Page last updated at 19:45 GMT, Friday, 27 March 2009

Global goal for washing machine


Andrew Reason explains how his invention, the Reason washing machine works

An architect has developed a more eco-friendly washing machine which he hopes to sell around the world.

Andrew Reason and his team in Pembrokeshire say their washing machine cleans clothes using less energy and water, and is easy to load.

Reason washing machines currently employs 11 people but is due to expand when full production starts next year.

Mr Reason decided to invent an easy-loading washing machine after injuring his back while playing rugby.

"One day I saw an article in one of the Sunday supplements from a major retailer saying it asked 40,000 people what they wanted from a washing machine," he said.

"At the top of the list was a larger door for easier loading and unloading."

It's about people coming to work and having a shared dream
Andrew Reason

Mr Reason started sketching plans and came up with a drum which slides out when you open the washing machine door to allow easy access.

"I had already spoken to most of the major manufacturers and they said it was a great concept but we don't really want it now," he said.

"As far as I was concerned, that was enough for me to think that it was really, really good."

As the idea developed, "green" features were added such as automatically weighing the washing to dispense exactly the right amount of water and detergent.

And instead of a concrete base, water acts as ballast and is used for the wash itself.

The machines are hand-made in Haverfordwest and are aimed at the premium end of the market with a cost of around £1,200.

The first 200 are being auctioned on the internet but the company aims to build 100,000 more by the end of next year.

Driving force

A production line is being set up to meet demand which is expected to employ around 150 people.

Mr Reason said Pembrokeshire had inspired his team and would "continue to do so".

"The fact that we're making it here and keeping it here is a driving force for me because this is where I live, it's my home, it's where my colleagues live," he said.

"It's about people coming to work and having a shared dream.

"We know that [with] anything that goes out of this factory, we know how it's being made, how it's being assembled."

Washing machine production in Wales has suffered two major blows this year with the loss of production at the Hoover plant in Merthyr Tydfil and the planned closure of the Indesit factory in Bodelwyddan, Denbighshire.

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