HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Comments
View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
plasticmaster
User Rank
Silver
Re: Disassembly / Service
plasticmaster   8/5/2011 9:31:41 AM
NO RATINGS
Manufacturers may talk recycling but I see a resistance to that as well. They may promote recyclability but I think what they really want is for you to throw that product away and buy another one from them.

Cell phones, for instance, could be very recyclable. Being mechanically inclined, I decided to fix my HTC Tilt (broken lens) instead of buying a new one. First off, it's incredibly complicated; Second, there's one little screw with a wee bit of tape that says "Do not remove" over the top of it. If you destroy the tape (you have to in order to remove the screw), you void the warranty.

I did the same with an IPhone 3G. it's got the same screw. With the IPhone, all I needed to do was replace the rechargeable battery. Apple purposely designed the phone so the battery couldn't be replaced without a complete teardown of the entire product.

I don't believe companies (as a whole) want their products to have long legs.

Personally, I think that's short-sighted.

DAR_3
User Rank
Iron
Re: Disassembly / Service
DAR_3   7/28/2011 11:42:01 AM
NO RATINGS
I find that I tend to look for products that are not easy to disassemble.  If I have a car with quick disconnects, what stops a thief from helping himself?  Plus I have made it more tempting and convenient - he doesn't need to carry any tools with him. 

Dave Palmer
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Disassembly / Service
Dave Palmer   7/18/2011 11:48:34 AM
NO RATINGS
Beth, that's a good point.  The sort of people who are likely to go to the trouble of fixing something that breaks, rather than just throwing it out and buying a new one, are the same sort of people who are likely to resist paying an extra penny for anything. (I know, because I happen to be one of those people!) Unfortunately, this does not create much of an incentive for companies to invest in design for disassembly.  So, unfortunately, other than waste regulations which put some of the burden for disposal on the manufacturer (which, as has been mentioned, are difficult to enforce), and/or a massive cultural shift, there doesn't seem to be any good way of getting companies to do this.

Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Disassembly / Service
Beth Stackpole   7/18/2011 9:08:53 AM
NO RATINGS
I'm not so sure I buy into the fact that consumers will pay more for items that can be disassembled. Or perhaps there isn't a connection that paying a premium for designs that have been optimized for disassembly goes hand-in-hand with getting a product that has longer legs. I think consumers are getting all too accustomed to a throw-away culture, where by when something breaks, you toss it and get a new one. I know, I've been guilty of that sentiment on more than one occasion. I'm not proud of it, but just saying ...

 

Dave Palmer
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Disassembly / Service
Dave Palmer   7/16/2011 9:24:26 PM
NO RATINGS
Great point, Tim. In my wife's native El Salvador, absolutely everything is disassembled and serviced long after it would be considered junk here. One result is that there are quite a few people with a high degree of mechanical aptitude and a working knowledge of electromechanical systems. This might be one reason why many U.S. airlines send their aircraft to El Salvador for service. (Of course, another reason is that even a degreed engineer rarely makes more than $1000 per month).

Tim
User Rank
Platinum
Disassembly / Service
Tim   7/16/2011 4:52:46 PM
NO RATINGS
There is a large consumer market for items that can be disassembled and serviced.  Consumers will pay more for items that can be disassembled and serviced for longer life.  They do not naturally consider this as recycling or helping the environment.  They just see it as putting a little more money into a component to get a lot more life out of it.  Company driven directives to use screws instead of welds and having available service departments show a dedication to long product life as well as environmental consideration.

David McCollum
User Rank
Gold
Recycling blues
David McCollum   7/15/2011 5:20:48 PM
NO RATINGS
I think we overlook the problem in the middle of the recycling chain. For example, my governng bodies provide me with refuse containers. The one for garbage is a 96-gallon monster with 8" wheels to allow me to get it to the street withoug having a hernia. In fact, I have two containers because one is never enough. I fill them both weekly, and by the end of the year, I should have the place cleaned up to suit me.

