My first blog was entitled ‘how to improve on perfection’ and talked about how Molex was releasing its next generation of RAST connectors. I am very pleased to be able to tell you that all these new series, RAST Signal, R-Power and R5, have all now been approved for use by at least one major European White Goods OEM. As the approval process finishes in other manufacturers it really does seem that these products will be finding their way in to an appliance near you very soon. One of the major advantages of these products is that they use less material; both plastic and metal content is reduced. Not only does this have cost benefits for the customer but is also good for the environment.
Lessening the impact of Home Appliances on the environment has been a major trend for some time now. Manufacturers are making great strides to make their products as ‘green’ as possible, reducing the amount of energy they use, the amount of water they consume and controlling the amount of detergent needed in washing machines by analyzing the weight and ‘dirtiness’ of the load being washed. The other main area in all appliances where the manufacturers are asking connector makers to help is in the materials we use to make our products. Not only are manufacturers asking for connectors that will pass all the relevant safety requirements ( glow wire ) but also for parts that are Halogen free. Molex is able to mould some of its most popular connectors in materials that meet both these requirements. I am sure it will not be too long before the Home Appliance industry follows the lead of the automotive market by asking for connectors made from true Bio plastics (Stac64™-e Bio-Plastic Connector System ).
I guess the next most prevalent trend that has emerged over the last few years is appliance connectivity and enhancement of the user experience. Now that may sound a little pretentious but, just think about the move away from large mechanical controls to sleek touch screen and capacitive switch user interfaces. Soon all our appliances will need to communicate with the Smart Grid via Smart Meters, and this means being able to transmit and receive information. The roll out of Smart Appliances is right around the corner!
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working with the market-leading Home Appliance OEMs and I am happy to report that these manufacturers, along with their suppliers like Molex, are working very hard to deliver the safest, greenest and most aesthetically pleasing home appliances they can.
So, thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read my previous blogs and I am afraid even though this will be my last Home Appliance related posting you may be hearing from me again in my new role within Molex.