are a long way from being one of the planet’s biggest polluters we are constantly making more efforts to reduce our emissions,” Foucher said. In our European manufacturing operations we managed to decrease our CO 2 output by 90% between 2000 and 2008. In 2000 it was 93,000 tonnes and by 2008 we had got it down to 9,000, which was made possible by working in two areas. We reduced the energy consumption of our manufacturing processes and sites plus we switched to 100% renewable electricity and consequently achieved a drastic reduction. The only things that now create CO 2 are the heating systems, airconditioning and the cars of our employees, which are very difficult to reduce.” Sony has even started creating its own electricity: “Of course, the electricity that we buy has in part been created by solar energy but we have also installed panels in some factories where there is enough sunlight, such as in Stuttgart,” Foucher said. The final area that the company has been focusing on is logistics and transport: “We’ve done obvious things such as shifting away from trucks to using railways much more, but we have also seriously rationalised our transport operations,” he said. “So on the factory and manufacturing side, I think we’ve taken things as far as we can for the moment, but for sure there are plenty of areas within our product ranges that can still be improved.” Hall 4.2 / Stand 101 IFA International • Friday, 4 th September 2009 31

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