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Design for Product Care: Enhancing Consumers’ Repair and Maintenance Activities

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Abstract

The aim of this PhD project is to understand and enhance consumers’ repair and maintenance activities. We define this behaviour, aimed at prolonging products’ lifetimes, as product care. For designers, it is important to understand consumers’ perspective on product care and to identify reasons why consumers either do or do not take care of their products. Only by doing so, can appropriate products and services be designed in the future. This PhD project first explores current product care behaviour and the individual tendency of persons to take care of their products. Afterwards, suitable design directions to enhance product care are developed and evaluated for multiple product categories. Based on the insights from this PhD project, designers can adjust their design in such a way that care activities are more likely to be executed.

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... restoring a product's utility). Studies on this behaviour have focused on two aspects of the circular consumption system: providing easy repair and maintenance products, and enabling and motivating consumers to perform these activities (Ackermann, 2018;Baier et al., 2020;Botelho et al., 2016;Daae et al., 2018). These aspects are further discussed in the influencing factors section of the results. ...
... Another influencing factor related to consumers is motivation, which is influenced by external factors (e.g. the usability of a product) and varies according to the context associated with circular behaviour (Ackermann, 2018). In our SLR, motivation was found to influence product care and the recovery of electrical and electronic waste (Botelho et al., 2016). ...
... In our SLR, motivation was found to influence product care and the recovery of electrical and electronic waste (Botelho et al., 2016). Additionally, consumers' ability to engage in circular behaviour, related to the knowledge, skills, tools, time, and effort needed to perform the behaviour, has only been addressed by two articles concerning product care (Ackermann, 2018;Ackermann et al., 2018). Consumers' perceived ability to perform product care was positively associated with this behaviour. ...
Article
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The transition to a circular economy presents new ways to create and offer value by proposing changes to current production and consumption systems. This study focuses on the challenges concerning consumers' acceptance of circular offerings and their engagement with the circular economy. Through a systematic literature review, we investigated consumers' mindsets, behaviour, and influencing factors, and positioned them in circular consumption systems. This review was conducted using two databases, Scopus and Web of Science, in January 2020 and updated in September 2020. A total of 107 articles were screened, and 53 were included in the analysis. We mapped 6 circular mindsets, 14 circular behaviours, and 54 factors that influenced them. Our results show that broad interpretations and generalisations concerning these elements should be carried out carefully, as they are highly contextually driven. However, their role in consumption systems is clear. Consumers' mindsets are the starting point of circular consumption systems, as they present pre-dispositions in engaging with circular offerings. These mindsets are expressed by consumer behaviour, which allows product flow in these systems; they, in turn, are affected by influencing factors. We suggest that continued updates on this systematic literature review should be conducted, along with the development of a structured tool to help organisations engage their consumers by developing circular mindsets and encouraging circular behaviour, using the influencing factors.
... The capacity of a product to be repaired to continue its life with the same user or, in some cases, with a new one, depends on multiple variables. These variables are linked to how the product is designed, how the business models behind the product operate, and they also depend on the consumer behavior and practices [4]. ...
... Despite the importance repairability has in the attempt to transform our linear production and consumption operations in circular systems [1,4], there are factors that inhibit the capacity to repair a product and keep it going in closed cycles. These factors inhibit the direct repairs users could do themselves, or the ones third parties could do. ...
... Something that can come to help users and give them back the right to repair their products is a new European Union (EU) directive called "right to repair". This was launched in October 2019 and despite the formal documents not being released yet, the initial information about the mechanisms that will be put in place in the EU to strengthen the repairability of products in certain categories, thus encouraging the development of circular economies [4] is very promising. ...
Article
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Industry has been considered a major actor regarding the actions and changes needed to achieve sustainable development. Different approximations to the topic have been developed to face the challenges of having a more responsible production of goods and services. These approximations include cleaner production, green design, ecodesign, eco efficiency, design for sustainable behavior, sustainable design, and more recently concepts like circular economies among many more. In all these approaches, the attention has been mainly on the production side while consumption has been tackled indirectly. The majority of laws and ordinances that have motivated the emergence of these approaches have traditionally been oriented to producers. However, an European Union (EU) directive launched in October 2019, called “right to repair”, could change this paradigm, empowering consumers by giving them more possibilities of repairing their products instead of discarding them. This paper presents a preliminary discussion about the effects this directive might have on how we consume products now and how we will consume them in the future.
... There are already various studies that investigate repair and repairers (Jackson, 2014;Rosner & Ames, 2014;Strebel, Bovet, & Sormani, 2019). In design literature the studies that embrace repair mainly focus the design for sustainability (Ackermann, 2018;Doğan & Walker, 2008;Van Nes, 2010) This study is distinct from other studies on two levels: Firstly, this study investigates both user-product interactions from the practice theoretical perspective. This provides a broad view of the user-product interactions by evaluating the repair practice with its actors. ...
... Studies on maintenance and repair of objects provide valuable insights that serve this aim. While some of these researches offer efficient systems for production and consumption (Doğan & Walker, 2008;Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2012), some others guide designers for reparability and maintenance (Ackermann, 2018;van Nes 2010). Firstly, I will focus on the studies that provide a holistic perspective, in the form of a production or consumption system that revolves around repair activities. ...
... According to Ackermann (2018), product care is a crucial step in the circular economy, and it includes repair and maintenance activities before the object is broken. Product care embraces even brand-new objects (Ackermann, 2018); therefore, in order to keep the highest value of a product, precautions are of vital importance. ...
