Steam generators might have commanded an unimpressive 1-2% of the market''s volume for the year ending November 2001, but they grew in value by 70-80% so that they now represent 6% of the market''s worth. And, in the three months leading up to November 2001 alone, sales increased by 29% (volume) and 44% (value), according to one manufacturer. The total market for irons is now worth an annual 115 million [pounds sterling], accounting for four-and-a-half million units.SNAGPrice has so far been the greatest snag in makers'' intentions to flood the market with steam generators. Punters who might have paid 30 [pounds sterling] for their previous iron, will find it hard parting company with 150 [pounds sterling] for a new one, unless of course it is revolutionary.
CHOICEAs the generator market becomes more lucrative, the choice of brands available gets more extensive.As part of a recent revamping of its ironing products, Morphy Richards added a steam generator to its range. To promote its new offering, which is called the Jet Stream Elite and retails for 149.99 [pounds sterling], the maker is giving away a free Brabantia ironing board with each sale. Morphy has also upgraded its Turbosteam and Comfi-Grip iron ranges.Tefal''s new top end model is the Turbo Pro Express (2940), which retails for a little under 200 [pounds sterling]. This model needs only two minutes warm-up time and offers a continuous 80g a minute of steam with a mighty 100g/m turbo function.
While the new units are an evolution of gen-sets Magnum had previously built for United Rentals and other customers, "these are totally new packages," said Roberts. "They have a totally new design of corrosion-resistant aluminum enclosure with our own enhanced digital controller."There are 11 models in the range, all powered by liquid-cooled diesel engines, which drive Marathon brushless alternators. The MMG12 (12 kW) and MMG25 (21 kW) are powered by Isuzu three- and four-cylinder naturally aspirated engines. The rest of the line, powered by four- and six-cylinder John Deere turbocharged diesel engines, includes the MMG50 (43 kW), MMG70 (62 kW), MMG85 (76 kW), MMG110 (96 kW), MMG125 (108 kW), MMG155 (135 kW), MMG180 (155 kW), MMG230 (201 kW) and MMG425 (371 kW. All of the engine packages include cooling systems from Diesel Radiator, Enginaire air cleaners and Nelson exhaust systems.
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