The worst feature of my Hotpoint dishwasher is the cutlery basket, which has a molded-plastic mesh base. Most of us do not place dirty knives (which have the heaviest handles) carefully into their dishwasher pockets. Instead, we drop them a few inches. So it is inevitable that the mesh breaks.
Once the mesh started to tear, I complained about this to Hotpoint, and the customer service department sent a replacement. Meanwhile, I drilled holes and tied 0.75mm nylon fishing line to reinforce the original mesh. The replacement is no stronger. It will break just as easily unless I work out a better plan before I use it. Why should I have to redesign a feature that was probably never properly tested?
How much more would it cost to make the cutlery basket mesh 3mm or 4mm deep instead of about 1mm? This is inexplicable.
The second poor feature is the lower tray. It has two rows of plate holders that can be folded down. Once they are folded down, half the tray is just flat, and the cutlery basket occupies a quarter of the fixed rows. How much more would it cost to provide two sections of folding plate holders half the width, instead of one full width?
In my estimation, the cost to improve on these design flaws could be counted in pennies. It would probably be less than 0.1 percent of the total bill of materials. A more imaginative and versatile design may have cost no more at all. I have a stainless-steel drainer on my counter, next to the sink, which is made with a pattern of small dimples, which allows all sizes of plates and dishes and glasses in any orientation. I would guess it is cheaper to make than the more complicated, more traditional dishwasher design. Isn't that what engineering design is all about?
This entry was submitted by Rod Dalitz and edited by Rob Spiegel.
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