Thesis
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Interacting with the inner face of products leads to knowing more than knowing the product as a user. Repair creates an opportunity for the user to interact with the components of the product. This study investigates amateur computer repairers and the amateur computer repair activities including maintenance, upgrading, modification, replacing part, cleaning, and customization by approaching them with practice theoretical framework. The research aims to describe the user-product interaction that is characteristic of amateur repair practice. For this purpose, I conducted semi-structured interviews with participants who have amateur repair experience on desktop computers or laptops. Further, I made observations of their repair practices using a think-aloud protocol. End of the study, five prominent conclusions are revealed: (1) Amateur repair is a practice that comprises elements as implicit knowledge, explicit knowledge, skills, perspective, value and setting. Therefore, it is meaningful to use the practice theoretical approach to reveal product-user interaction in terms of amateur repair. (2) Amateur repairers are critical actors who sustain and shape the practice. They are considered as users who have particular identity, perspective and skills. (3) Amateur repairers transform the character of the product, independent of how it is designed. (4) The social network and the production network are critical mediums for amateur repair practice in terms of access to the components, tools and the knowledge. (5) Amateur repair practice would contribute to sustainable system design by providing a broader view of repair.
... Resources efficiency [3,[17][18][19][20][21] Size and weight reduction [2,[22][23][24] Using harmless material [25][26][27][28][29] Using recyclable material [5,[30][31][32][33][34] Easy to reuse [35][36][37][38] Using recycled material [39][40][41] Easy to maintain [42][43][44][45] Providing product service [46][47][48][49] Eco-labelling [50][51][52][53] Using biodegradable material [54][55][56] Easy to upgrade [57][58][59] It is suggested that designers should relate suitable green characteristics to customer preferences in order to develop successful green products in the market. Ulrich and Eppinger [60] explained that consideration of customer preferences is very important and should be evaluated at an early stage of product design before continuing to the next phase of product development. ...
Article
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The increasing customer awareness of environmental sustainability during the last decade has had an influence on many manufacturers to produce green products. However, issues arise regarding the actual preferences of customers for green products, which often differ depending on cultural influences. Cultural values can affect the decisions of designers to determine detailed design specifications that relate to customer preferences. Currently, few guidelines consider cultural values as an aspect of green product design. Thus, the aim of this study is to develop a guideline that incorporates the influence of cultural values on green product design. Malaysia was selected as the location of this study. The sources of data to establish a guideline were obtained from customer perspectives on green products. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to identify cultural influences and preferences on green product characteristics as the input strategies for the proposed guideline. Professional designers from different profiles were asked to identify the applicability of the guideline. Based on the results, the designers agreed that the influence of cultural values is an important aspect that should be considered in the development of green products. The implication of the guideline is discussed in this paper to accelerate decisions of designers in developing green products.
... The research on concurrent design of product considering service activities was rooted from the traditional design-for-X methods where X is one of the down-stream product life-cycle aspects such as manufacturing (Anderson, 2014;El Wakil, 2019), assembly (Boothroyd, 2005), maintenance (Ackermann, 2018), and recycle (Favi et al., 2019). The design-for-X approach was evolved into concurrent engineering approach (Gan, & Grunow, 2016) where design and evaluations to other down-stream product lifecycle activities were conducted simultaneously in iterative manner to further improve competitiveness of products. ...
Article
A new approach is introduced in this research to identify the optimal product design and its service plan concurrently through simulation-based evaluation considering the whole product life-cycle span. In this approach, the generic product design is modeled by an AND-OR tree with parameter variables, and the specific design candidates and their design parameter values are created from the AND-OR tree. In the same way, the generic service plan is modeled by an AND-OR tree with parameter variables, and the specific service plan candidates and their service parameter values are created from the AND-OR tree. In the whole product life-cycle span, the product components, parameter values and functional performances are changed due to service activities such as maintenances and repairs. Simulation approach is employed to evaluate serviceability of the product in its whole life-cycle span considering different product designs, design parameters, service plans, and service parameters. A multi-level and multi-objective optimization method is developed to identify the optimal product design, design parameter values, service plan and service parameter values. A case study is implemented to show the newly introduced optimal concurrent product design and service planning approach.
... Bakım ve tamir pratiklerini uygulamak için gereken beceri arttıkça, bu pratikleri uygulama isteği azalmaktadır. Benzer bir şekilde, düşük ürün fiyatı ya da ortak kullanım gibi nedenlerle kullanıcıların bakım ve tamir konusundaki motivasyonları da azalabilir (Ackermann, 2018). Son yıllarda gittikçe öne çıkan yapıcı [maker] kültürü, tasarımcı ve bireysel üreticiler arasında bir kesişime işaret eder ve özellikle yeni nesil dijital üretim teknolojilerinin gelişmesi ve fabrikasyon laboratuvarları [fab lab] veya üretim atölyeleri gibi adlandırılan oluşumlar nedeniyle bunların ulaşılabilirliğinin artması, geleneksel seri üretim pratiklerinden farklı yeni nesil üretim olanaklarının kazanımı olarak ortaya çıkar (Richardson, 2016 Seri üretim ile yerel üretimi bütünleyen yaklaşım, seri üretim ölçeğinde kullanıcıların değişen ve farklı tercih ve ihtiyaçlarına cevap veren, yerel ve bölgesel ölçekte ise onarım, yeniden kullanım ve yükseltme gibi kullanım sonrası hizmetler için olanaklar sunan, yerel bilgi ve becerileri güçlendiren tasarım çözümlerinin geliştirilmesini destekler (Walker, 2011;Walker, 2010;Doğan, 2007). ...
