From Treasure to Trash

View Comments: Oldest First|Newest First|Threaded View
Jennifer Campbell
User Rank
Don't Throw the Baby out with the Bath Water
Jennifer Campbell   6/29/2011 4:07:54 PM
Here is a comment received by Geoffrey Orsak from an avid reader of his Design News column:

Your latest column entitled "From Treasure to Trash" hit a chord with me because last week I had an LCD monitor go out on my work computer system.  Being an engineer I took it apart and found that the screen itself was the problem.  Quickly I determined that I could replace the whole monitor a lot cheaper than fix the old one.  What bothered me is how much perfectly good product I had to throw away as I lowered the old monitor into the e-waste dumpster. The stand and the mechanism that adjusted the height and swiveled and tilted was perfect and a really robust design.  In fact everything but the failed component could have performed for many years to come.  It is great that more companies are recycling their electronic waste but it still takes a lot of energy to create something that only lasts a few years.
Just like your article suggests, there should be value going forward in our society to engineer for the afterlife of a product.  If the most likely to fail part of any product could be removed and replaced easily and inexpensively wouldn't it be great.  We do it on some products like automobiles, light fixtures, and sponge mops.  I think it's time we started making longer life electronic gadgets instead of "throwing away the baby with the bath water."

Partner Zone
More Blogs
We celebrate Halloween with a look at 13 of the scariest technology-based horror movies of all time, as well as some real-life technologies that bare a frightening resemblance to what's on screen.
When Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek made headlines by hacking and crashing a Jeep last year, the event followed many months of study and trials.
With a better understanding of materials’ response to load and temperature, researchers could potentially use the knowledge to improve design. The research could even help geologists studying plate tectonics.
A panel on cybersecurity at ARM TechCon called for regulations to protect the security of connected devices.
The design of products has been altered altogether through 3D printing. Parts that couldn’t be produced at all before 3D printing came along are often superior to conventionally produced parts.
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Oct 10 - 14, Embedded System Design Techniques™: Getting Started Developing Professional Embedded Software
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6 |  7 | 8 | 9 | 10

Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Course November 8 - 10:
Sponsored by 3M
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2016 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service