Miele celebrates 100 years of its second plant



A whole century has passed since 1916, when the founding fathers of the Miele company, Carl Miele and Reinhard Zinkann, took the historic decision to set up a second production plant in the town of Bielefeld. A decision that created a new high level manufacturing reality that today employs a workforce of about 1,800 people and covers an area of about 134,000 m². It is now the second-largest production plant within the Miele Group, resting on three pillars: domestic dishwashers, vacuum cleaners and Miele’s Professional division. Originally born for the production of bicycles, since 1927 it was focused on home appliances, first with the developing of vacuum cleaners and then of washing appliances. Miele washing machines have been guaranteeing clean laundry since 1901 and were joined by vacuum cleaners from Bielefeld in 1927. Modifications were quickly made to the first bucket-type vacuum cleaners which were soon followed by cylinder vacuum cleaners mounted on castors or skids and later by stick vacuum cleaners. Over the decades, development continued apace, with products from Bielefeld today boasting high suction power and highly effective filtration systems. Each year, over 1.5 m vacuum cleaners are produced by employees in Bielefeld. Dishwasher also has a key role and a long history in the Bielefeld plant, a product that, in the first time, found its way into larger households and even smaller restaurants and cafés. Another milestone in the development of the plant was marked by the first fully automatic dishwasher launched in 1960. 82 units were built in the first year in Bielefeld, with unit output soon set to rise rapidly. Currently, annual production is in the order of upwards of 500,000 units. In total, around 16 m Miele dishwashers have been produced between 1960 and the present day.