Article
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Sürdürülebilir ürün ve sistemler, bakım, onarım ve yükseltme aşamalarında kullanıcıların etkin katılımını destekleyerek, kullanıcı-ürün bağını güçlü kılar. Bu bağlamda öne çıkan tasarım yaklaşımları arasında, seri üretilmiş ürünlerde onarım ve uyarlama pratikleri, sürdürülebilirlik için seri üretim ile yerel üretimi bütünleyen yaklaşım, duygusal devamlılık ve ürün odaklı kişiselleştirme ile sistem odaklı kişiselleştirme ve açık tasarım yer alır. Bu yaklaşımlar, farklı derecelerde ve tasarım sürecinin çeşitli aşamalarında kullanıcı katılımını ve yerel bilgi ve becerileri destekler. Bu makale, sürdürülebilirlik için tasarım alanında, tasarımcı, kullanıcı ve üreticilerin değişen rolleri üzerine bir değerlendirme yaparak, bu yaklaşımlar doğrultusunda geliştirilebilecek bir sistem önerisiyle ilgili tasarım çözüm alanlarını sunar. Sustainable products and systems support the active participation of users in the stages of maintenance, repair and upgrading, and strengthens the user-product emotional bond. The prominent design approaches in this context include repair and adaptation practices in mass-produced products, integrated scales of design and production for sustainability, emotional durability and product-oriented personalisation, and system-oriented personalisation and open design. These approaches empower user engagement at different degrees and at various stages of the design process and enable local knowledge and skills. This article provides an assessment of the changing roles of designers, users and manufacturers within the context of sustainable design, and it presents potential design solution areas related to a system proposal that can be developed in line with these approaches. Anahtar Kelimeler: Sürdürülebilirlik için tasarım, duygusal devamlılık, ürün ve sistem odaklı kişiselleştirme, açık tasarım, yerel bilgi ve beceriler, bakım, onarım, yükseltme
... They suggest that a lack of awareness, information, and concern, as well as being locked in certain lifestyles are barriers that need to be overcome and taken into account when designing interventions and products to change consumer behavior. Ackermann [96] explored the motivational aspects of repair and maintenance behavior. The author argued that a focus only on design of products for ease of repair and maintenance is not enough; consumers should also feel Sustainability 2020, 12, 10279 8 of 19 motivated to care for their products. ...
Article
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In the past decades, industrial design practice and research have focused extensively on how to optimize production and consumption, as a way to prevent negative environmental impacts, such as resource depletion, pollution, and excessive waste. Recently, the "circular economy" concept is increasingly used to achieve environmental benefits and economic growth simultaneously. Industrial design can contribute to a circular economy by fostering systems changes to achieve durability, optimal reuse, refurbishment, remanufacturing, and recycling of products and materials. Indeed, researchers have examined both the theoretical and practical aspects of how design knowledge can support the transition to a circular economy. However, this body of knowledge has not been systematically analyzed yet. To address this critical gap, this paper poses the following question: How has industrial design research so far contributed to advancing the circular economy knowledge? Accordingly, we survey relevant design literature focusing on the circular economy, through a review of contributions published in 42 scientific journals. Based on our results, we discuss how industrial design practices can potentially contribute to a circular economy across four thematic areas: (1) design for circular production processes, (2) design for circular consumption, (3) design to support policy towards the circular economy, and (4) design education for the circular economy.
... Much existing research on product longevity has focused on specific areas, to gain a deeper understanding of the mechanics that influence the longevity of consumer products. The findings show that business (Bakker et al. 2014;Ertz et al. 2019;Loon et al. 2020;Konietzko et al. 2020;Alqahtani & Gupta, 2017;Mohr et al. 2001;Bradley & Guerrero, 2008), marketing, (Simpson & Radford, 2012;Sinclair et al. 2018;Dixon et al. 2010;Amolo & Beharry-Ramraj, 2016;Butz et al. 1996), design, (Hagedorn et al. 2018;Cupchik, 2017;den Hollander et al. 2017;Bridgens et al., 2015), development, (Cooper, 2010;Rivera & Lallmahomed, 2016;Cooper 2004;Cooper, 1994;Bernard, 2019;Goel, 2006), legislation, (Bakker, 2017;European Commission, 2019), consumer behaviour, (Zhou & Gupta, 2019;Poppelaars et al. 2018;Boot et al, 2008;Boks, 2018;Ackermann et al, 2018;Mugge et al. 2006;van Nes & Cramer, 2005), purchase behaviour (Skene, 2018;Hou et al. 2020;Nieuwenhuis, 2008;Montalvo et al., 2016;Cox et al., 2013;Dalhammer, 2015), and much more affect product longevity. ...
Conference Paper
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Keywords: product lifetime; planned obsolescence; product durability; product lifetime extension; prolonged product life. Abstract: Product longevity is one of the keys to achieving more sustainable production and consumption patterns. However, in many companies, extending the longevity of products means overcoming several complex barriers. For small and medium sized enterprises, it may be difficult to identify where to start, and the available solutions may seem too complex or radical and therefore may be ignored as viable options. The purpose of this paper is to study how best-practice companies implement product longevity in everyday practices and map the principles of how they engage with product longevity at different stages of the development process, to provide knowledge about the solutions available to companies. We conducted a multiple case study of companies striving to design and produce long-lasting products. Through interviews with developers, CFOs and CEOs from 18 best-practice companies that work systematically with product longevity, we identified three key types of approaches to implementing product longevity: performance-driven approaches, behaviour change-driven approaches, and vision-driven approaches. The key approaches forms a baseline for a discussion about companies implementing these types of approaches and their ability to adopt them.
