Whirlpool Fridges Slim Down With New SlimTech

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Refrigerator doors are set to become cooler and thinner, due to the introduction of Whirlpool Corporation’s SlimTech insulation, which is the first vacuum-insulated structured (VIS) technology within a fridge.

Whirlpool products are distributed in Australia by Harvey Norman owned Arisit.

Britain’s antitrust regulator is currently investigating Arcelik’s proposed purchase of Whirlpool’s appliances business in Europe.

They claim the deal could reduce choices in the supply of major household appliances and will be referred for a so-called phase-2 investigation unless Arcelik addresses its concerns, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said in a statement last month.

If Arcelik get the rights to the brands, some claim that Australia could also get access to the brand in the future, via their Beko, and Hitachi operations.

The SlimTech insulation can reduce wall thickness by up to 66%, which allows for up to 25% more capacity inside the fridge. Instead of using industry standard polyurethane foam, it uses a proprietary material that is vacuum sealed within the door or sides.

These fridges will be built at Whirlpool’s operation in Ohio, USA, and will roll out more widely in the future.

The material can also be recycled, with the company working on a plan to map out a path to reclaiming the material at the end of a fridge’s use.

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Whirlpool Corporation Slimtech

This technology also unlocks consumer benefits including, increasing the thickness of insulation walls, which can reduce thermal conductivity, making the fridge up to 50% more energy efficient, and cooling up to 30% faster.

It also enables customisation through metal interiors with cleaner angles inside, which eliminate need for molded plastic interiors, and fewer compressor cycles for maintaining cool temperatures, making these fridges quieter.

Whirlpool chairman and CEO, Marc Bitzer said, “For the past 112 years, we have shaped the landscape of modern home appliances in the kitchen and the laundry room, developing products that have improved life at home for millions of consumers from the introduction of the first electric wringer washer and first home dishwasher.”

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Whirlpool Corporation Slimtech

“SlimTech insulation is yet another turning point for the industry, and this launch is just the beginning of how we will utilize this technology.”

Executive vice president of corporate relations & sustainability, Pamela Klyn said, “For years low recyclability due to polyurethane foam has created a significant barrier to making refrigerators more sustainable and reducing environmental impact.”

“This is an extremely important leap forward on the journey to a more circular approach to home appliances. Implementation of SlimTech insulation marks the beginning of the end for foam insulated refrigerators.”

Marc Bitzer concluded, “Slimtech insulation technology – along with other recent product launches – shows our commitment to innovation and will allow us to expand our market share and our margins. This is a step change in technology and process innovation that will cascade across the Whirlpool Corporation brand portfolio and manufacturing operations.”

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