Meiko, 1349 Heil Quaker Blvd., La Vergne, TN 37086
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One thinks that the glass polishing would pass any Health & Safety inspection - the other finds the design of the machine good enough not to have to hide it behind a partition wall. These are the reasons given by just two of the proud owners of an M-iClean, who have opted for MEIKO's latest generation of undercounter machines. In the meantime, however, behind the success of this appliance are thousands of customers, who have opted for the latest dishwashing technology, outstanding interfaces between man and machine and industrial design from one of Germany's leading design studios.
"But I just want to wash up" - is what someone with less experience of glass management in the hotel and catering business might think. What they also want to do, or rather must do: take drinking glasses into consideration as a part of the added value chain. "A high-quality glass can be washed around 1000 times," explains Klaus Völkner. The Head of Sales in Germany for one of the best-known glass manufacturers, the company Stölzle in Lusatia, Saxony, also knows: "A glass can go through the dishwasher 400 times at most" - then it normally ends up in the dustbin.
The fact that wastage in the case of all kinds of glasses is normally linked to handling, is also confirmed by Frank Schwarz. The "undercounter" product group leader for dishwasher manufacturer MEIKO, collaborating with glass and chemical manufacturers in the in-house lab, has identified some potential errors: Glasses often stay in the machine too long, leading to glass corrosion. "The 'speaking' handle of the M-iClean immediately notifies the user if there are any problems in the machine or when the cycle has ended," explains Frank Schwarz. "Even from a distance, the machine user can see if the machine needs emptying or requires their attention." Any signs of glass corrosion are detected by the dishwasher.
This is called interface design by experts such as Professor Dr. Frank Georg Zebner from Ulm School of Design. And this means nothing other than: Communication between man and machine is optimised down to the very last detail. However, for the design experts, beauty was also an important product feature.
And the design is certainly a show-stopper, even behind the counter. According to the Meiko sales force, they have already been asked if the new lighting inside the machine can be switched off. Apparently the bartenders are all too excited about the striking design of the M-iClean and are not paying as much attention to their customers as they should ...