... First, in contrast to many aspects of imagined forms of CE, repair already actually exists in the world; and second, repair provides a microcosm of the contestation over the political economy of circularity. At one extreme, corporate provision of product-service systems is presumed to incentivise durability and repair [13], and at the other extreme, repair is understood in terms of personal attachment to products expressed in "care-full" individual maintenance and repair (rich in attachment and informed by ethics of care) [14]. In between these extremes, there are existing modes of repair provision relying on the state, small businesses, or not-for-profit organisations such as repair cafés. ...
Article
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The dominant technocratic and neoliberal imaginary of a circular economy dependent on corporate leadership, market mechanisms, and changed consumer behaviour is here explored using the findings of deliberative stakeholder workshops examining diverse scenarios for the promotion of repair as part of a circular economy. Stakeholder responses to four scenarios-digital circularity, planned circularity, circular modernism, and bottom-up sufficiency-are described with reference to the ideologies, interests, and institutions involved. We distinguish two levels of discourse in the stakeholder discussions. The main narrative in which individualist and consumerist ideologies dominate, even within ideals of sustainability, reflects a conjunction of corporate, labour, and public interests in the market liberal social democratic state, with proposed interventions focused on the institutions of markets and education. A subaltern narrative present in the margins of the discussions challenges the consumerist and productivist presumptions of the market liberal political economy and hints at more transformative change. These conflicting responses not only cast light on the ways in which the political economy of contemporary Sweden (within the European Union) constrains and conditions current expectations and imaginaries of circularity, but also suggest ways in which the future political economy of circular economies might be contested and evolve. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s43615-021-00128-8.
... Design for long life (Franco, 2019) and the concern with prolonging the life cycle of products or their components (Mendoza et al., 2017;Sinclair et al., 2018;Kaddoura et al., 2019) are central to CPD and have relevant roles in slowing resource loops (Mendoza et al., 2017). The adoption of these principles, allowing for the prolonged use of products (Halstenberg et al., 2019), includes designs oriented to reuse, maintenance, upgrade, modularity, maintainability and reliability (Ackermann, 2018;Bovea and P erez-Belis, 2018;Selvefors et al., 2019). ...
Purpose: Although product design is a fundamental element in the transition towards the circular economy, the knowledge of practices, methods and tools oriented to circular product design has not been widely developed. This study aims to contribute to the circular economy research area by investigating and analyzing the main design approaches to circular products and their relationship to new product development. Design/methodology/approach: The authors conducted a systematic review and qualitative analysis of 120 articles. In these studies, the authors analyzed aspects such as design strategies used, the barriers to the adoption of circular product design and the relationships between the phases of new product development processes with circular product design studies. Findings: The findings revealed that the circular product design approach has added new design strategies to those already recommended by ecodesign, such as multiple use cycles, emotional durability and biomimicry. Furthermore, the results showed that most circular product design articles focus on the planning and concept development phases of the new product development process. Originality/value: In this article, the authors systematized the findings of an emergent research area: the development of new products for the circular economy. Its main contributions lie in the identification of design strategies, the classification of Design for X approaches, analysis of such approaches during the new product development process and discussion of their main barriers. Finally, this study presents contributions for managers and designers who are starting the transition to a circular strategy.
... Between the technical strategies proposed in the Circular Economy, repairability is a very interesting alternative that can encourage consumers to keep their products for longer before they dispose of them (Ackermann, 2018;Lee & Wakefield-Rann, 2021;Nazlı, 2021). Despite the common sense that comes with the idea of repairing before replacing old products that still have value, the reality is that repair has declined significantly in recent years (Jaeger-Erben, Frick, & Hipp, 2021;Nazlı, 2021). ...
Article
Product lifetime extension is key strategy for a functioning Circular Economy. Yet, the role of material innovation and how this might contribute to longer product and material lifetimes has not been widely discussed. Considering the significant environmental burden of material resource extraction, the longevity of materials must also be deliberated. Inspired by biological systems, self-healing materials are a type of smart material with the ability to inherently repair themselves when damaged. Although a technology extensively investigated within the material science community, the Circular Economy and product lifetime extension implications of implementing these into products has yet to be debated. Thus, this empirical study investigates: What are the benefits, opportunities, risks and challenges for applying self-healing materials to products within the context of the circular economy? In addition to a literature review, this research was carried out utilising a survey, two round table discussions, a workshop and interviews with industry experts from several different sectors. Through thematic analysis, it was discovered that the key benefits that self-healing materials might offer to circular systems are: the ability to maintain the primary lifetime of the product from both a technical and service lifetime perspective; assistance in the refurbishing and remanufacture of products through increasing the ease of disassembly and reassembly of products; and the potential to enable alternative business models. The key risks and limitations are: issues of persistence within the system; hybridization of materials - technosphere or biosphere? whether they will cycle in the system; limitations regarding their technology development, performance and lastly queries of their liability and compliance. These findings are valuable to both fields of self-healing materials and circular economy, and they not only demonstrate what sustainability factors must be understood when developing novel self-healing compositions but also expand our understanding for how these materials might be utilised to create longer lasting products from an industrial perspective. The paper concludes with a set of recommendations for future research activities which could not only help to advance the field of self-healing but also potentially product longevity and make immortal products a reality.
