This article was published on 6 May 2013
Fisher & Paykel Appliances’ award-winning DishDrawerTM dishwasher has revolutionised kitchens in New Zealand and around the world. But in order to keep meeting and exceeding international standards, the company’s innovative technology has to be continuously tested and improved.
“Currently our biggest market is Australia and to meet their water and energy requirements, we must continually look for ways to improve the product’s performance,” says Fisher & Paykel Appliances’ Intellectual Property and External Research Coordinator, Mark Hildesley.
“Also both Australia’s Choice and New Zealand’s Consumer, magazines publish a yearly report on dishwashers, which advises the public on the best and worst products in the market. So improving our performance is important to make sure we keep ahead of our competition”.
Fisher & Paykel Appliances launched its Wash Performance Study in May 2011 to establish and control how and when detergents and rinse aids are dispensed in order to improve the DishDrawer's performance.
Government has contributed $25,000 towards the study, which has been used to employ Susie Warring, a Master of Chemistry student at the University of Otago. Susie is conducting research into how the primary component in rinse aid affects plate and glass surfaces. Government funding is paying for her tuition fees and a stipend, which has allowed her to concentrate on her studies.
Susie, who previously worked for Fisher & Paykel Appliances as a product evaluator but left the company to pursue her studies, says the funding has allowed her to continue on with what she loves while not being stressed financially while studying.
“I am excited that this research project between Fisher & Paykel and the University of Otago could foster closer relations between the two. I think both have a lot to offer each other and I am very glad that I can be a part of it,” she says.
For Fisher & Paykel Appliances, government support means being able to stay on top of its game in the international market.
“The improvements brought about by the findings of the study are essential to ensuring the Fisher & Paykel DishDrawer remains competitive, particularly in Australia where a key customer interest is conserving water usage,” says Mr Hildesley.
“This sort of analysis and partnerships with other industries and universities is essential and can only happen with the much appreciated assistance and funding.”
The Wash Performance Study will be completed in April 2012. The study’s findings will be used to inform future developments of the award-winning DishDrawer dishwasher.