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7 Product Lifetime Optimisation

To provide lifelong treatments, the bookshelf is sold together with a maintenance kit: a set of small instruments to independently finish (with oil-based paints or natural wax) surfaces in case they become worn out or are accidentally scratched. 7.13.2 Many cars are sold with a manual of light maintenance procedures and a few reserve parts. 7.14 The LaFutura descaler disc uses magnetic technology for water treatment in washing machines and dishwashers. It protects heating coils and mechanical parts from limestone and increases durability and efficiency.

7.6.5 Facilitating Repairs Labour costs are the main factor that determines whether a product is eventually repaired or not. These costs are normally proportional to the complexity and difficulty of access to the repairable parts16. Many complex products that are meant to be durable require proper repairing activities that have to be facilitated by adequate design solutions, with a clear vision of what can and will be done and by whom. Depending on the type of the product and its usage context, the repairs could be carried out by the user or service centre; the latter can be more or less connected to the producer or distributor. Interchangeability stands in favour of the producer of the product, who would also manufacture the spare parts17. Standardising, meanwhile, makes compatible spare parts and materials manufactured by different producers. Design ideas that bring along unique features or components could easily nullify the efforts of repair design. Among other issues, the special components require bigger inventories and warehouses (and more expensive) for replacement components and extended training programs for those who are responsible for the repairs. Guidelines for facilitating reparation: • Arrange and facilitate disassembly and reattachment of easily damageable components (Examples 7.15) • Design components according to standards to facilitate substitution of damaged parts

16 Landline telephones are exemplary of goods with a low unit cost that almost never are repaired. A new product almost always costs less than any repair procedure; because of this almost all damaged goods are replaced immediately. 17 Cf. Chap. 9.

Design for Environmental Sustainability  

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