Chapter
This chapter presents a test based on general principles of classical deontology that allows the concrete intention of sustainability of certain policies in political campaigns to be verified. This test allows ecological risks to be minimized in the choice of certain government leaders and functions as anticipatory ethics in the field of governmental policies. It is a model of political evaluation that denounces environmental and public risks. In short, an answer to the question of sustainability must be based not only on education for sustainability but also on economics-based environmental policies. I claim that tests of sustainable policies should be implemented to recognize policies that are contrary to sustainable development and the interest of citizens.
Chapter
Although current studies are pointing to the circular economy (CE) as one of the main trends for sustainable production and consumption systems, little is known about its applicability within new product development (NPD). In particular, there is a lack of studies connecting CE to product portfolio decision in early stages of the NPD process. Through a systematic literature review, this study aims to propose a framework that integrates CE practices and methods into product portfolio management (PPM). In combination with the well-known and traditional methods of PPM literature, the framework presented introduces the use of CE-based practices and methods to analyse the potential of product design concerning aspects such as durability, reuse, upgrading, remanufacturing, recyclability, recovery, and product service system. The proposed framework presents theoretical and managerial implications by sharing management methods and practices towards a product portfolio aligned with the principles of circularity.
Article
The Circular Economy concept aims to ensure environmental sustainability through the recovery of durable products that have reached the end of their usable life. Recovery strategies such as remanufacturing enable durable parts and cores to be restored to their original functionality and performance, thereby minimising the consumption of virgin materials and energy required for the production of new parts and components. To date, the repair and restoration processes concerning those parts and cores that can be remanufactured involved conventional methods such as material overlay and welding. These conventional methods are highly dependent on skilled manual labour or specialised industrial robots. With the notable growth in the global remanufacturing industry, it is imperative to deploy highly-efficient and sustainable methods to automate repair and restoration. Recent trends in remanufacturing repair and restoration indicate an increasing interest in metal additive manufacturing technology. To enhance the additive manufacturing efficiency for automated repair and restoration, it is crucial to optimise the core design. This paper provides a comprehensive and comparative outline of remanufacturing repair and restoration, using both conventional and automated methods. This paper also presents and discusses comprehensive insight into the application of AI-based techniques for design optimisation specific to additive manufacturing repair. Component design optimisation is crucial due to its impact on process efficiency and the life cycle of components. The review indicates that, despite the increasing interest in using additive manufacturing for repair and restoration, reports on the application of AI for design optimisation specific to repair and restoration using additive manufacturing remain limited. Furthermore, there are no established guidelines concerning design for repair and restoration using additive manufacturing. The paper concludes with recommendations for further research and presents a future outlook on AI-based optimisation for component design to facilitate repair and restoration using additive manufacturing. Automation is expected to facilitate the removal of roadblocks specific to process inefficiency and human limitations during conventional repair and restoration in remanufacturing.
Article
Environmental sustainability in sport management is emerging as a topic of concern. The current paper reports on a study that address the desirability and feasibility of repair solutions in the domain of sport equipment with a short lifespan. A badminton shuttle is taken as a case study. By means of video observations (n = 8), a survey among badminton players (n = 404) and an expert interview, the desirability issue was addressed. A research by design approach was used to gain insights in the feasibility of repairing feathered badminton shuttles taking into consideration three important elements: disassembly, reassembly and quality control. Feathered badminton shuttles do have an impact on the environment as they are on averaged bought and used at an amount of 133 shuttles per player per season and discarded in more than 97% of the cases after use. Users of shuttles are triggered by cost savings and by environmental consequences of repair, but still prefer recycling above repairing as a sustainable strategy. They have a slightly preference for a full service option for repairable shuttles, but consider possible alternatives to get access to repairable product as too abstract. The repair process of the feathered shuttle is technical feasible, convenient, time efficient and cost efficient and results in good quality products. Though, the research was conducted using a mix of methods and approached diverse topics of concern when considering repair of consumable sport equipment, researchers ask for further investigation as well to deepen insights in adoption processes of repairable products, to strengthen insights in design processes for repair as to conceive appropriate business models for this emerging product-service category.
Preprint
Academic literature on circular economy describes repair as an important strategy to prolong the lifetime of products. However, repair is often analyzed in terms of business models or product designs and tend to underestimate the role of consumer practices and routines. The paper adds to the growing body of consumer research on repair with a particular focus on the relation between past repair behavior, product usetimes and different product types. Based on previous research and a conceptual perspective on repair as a social practice, the paper describes a survey-based, quantitative analysis of the role of social and material settings, meanings and competences for the likelihood of repairing an object (either DIY or by repair services). We further explore the pertinence of repair for prolonging product usetimes compared to other product related practices like replacements. A model is proposed that predicts patterns of 1) how agency- and setting-related aspects are predicting repair and 2) how product related practices predict product usetimes for two different consumer goods (washing machines and smartphones). Both models were implemented and tested by structural equation modelling (SEM) with latent variables, using R lavaan. The tests revealed among others that the behavioural and financial costs for repair are perceived as high and social and material settings are more likely to impede than to enable repair. We also found that novelty seeking is an important predictor for non-repair and short product usetimes, but that there are significant differences between smartphones and washing machines. Based on our results we discuss further research and policy strategies to understand and change the current culture of non-repair.
