Category Archive: Appliances

The Latest Advancements in Smart Appliance Design

At this point, the Internet of Things (IoT) has become so common that many people are using it daily without even realizing it. The IoT represents the interconnectedness of our devices and their ability to connect with us (people) and each other (other devices).

The IoT in Household Devices

In the household, this is seen in the proliferation of smart appliances. Your refrigerator can now be controlled by your smartphone. Many people enjoy the convenience of seeing what foods they have on hand while shopping at the grocery store, reducing the chances of buying something they already have.

What Appliance Brands Have in Store for 2018

At CES 2018, a number of new concepts were unveiled in the smart appliance sector. Whirlpool is launching appliances that support Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. These devices are already present in millions of homes, so it makes sense to capitalize on the popularity. Users will be able to keep track of their laundry in the washing machine and adjust the settings on their freezers without going from room to room.

LG unveiled a similar concept, with its own ThinQ platform. It will allow LG’s appliances to communicate with each other and accommodate users’ habits and choices. So if a user searches for a chicken recipe on the refrigerator, the connected oven can begin pre-heating. The platform also aims to identify problems with the appliances to alert users of issues and provide that information to LG’s engineers to assist with repairs.

GE Appliances took a different approach to their product line this year. They unveiled the Kitchen Hub, which is a smart hub display for above the oven that also functions as a ventilator. Whereas most brands are putting the smart displays on refrigerators, this one is located right above where the cooking is done, allowing users to easily refer back to recipes and cooking tutorials. It also has a forward-facing camera that allows you to video chat while you cook, and another one facing the stove so can show others exactly what you’re cooking. This feature could play into the social aspects of both new media technology and food preparation.

What’s Next in Smart Appliance Design?

With all of the progress in this sector, it’s hard to imagine what more could be done. Over time, however, it would make sense to have appliances from different brands that are designed to communicate. There are also more opportunities for growth within the AI itself. If your fridge can tell you what food items you have on hand, it’s not much of a stretch for it to come up with suggested recipes.

Much of the technological infrastructure is already there, it’s just a matter of figuring out new ways to apply it. As brands know, convenience is key, which is why so many new launches focus on adapting technology to meet user habits and lifestyles.

As a heavy gauge metal stamper that works closely with appliance brands, Ohio Valley Manufacturing is interested in seeing where the next generation of smart appliances will go. We’re here to help in the manufacturing process.

The Latest Trends in Kitchen Appliances

Every so often, a new development is introduced that turns the kitchen appliance industry on its head. In years past, stainless steel finishes reigned supreme. Lately, new colors and modern convenience are the main drivers behind kitchen appliance innovations. Below, we’ve rounded up some of the top trends we’re seeing in this industry.

Black Kitchen Appliances

While stainless steel has been the go-to finish for a number of years, it’s now being replaced by black kitchen appliances. Many manufacturers have already added black options to their product ranges, so if you’re thinking about upgrading any appliances (including smaller countertop models), consider switching out the old products with a black replacement for a modern look. KitchenAid is one such brand that has added a line of black stainless steel appliances.

Countertop Cooking Appliances

It’s no secret that consumers are looking for added convenience, so manufacturers have taken note and created smaller, smarter appliances. If you live in an apartment or other small space, you may benefit from have flexible options like countertop ovens that show how much you can do despite the lack of square footage. The June Intelligent Oven is about the size of a toaster, but has the capabilities of a fully functioning smart oven, including a camera to monitor the food as you cook it. By telling the oven what you’re cooking, it can make all of the necessary decisions about time and temperature.

Big Appliance Upgrades

For every small galley kitchen in the world, there’s a massive chef’s kitchen  to compare it to. For those with big budgets and plenty of room, appliance makers such as LG and Samsung have been developing bigger connected appliances like refrigerators and ovens. These options often have cameras so you can take an accurate inventory, and connect with smartphones so you can see what’s needed while you’re at the store. It all goes back to the need for convenience and simplicity – as the technology gets more advanced, the functionality gets simpler for users.

Overall, it seems like kitchen appliances are finally being made to fit the spaces they serve. There are many different kitchen styles and sizes, so it’s important to have a wide range of options that can fit well into each space. And being connected through the Internet of Things (IoT) so that consumers can keep track of food in the fridge or as its cooking in the oven is another important consideration for new product functionality.

As a supplier of first operation blanking, stampings, transfer and value-added parts, many of our customers are appliance manufacturers. We look forward to working with them to develop new processes for their updated product ranges.