Panasonic NA-140VG3WAU Washing Machine

One of the products that Insiders and Soupers got to see on Wednesday evening was a new washing machine added to the whitegoods lineup. Incidentally, it had only been released six weeks prior to the launch event compared to a couple of other products that had yet to be released and other that had been available for a while longer.

Now, I bet you’d never expect to read about a washing machine on this blog (nor did I ever expect to be writing about one let alone going to a launch event involving one) but this does align with my philosophy that it doesn’t hurt to review your purchases at regular intervals. I’m not condoning throwing away a perfectly good appliance as I am sure there is someone out there that could make use of a working and well looked after appliance but sometimes it makes sense to upgrade if there are significant enough gains to be realised (higher efficiency, lower costs, fewer consumables, etc).

NA-140VG3WAU ECONAVI Front Loader Washing Machine

NA-140VG3WAU ECONAVI Front Loader Washing Machine

So what are some of the major ECONAVI technologies found in the Panasonic washing machine that help create a more efficient wash?

Firstly, different brands of detergents will have varying levels of activity at a given temperature but the rule of thumb is that detergents tend to work better in warmer water than cold water. Furthermore, in cold washes the water will tend to be colder out of the tap in Winter than it would compared to Summer which would also affect the activity of the detergent in the wash. Conventional washing machines won’t take this variance in temperature into consideration and will set aside a static amount of time to complete this part of the wash cycle. In contrast,  the Panasonic washing machine will measure the temperature of the water and reduce the time of the wash cycle accordingly. A shorter running time will mean less electricity consumed and you get your clothes cleaned more quickly.

Another ECONAVI technology found in the Panasonic washing machine relates to determining how much water to inject into the drum during a wash. Traditional washing machines may have a dial where you can set the water level manually otherwise the machine will stick with an arbitrary level of water. The Panasonic washing machine will spin the drum a few times to determine the mass of the clothes in order to determine how much water to inject into the drum to reduce water usage and energy used to warm the water (if you want to do a warm wash).

Another added extra in the Panasonic washing machine is a “3D sensor” which is a fancy name for a three-axis gyroscope. It’s similar to what is found in smartphones and motion controllers for the Wii to determine the movement and/or orientation of the device. In the case of the ECONAVI implementation this sensor is used to create the optimal washing action inside the drum (which incidentally is a vertical drop from the top of the drum to the bottom). If the contents of the wash are dropping too early at one side of the drum before reaching the highest point the washing machine will speed up the drum rotation to compensate. Similarly, if the contents are dropping too late (or even sticking to the wall) the drum rotation will be decreased. In the optimal state, the drum should pulse up and down to indicate that it has the desired efficient washing action.

Leading on from this, the corrective action taken by the Panasonic washing machine helps to prevent drum oscillation found often in other washing machines. You know when your washing machine generates that  loud thumping noise which makes you think it might jump through the wall? That’s an extreme case of drum oscillation and in order for typical washing machines to cater for that problem they tend to have a large amount of clearance between the drum and the sides of the chassis. This means that if you want a larger capacity then you need a larger chassis to compensate. Given that the ECONAVI technology in the Panasonic washing machine can precisely control the motion of the drum along with the dampeners this means that a ten kilogram drum in a standard 600 x 600mm chassis. This is a bonus given that the front loaders from other manufacturers top out at around seven kilograms.

Front View of the Panasonic ECONAVI Washing Machine

Front View of the Panasonic ECONAVI Washing Machine

I guess the other thing to consider is with such a big drum you want to be able to get stuff in and out easily so Panasonic have put in a large door to make life a bit easier in that regard.

Anyway, I hope this blog has been enlightening – I started out not knowing much about washing machines apart from the normal buttons I need to push and where the washing powder goes. To say the least, I learnt quite a bit during the course of the presentation.

At the end of the day if you are in the market for a new washing machine or reassessing your current washing machine then you might want to check out the eight kilogram model here and the ten kilogram model here.


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    • Mani on September 29, 2011 at 21:59
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    Hi, my NAV148VG3 is only a month old, but the noice from it while spinning is loud, its kind of loud fast ticking noice, as if something like a switch or something beside the body is being pushed towards the chasis. I called up the technician but he is unable to do anything and says it’s normal. I do not think so. It is iritating and I am worried that if the noice is not checked something might be worn out before its time.
    Can you offer some guidance, please? I note from the picture above that there isn’t anything between the chasis and the right side of the drum that might be the cause. Is the picture above the exact replica of the unit?

    1. I’ll do my best to help you out!

      I can’t say that the demo model is an exact replica as I am unsure of what a standard unit normally contains.

      Where are you located and who specifically have you contacted about the issue?

  1. Thanks for sharing this post.I am using this Panasonic Washing Machine.It works on latest technology and have many more features then others.

    1. No worries! I may actually get one of these for myself as our current washing machine is using quite a bit of electricity after measurement. The only problem is that it will be quite a task to move the old one and put in the new one as our clothes dryer sits on top of the current washing machine!

    • Minta on February 19, 2015 at 17:18
    • Reply

    Hi boydo,
    They run great with a drier on top as I have one for at least three years!!!! How ever the 3d sensor has gone caput ???????? and trying to get a electrians out fix it is like pulling hens teeth…. Love my machine just want it to work again!!!!!!

    1. That’s a shame to hear that the 3D sensor has stopped working properly in your washing machine.

      I hope you get it fixed soon but I have to say that I am still very happy with our washing machine. I still have to double check after I have put a load on to make sure it is actually washing!

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