Chapter
Sustainability challenges the linear production and consumption model that currently shapes global marketing systems. In contrast, the Circular Economy (CE) seeks to transform market structures, resources and material flows from linear to circular arrangements. Despite CE’s broad appeal, its uptake remains low; scant theoretical attention is paid to how marketing systems transition and transform. This lack of theorizing restrains society’s ability to shift towards a circular economy. This chapter explores the application of Archer’s social realist theory, The Morphogenetic Approach, to better understand how these systemic shifts could be better realized in the global fashion system. Four complex causal mechanisms are identified to illuminate how the system could be causally reconfigured to enable a circular transition. Systemic implications for theory, policy and practice are deliberated.
Chapter
The life cycle assessment method was applied for the evaluation of the impacts related to the recycling process of carbon-fiber/thermoset composite through solvolysis and the reuse of the recovered carbon fibers in the production of new composite laminates. The avoided impacts were calculated for the case of replacing virgin carbon fibers and virgin glass fibers with recycled carbon fibers in the production of laminates for skis. Avoided impacts on the main impact categories were accounted by the CML mid-point impact assessment method. Damage on human health, resources and ecosystems were calculated with the Recipe end-point method. Reduced damages were found when replacing virgin fibers (both carbon and glass) with recycled carbon fibers. In our study we assumed that the recycled carbon fibers were ready to use and no other treatment was required. The life cycle assessment (LCA) was used to assist the eco-design of a new possible ski structure.
Conference Paper
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Themes such as economy of materials, environmental degradation or optimization of production and consumption flows have long been discussed in design and design research. Lately, the concept of circular economy entered the stage as "an industrial economy that is restorative or regenerative by intention and design" (Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2013). One of the reasons behind the current fascination toward circular economy is surely the (implicit or explicit) promise that circular economy yields the potential to foster environmental protection without limiting economic growth. As such, circular economy has been seen as a way to develop more sustainable business models and entrepreneurial processes but has also been criticized for its neoliberal foundation. Within design research, a good number of contributions looked into theoretical aspects or practical applications of circular economy. The aim of this paper is to survey the field by reviewing some 75 contributions ranging from books and book chapters, journal articles and conference papers. The paper presents a variety of views that not only show different ways in which design research approached circular economy, but also hint at possibilities for further investigation.
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In recent decades, a widely discussed means of achieving environmental sustainability is to design more durable products, thereby reducing the need for the production of new products. In particular, the emotional perspective on product durability has received attention in recent design literature, since consumer products are often replaced long before they become physically non-functioning. The literature includes many accounts of causes of product replacement and means of making products more durable. Such classifications, however, include different sets of causes and means, making ‘product durability’ a concept that involves different understandings, depending on the underlying literature. Furthermore, this paper argues that only using the term ‘durability’ may cause certain aspects to be neglected in the effort to make consumer products longer lasting. The paper addresses these issues by defining the concept of ‘resilient design’, providing a detailed classification of causes of product replacement and organizing means to extend product longevity.
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The circular economy is a high priority subject of discussion in the current political and academic contexts; however, practical approaches in relevant disciplines like design are in need of development. This article proposes a conceptual framework for circular product design, based on four multiple loops strategies: (I) design to slow the loops, (II) design to close the loops, (III) design for bio-inspired loops, and (IV) design for bio-based loops. Recent literature, notably on life cycle design strategies, the circular economy conceptual model and the European Commission’s Circular Economy Package, is reviewed and product design cases illustrating each of the proposed are analysed. The article argues that different ‘circular’ approaches centred upon the life cycle design phases can provide practical guiding strategies during the design process and thus promote sustainable design solutions for the circular economy within the United Nation’s sustainable development goals.
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While the terms Circular Economy and sustainability are increasingly gaining traction with academia, industry, and policymakers, the similarities and differences between both concepts remain ambiguous. The relationship between the concepts is not made explicit in literature, which is blurring their conceptual contours and constrains the efficacy of using the approaches in research and practice. This research addresses this gap and aims to provide conceptual clarity by distinguishing the terms and synthesising the different types of relationships between them. We conducted an extensive literature review, employing bibliometric analysis and snowballing techniques to investigate the state of the art in the field and synthesise the similarities, differences and relationships between both terms. We identified eight different relationship types in the literature and illustrated the most evident similarities and differences between both concepts.
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Purpose – Product-service systems (PSS) could potentially benefit consumers, but empirical studies of business-to-consumer PSS solutions have been scarce. The purpose of this paper is to identify conditions for consumer acceptance, and propose a methodology for PSS development. Design/methodology/approach – Factors influencing consumer acceptance of PSS are investigated through focus groups and individual interviews, and elaborated in relation to theory from user acceptance and innovation adoption literature. Procedures for conceptual development of PSS are then proposed, based on methodology adapted from user-centred design. Findings – The two factors “impact on everyday life”, and “uncertainties” in anticipating such consequences were repeatedly brought up by participants. PSS affect consumers through practical implications for the activities they engage in. This goes beyond the service encounter, is highly complex and case specific why development processes should include iterative studies with consumers. Research limitations/implications – The studies use hypothetical PSS offers. Validation and refinement of the proposed methodology would require application in commercial development projects. Practical implications – The proposed methodology is expected to support requirements elicitation, and facilitate early stages of PSS development. Originality/value – This paper presents empirical findings regarding consumer acceptance, and provides a detailed analysis of factors that are central to PSS acceptance. It also introduces methodology for description and analysis of the complex consequences a solution may have from a consumer perspective.
