Back to the Lab
Maytag® Commercial Laundry pushes the boundaries of product testing
Reliability, as those in commercial laundry are keenly aware of, is a critical element when it comes to evaluating commercial products. With heavy-duty loads and long life cycles, a washer or dryer’s ability to withstand the extraordinary demands placed on them is paramount. And from a design and manufacturing perspective, ensuring that reliability is built into each machine entails that advanced technologies and innovations are being utilized throughout the entire research process and product development.
At Maytag® Commercial Laundry, product testing is about more than receiving that final stamp of quality approval. In fact, in speaking with Maytag representatives, conversations revolve around pushing every individual component, every product to its limits, as much as testing the whole machine in different environments. For Maytag engineers, testing reliability in lab conditions isn’t enough – it seems they’re determined to find what true reliability really means in an industry that pushes laundry equipment to its max on a daily basis.
“We’re never really satisfied,” said Eric DeJong, Senior Product Development Manager. “We don’t leave any stone unturned, because we know something can always be better. That’s why we have very demanding and rigorous testing procedures and processes.” DeJong, who works closely with Maytag’s engineers and manufacturing facilities, knows what the current testing situation looks like, inside and out. “We’re literally going through each part and function of the machine, dissecting it, testing it, and making sure we exceed the high standards we set for our machines.
DeJong explained that Maytag has set out to raise the bar on the performance of all of their products, with improvements in reliability, serviceability, and durability leading the charge. From obtaining better suppliers for higher quality materials to having parameters in place that test each subsystem component – every part is tested by an engineer who is held accountable for its success. And it doesn’t stop there, after enduring lifecycle tests in the lab that put machines through real-life scenarios, these machines are then put in the market where consumers and end users push their limits once again.
“We put them in the marketplace to be run by customers and end-users,” DeJong said. “We want real-life feedback from the environment they would live in.”
He explains it’s these exacting processes that let Maytag make claims like, “designed and tested to run 15,000 cycles,” for their MHN33 washer. “The MHN33 is such a prize story for our engineers,” DeJong said, “and they’re still testing it to learn and grow from its success rate.”
Right now, in the confines of a Maytag® Commercial Laundry testing lab, several MHN33 machines have run more than 30,000 cycles without a drive system failure. With a washer’s drive system being one of the most difficult and expensive components to service – DeJong firmly believes that this machine’s reliability is giving Maytag Commercial customers confidence in the brand like never before. “We had an expectation to make a great drive system,” he said, “and we ended up making something spectacular.”
The MHN33 along with the MAT20, are recent products from Maytag Commercial that have only been available for the last couple of years. In addition to their reliable drives and durable construction, engineers have designed these machines to be more aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly. “We’ve added more cycle options, improved spin-out performances to be more consistent, and provided more flexible, revenue-generating controls,” DeJong explained. “And on the MHN33, we’ve made incremental enhancements to the accelerometer and pump routine that have had a tremendous impact on our cycle accuracies and overall drive system performance.”
In an industry that’s becoming more competitive with every advancement in technology, DeJong trusts that Maytag’s Commercial ability to do the little things right is what will give them success into the future. “By listening to customers and having a working relationship with the people who are using our products, our engineers and designers are making the changes needed to continue to build better, more dependable machines,” he said. “We’re a world-class organization with a lot of resources, and we’re taking advantage of that by gathering insights, using customer feedback, and analyzing testing results to make dependable products that can go through the rigors required in the commercial laundry industry.”