Normally, I would strongly concur that there is a lot of "durable" goods that are getting dropped at the transfer station when people with a little effort could keep things working. Not a week goes by when I see printers, phones and small applicance piling up. This was first endorsed with the cash for clunkers programs which I believe was the first in a downhill acceptance in our society that if it doens't work for you, just throw it away. And then replace it with some inferior recurring disposable non-enduring goods. This makes the marketers happy, the shipment, delivery and disposal people happy and everyone except our long term ability to be self-sufficient and independent individuals. I think when something is 15 years old like the JennAir freezer in the article, you have to balance work effort and parts against basic entropy of the appliance and if the ice maker fractures a huge hunk of plastic in the interior housing, what else is getting ready to pop and can you afford all that ruined food. Kudos to you for overhauling it. But I hope the rest is still fully serviceable. I have a top-bottom oven and a dishwasher that look like somebody used as a wood burning brick oven and washed the bricks in the dishwasher in a property I purchased. They will not be revamped in my lifetime, Their materials will hopefully be reclaimed in the metals and plastics sorting lines.The problem is the more we throw away, the less the manufacturers strive to build enduring goods.
As I recall this, it occurred before I started working in Automotive but my wife was working for GM. After crashing several trucks and not getting the fire they needed to support their storyline, NBC put a small explosive in one and filmed it. The video clearly showed the flash of the explosion under the truck, before the impact, but NBC, knowing how ingnorant we all are, went with the video on the news broadcast anyway. GM sued and won in court but stupidly did not pursue punitive damages. NBC should have been shut down then but instead they are still here putting out falsehoods on an almost daily basis.
A few years ago I was shopping for a slide-in range with the controls front and center. I was at a store with mid to high-end appliances and the saleswoman was very helpful and savvy. When I asked about Jenn-Air, she showed me that the window in front of the digital display was thin plastic. Their service people were seeing damaged windows when boiling liquid or grease was spilled or splattered on the plastic, requiring replacement of the entire electronics module. (Hot liquids spilled on a rangetop isn't under warranty, of course).
Bought a GE that uses glass instead...so far, so good with fingers and toes crossed!
I'm sure you're right on all counts, Old_Curmudgeon. Still, I would like to see these companies respond, if only to dispute the conclusions. The fact that they don't indicates to me that our authors are right, and the manufacturers know it.
I have a Maytag "Wide-by-Side" refrigerator with the exact same problem. Your photo could be my photo! Wikipedia says, "The Jenn-Air brand was acquired by Maytag Corporation in 1982 which was subsequently purchased by Whirlpool Corporation in 2006."
My feeling is that the plastic part was not designed for the constant low temperature (approximately 0F) and the impact load of the drive motor trying to drive the ice auger when the auger is frozen up. Some sort of slip coupling with a clutch type action would have prevented the failure. The type of clutch I am thinking of is used on hand drills and has two plates holding ball bearings in cups with a spring compressing the plates together.
To be honest, I have not fixed mine yet. Reaching in for ice rather than getting through the door is not that much work.
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.