The way to handleless kitchens is paved with
developments by EBE sensors + motion
Automatic door openers meet the comfort requirements in handleless kitchens. For this purpose, however, modern dishwashers, refrigerators and other appliances need intelligent door opening modules. A special field of expertise in the product range of the OEM-partner EBE sensors + motion.
In this case intelligence means that the door openers precisely detect the wish, gestures and hand movements of the operator. This is achieved by innovative sensors, proven software and robust drives from the company portfolio. EBE also offers these solutions for washing machines, other white goods and catering kitchens.
In terms of development EBE basically distinguishes between four types of solutions for door opening modules. Click here for further information. The two solutions:
- Push to open
- Pull to open
are based on special sensor systems to detect the opening request.
- Comfort solutions are developed for use in partially or fully integrated appliances.
- [Dry-opening modules] support dishwashers to save energy
See here for further information on development options.
Design Options for Intelligent Door Opening Modules
The Push-to-Open Principle
Automatic door openers based on the push-to-open principle detect the user’s request by intelligent sensors. A slight pressure on the appliance door signals resp. generates the opening request. The release module is triggered and activated accordingly.
An inductive position measuring system measures the relative movement to the rest position of the appliance door by means of the attached plunger. Depending on the measurement result the opening module is activated.
The Pull-to-Open Principle
Door opening modules based on the pull-to-open principle are suitable for a larger number of applications and variants of appliances. Here it is essential to achieve an optimum parameterization of the module with respect to:
- response time
- opening stroke
- opening speed
- behavior in case of operating error
EBE parameterizes the firmware of the opening modules according to the wishes and requests of the appliance manufacturer. In this way the characteristic features of a basic module can be adapted to different types of appliance from one series. In the case of appliances the variants might refer to:
- function as refrigerator or freezer
- volume of cooling resp. freezing room
- hinge systems used
- door sizes and weights
- door seals
A door opening module can also support the algorithms for both principles - push-to-open and pull-to-open - in parallel and so support the user with both opening variants.
Comfort Opening Modules as Release Variant
EBE also develops release modules for use in partially or fully integrated appliances in kitchens with handleless design. They are either based on the push-to-open or the pull-to-open principle.
The manufacturers can either integrate these intelligent door opening modules into the appliance door or mount them to the appliance frame. The same applies to dishwashers. Opening modules for the release of dishwasher locks or complete locking modules are available for door installation or for positioning on the frame.
The comfort modules can be integrated in two ways. They can be adapted to existing passive locking systems. Or the door opening modules form a completely independent locking system.
In the second solution the system includes both the lock and the opening function. The opening function in turn can be designed with or without sensor. With sensor in comfort-opening. Without sensor in dry-opening.
The functional options of the comfort-opening module:
- support of user for opening of fully integrated dishwashers (push to open)
- automatic opening of dishwasher door at the end of the wash cycle (dry opening)
- door opening modules for installation into dishwasher door
- door opening modules for installation onto appliance frame
In this case, too, the opening behavior can be determined and adapted by software. The product designer parameterizes the characteristic features of the opening request via firmware.
See below for further information on development options.
Saving energy ranks among the most important goals in the development of modern appliances. The manufacturers do everything to meet the requirements of the energy label. EBE sensors + motion also pursues this goal. Especially the design of dishwashers offers opportunities to reduce energy consumption. With its dry-opening modules EBE makes a decisive contribution.
The appliance electronics can automatically open a dishwasher door at the end of a wash cycle. Steam and remaining humidity immediately escape into the room. The machine need not heat up the interior again to evaporate resp. condensate and drain the remaining water. This solution saves a lot of energy.
For this solution EBE develops so-called dry-opening modules. The central electronics of the machine directly controls this system. The module releases the door which opens a gap and stops at a defined position. In this way the remaining humidity can escape from the machine.
Another development allows to push the door open through a pusher-module for a pre-defined gap. . It remains in this gap position for a defined period of time. Depending on the variant a suitable hinge system for the dishwasher door is required.
Further Information on the Development of Intelligent Door-Opening Modules
Feel and Operation
Automatic door openers must clearly recognize the opening request. Not every hand movement or gesture and not every pressure on the door shall start the opening process. Typical cases in which the door is not supposed to open:
- toddlers support themselves on the door while walking.
- people lean against the front.
- vacuum cleaners bump into the door.
The evaluation and parameterization software from EBE can be adapted accordingly.
During the development process the laboratory records any desired number of opening requests which can be evaluated graphically. The recordings are made in test benches and in application tests with people. Based on these data it is possible to determine which pressure profile is supposed to open the door. A robust algorithm will clearly interpret the hand movements.
EBE sensors + motion applies high quality standards in development and production. It is our goal that the appliance manufacturers can guarantee their customers a smooth, reliable and long-term operation of the intelligent door opening modules.
This is why protection concepts are part of the development program. They serve to avoid misuse and overloads as early as during the design stage of the door openers.
EBE adapts the supply of the opening modules to the operating conditions of the appliances. The following are possible:
- external low-voltage supply (DC or AC)
- integration of an AC power supply unit
In view of worldwide use EBE equips the automatic door openers with automatic voltage level recognition.
The interface to the appliance can be individually designed and adapted to the existing range of appliances. In this way, adaptations of the central electronic resp. electric system of the appliances can be avoided.
Basically, the shape of a module can be freely designed. In terms of design mechanics and force requirements of the operation site and the installation space volume have to be considered.
You can choose between brush and brushless motors.
Different types of plastics are availabe for the gear stages and the module housing. Your selection depends on the force requirements to be considered.