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A Product-Service System (PSS) is an integrated combination of products and services. This Western concept embraces a service-led competitive strategy, environmental sustainability, and the basis to differentiate from competitors who simply offer lower priced products. This paper aims to report the state-of-the-art of PSS research by presenting a clinical review of literature currently available on this topic. The literature is classified and the major outcomes of each study are addressed and analysed. On this basis, this paper defines the PSS concept, reports on its origin and features, gives examples of applications along with potential benefits and barriers to adoption, summarizes available tools and methodologies, and identifies future research challenges. © IMechE 2007.
Book
This book provides a comprehensive framework and practical tools to support environmentally sustainable design processes. It puts forward an articulated vision of methods, tools and strategies for the integration of environmental requirements into product development, and highlights potential strategies and design guidelines, accompanied by a large selection of high-quality, environmentally aware product design case studies. The book is divided into three parts. The first part of the book introduces and defines the outline and scenarios of sustainable development and, within this framework, traces the evolution of sustainability in the design research and practice. The second part, deals in-depth with the approach and strategies used to design and develop environmentally sustainable products. In particular, this section explains the Life Cycle Design approach, and the strategies and guidelines to minimize material consumption, minimise energy consumption, minimise resource toxicity and harmfulness, optimise resources renewability and bio-compatibility, optimise product lifespan, extend material lifespan and facilitate disassembly. In addition, the offering models in which it becomes very interesting – under an economic and competitive profile – to design products with a low environmental impact are also explained. The third part presents the environmental impact of products, and the tools and methods for assessing it, with a specific focus on the Life Cycle Assessment together with the tools that have been developed to support product design for environmental sustainability. Finally, we find a description of the Method for Product Design for Environmental Sustainability (MPDS), and the tools that the DIS research unit (Design and system Innovation for Sustainability, Design Department, Politecnico di Milano) adopts when offering consultancy to firms with the aim of paving their way to the development of skills and tools related to the design of environmentally sustainable products. In the appendix, the design strategies and guidelines are synthetically re-proposed, together with the environmental impact assessment tables. Extensively rewritten for this new edition, the book is an important text for all students, designers and design engineers interested in product development processes.
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Product care is defined as all activities initiated by the consumer that lead to the extension of a product's lifetime. This research contributes to the literature by taking a consumer's perspective on product care, which is essential to postpone product replacement. We used Fogg's behaviour model as a theoretical framework to understand consumers' motivation, ability and triggers related to product care. Based on this, 15 in-depth interviews were conducted to explore consumers' current product care behaviour. Our findings show that many consumers are generally motivated to take care of their products, for example because they appreciate the product's functionality or because they are generally keen to consume in a sustainable way. They even have the right knowledge and tools or are at least motivated to get them. What is often missing are triggers that push people to take care of their products. Triggers can increase consumers' motivation or ability, for example by giving necessary tools to the consumer or by a helpful service offer. We also give suggestions for the practical implementation of our findings to support companies interested in a shift towards the Circular Economy.
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In today's unsustainable world of goods, where products are desired, purchased, briefly used and then promptly landfilled to make way for more, consumption and waste are rapidly spiralling out of control with truly devastating ecological consequences. Why do we, as a consumer society, have such short-lived and under-stimulating relationships with the objects that we invest such time, thought and money in acquiring, but that will soon be thoughtlessly discarded? Emotionally Durable Design is a call to arms for professionals, students and academic creatives; proposing the emergence of a new genre of sustainable design that reduces consumption and waste by increasing the durability of relationships established between users and products. In this provocative text, Jonathan Chapman pioneers a radical design about-face to reduce the impact of modern consumption without compromising commercial viability or creative edge. The author explores the essential question, why do users discard products that still work? It transports the reader beyond symptom-focused approaches to sustainable design such as design for recycling, biodegradeability and disassembly, to address the actual causes that underpin the environmental crisis we face. The result is a revealing exploration of consumer psychology and the deep motivations that fuel the human condition, and a rich resource of creative strategies and practical tools that will enable designers from a range of disciplines to explore new ways of thinking and of designing objects capable of supporting deeper and more meaningful relationships with their users. This is fresh thinking for a brave new world of creative, durable and sustainable products, buildings, spaces and designed experiences.
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Discusses the right of consumers to repair and fix products and reports on the need of companies to provide interested consumers with this information should they desire.
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From an economic point of view, the industrial economy is efficient to overcome situations of a scarcity of goods. From a technological point of view, the resource efficiency of the manufacturing processes of the industrial economy has been permanently improved during the last 200 years. In addition, cleaner processes have been developed. However, from an ecologic point of view, an increasing world population with increasing consumption has produced a “global footprint” which approaches the carrying capacity of the planet. A circular economy and its high-value spin-offs—a lake economy and a performance or functional service economy—can fulfil customers' needs with considerably less resource consumption, less environmental impairment in production an, d considerably less end-of-life product waste, especially in situations of affluence, when a considerable stock of physical goods and infrastructures exists. Also, in situations of a scarcity of natural resources, both energy and materials, often characterised by rapidly rising resource prices, the economic actors of a circular economy have a high competitive advantage over the actors of the industrial economy, due to much lower procurement costs for materials and energy. From a social point of view, a circular economy increases the number of skilled jobs in regional enterprises. However, the shift from a linear manufacturing economy to a circular or service economy means a change in economic thinking, from flow (throughput) management to stock (asset) management: in a manufacturing economy with largely unsaturated markets, total wealth increases through accumulation as resource throughput (flow) is transformed into a higher stock of goods of better quality (but in a manufacturing economy with largely saturated markets, wealth represented by the stock of goods will no longer increase); in a circular or service economy, total wealth increases through a smart management of existing physical assets (stock) that are adapted to changes in both technology and customer demand. This second approach not only applies to physical capital but equally to social capital, such as health and education and green GDP. To measure the social wealth of a population, it is not the amount of money spent on schools and hospitals that matters, but if this expenditure has led to a better education of the students, and a better health of the people.