On the other hand, the bin for recycling is a little bitty thing, possibly no more than 6 gallons. I have to crush the aluminum cans, even though the recycling depot has a mahine to do that. They won't take steel cans or glass, even though both are recyclable. I can put out any amount of newspaper, up to the bin's capacity, but only on days it might not rain. Magazines are generally unacceptable; some nonsense about slick paper. Heaven forbid I should want to toss the box that contained an appliance. They will take cardboard, but only in pieces that fit in the bin. And why not toss it all in the truck and sort it at the depot.

I cannot help believing that most people would gladly recycle if it were even remotely simple. And why isn't the recycling bin as large as the trash bin. What can the average person do with his electronics? I see an old CRT TV on the curb at least once a week. It seems like we could come up with a simple and cost-effective system for recycling so everyone would participate with ease.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
U.S. WEEE could help
Rob Spiegel   7/12/2011 5:25:21 PM
NO RATINGS
Doug, I hearing the same things you mention -- the EU WEEE directive has not been enforced evenly. Here's in the U.S., we have a patchwork of different laws in different states, many states with nothing. A uniform national U.S. law could help the design engineer with a coherent compliance target. Congress, however, doesn't seem to be in the mood to pass federal environmental regulations.

The best hope now seems to be companies that bring green practices to their materials choices voluntarily. The concept seems to resonate with consumers.

Douglas Smock
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Take a Lesson From the Students
Douglas Smock   7/12/2011 8:33:02 AM
NO RATINGS
Engineer's hearts are in the right place, and that clearly showed through in our survey results. But there isn't much that they can realistically accomplish without strong corporate support. Design for recyclability is a major initiative that requires support from the very highest level officers in the company. That isn't happening.

Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
Take a Lesson From the Students
Beth Stackpole   7/12/2011 8:18:34 AM
NO RATINGS
Nice piece, Doug. It's disheartening to hear, though, that design for disassembly doesn't have the legs or backing that perhaps it should. I think the example you cited about the university students using digital prototyping and 3D CAD software from Autodesk to both optimize the ergonomics and appeal of their laptop design while also getting good results in terms of design for disassembly is a great example and one I hope more engineering teams will follow.



Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
Advertised as the "Most Powerful Tablet Under $100," the Kindle Fire HD 6 was too tempting for the team at iFixit to pass up. Join us to find out if inexpensive means cheap, irreparable, or just down right economical. It's teardown time!
The first photos made with a 3D-printed telescope are here and they're not as fuzzy as you might expect. A team from the University of Sheffield beat NASA to the goal. The photos of the Moon were made with a reflecting telescope that cost the research team 100 to make (about $161 US).
At Medical Design & Manufacturing Midwest, Joe Wascow told Design News how Optimal Design prototyped a machine that captures the wing-beat of a duck.
The increased adoption of wireless technology for mission-critical applications has revved up the global market for dynamic electronic general purpose (GP) test equipment. As the link between cloud networks and devices -- smartphones, tablets, and notebooks -- results in more complex devices under test, the demand for radio frequency test equipment is starting to intensify.
Much of the research on lithium-ion batteries is focused on how to make the batteries charge more quickly and last longer than they currently do, work that would significantly improve the experience of mobile device users, as well EV and hybrid car drivers. Researchers in Singapore have come up with what seems like the best solution so far -- a battery that can recharge itself in mere minutes and has a potential lifespan of 20 years.
More:Blogs|News
Design News Webinar Series
10/7/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
9/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
9/10/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Oct 20 - 24, How to Design & Build an Embedded Web Server: An Embedded TCP/IP Tutorial
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


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 Class: 10/28-10/30 11:00 AM
Sponsored by Stratasys
Next Class: 10/28-10/30 2:00 PM
Sponsored by Gates Corporation
Next Class: 11/11-11/13 2:00 PM
Sponsored by Littelfuse
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service