DFR. Design For Recycling.

Escrito el 19 mayo 2008 por José Luis Fernández en Lean Services

DFX was a concept I was used to in my former life at Tech Equipment Manufacturer Company. In those days, Design For Cost, Design For Manufacturability or Design for Standardization were the most popular approaches. I remember some works we did around Design for Customization at different levels of aggregation. Now if you click on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Design_for_X you can see many more approaches as Design for Logistics (with strong influence in mass consumer markets) or many others.
In Wikipedia words: “The design guidelines itself propose usually an approach and corresponding methods that may help to generate and apply technical knowledge in order to control, improve, or even to invent particular characteristics of a product”
One of the major impact of the problem of increasing “digital rubbish” we are debating in the Forum of “Value Networks-Sustainability” is the lack of capacity and resources to “demanufacture” electronic goods (or others). One of the reasons could come from the initial design phase not fully considering the whole manufacturing-demanufacturing cycle.
Although some factors tend to mitigate the problem, probably without having it as an objective, as:
Reduced gadgets, thanks to technology innovation , with important achievements regarding size reductions and capacity increase in memories, batteries, etc.
Cost reduction and lean approaches tending to minimize the waste
The point is that there are important forces tending to increase the generation trend to infinite, as:
• Cost reductions and financing due to service oriented revenue models
• Product Cycles closer to fast fashion and mass customization
• Products offer & technologies increase
• Obsolescence by Disruptive Technologies
• Important growth of target user universe due to demographics and
• Highly competitive environment and sectors convergence
Here comes the concept “Design for Recycling” as a creative thinking input (one more!!) at design stages. When I typed it at Google one of the links I found was this interesting presentation from Georgia Institute of Technology:
Some of the questions arising could be:
Would those capable to design for recycling have competitive advantages now and in future?
Would new recycling regulation environment mean barriers for importing in electronic sectors?
How the big products flows will be defined as well as the business model?


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