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The aim of this paper is to explore how knowledge provided by social science research on the dis-domestication of products can inform design for longevity. The research presented is an investigation into the dis-domestication of objects from the household. Dis-domestication is a concept developed by Hebrok (2010) and pertains to the process in which products go out of use and are being disposed of. The concept has been developed as an addition to the framework of domestication by Silverstone et al. (1992), which is also the starting point of the analysis provided by this paper. The product group that serves as a case for the analysis is furniture. Prolonging the lifespan of products is vital in order to decouple economic success from environmental impact. This paper explores the fruitfulness of applying methods from social science and the framework of domestication to the study of disposal behaviour in a design perspective.
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Product lifespans of electric and electronic products are in decline, with detrimental environmental consequences. This research maps the environmental impacts of refrigerators and laptops against their increasing energy efficiency over time, and finds that product life extension is the preferred strategy in both cases: refrigerators bought in 2011 should be used for 20 years instead of 14, and laptops for at least 7 years instead of 4. Designers however lack expertise to design for product life extension (through longer product life, refurbishment, remanufacturing) and product recycling. The paper explores a range of product life extension strategies and concludes that tailored approaches are needed. One of the main research challenges is to determine when to apply which product life extension strategy.
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to follow a paper by Rexfelt and Hiort af Ornäs published in JMTM in 2009, which dealt with consumer acceptance of product service systems (PSS). This topic is important as it is a sustainable business model. It is proposed that the uncertainty consumers have towards the suitability of PSS to their needs can be further explored using existing management tools such as SERVQUAL, a tool to measure customer satisfaction and perceived quality. Design/methodology/approach – This study, supported by the British Academy, utilized qualitative research on two types of respondents: businesses that can be classified eco-efficient PSS providers; and consumers. The providers were administered structured in-depth interviews, and the respondents are Mr Chas Ball, Director of Policy at Car Plus, a trade association representing car clubs, and Mr Jonathan Hampson, Director of Streetcar, the largest car club company. Car clubs may be considered a type of eco-efficient PSS. Consumers were involved in four focus groups (20 participants in total). The questioning route used in the two focus groups focused the attention of the participants on two types of eco-efficient PSS provision: one represented by car-sharing services, such as the ones provided by City Car Club and Street Car, mentioned in section 2; the other was an hypothetical provision of a bundle of maternity equipment and services, such as baby prams, baby car seats, travel cots and similar. The inclusion of this “hypothetical” provision was inspired by a study conducted in Sweden by Mont et al. Findings – Consumers are favourable to PSS provisions in principle; however they have concerns on whether this type of provision will live up to their expectations. These concerns are that the PSS might not perform satisfactorily in terms of its assurance, reliability, responsiveness, empathy and tangible components. The attractive aspect of PSS to consumers is as a “bundle” or products and services where the product can be replaced to accommodate consumers' needs. Business managers and policy makers will need to devise communications to reassure consumers that PSS provision meets the requirements set out by the SERVQUAL scale. Originality/value – This paper identifies the applicability of a service quality measurement tool, SERVQUAL, to product service systems (PSS) and it extends the knowledge on consumers' acceptance of PSS.
Article
From an environmental perspective, the early replacement of durables is generally detrimental. This article examines 'ensuring a strong person-product relationship' as a design strategy to postpone product replacement. If a person experiences a strong relationship with his/her product, this can result in more protective behaviours towards this product and in product longevity. A crucial precondition for a long-lasting relationship is that consumers feel the product is irreplaceable. Such a condition is obtained only when a product's meaning is deeply anchored in a specific product and the product and its meaning are inseparable. Designers can encourage the product's irreplaceability by stimulating the formation of memories associated with a product or by creating unique and personal products. Several examples of design strategies are discussed.
Article
The life span of a product is a key component in assessing its environmental impact. Until very recently, however, product durability was far from prominent in the environmental debate. This has begun to change due to mounting concern about waste, the prospect of producer ‘take back’ schemes and the importance of quality in highly competitive international markets. This has led to product durability emerging on the business and environment agenda.This paper explores the significance of product life spans and identifies currently available data on the life-span of consumer durables. It defines product life and argues that, from an environmental perspective, optimum product life, rather than maximum product life should be the goal.It suggests that potential advantages to businesses of manufacturing and retailing products with longer life spans include improved environmental foresight (i.e. a greater responsiveness to new social trends, changes in consumer behaviour and tighter government regulations), an enhanced reputation for quality, greater potential market share and increased customer loyalty.Addressing claims that manufacturers deliberately make products with the intention that they should have life spans below the known technical potential, the paper identifies some of the influences upon manufacturers which encourage shorter product life spans. Finally, some means by which longer life products might be encouraged are proposed.
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The financial and environmental consequences of disassembly and recycling at the end of a product's life are studied. Analyses of a small coffee maker and some large domestic appliances are presented. It is shown that redesign proposals resulting from Design for Assembly analysis are compatible with Design for Disassembly and that significant improvements are achievable. It is also shown that optimization of the disassembly sequence is important in order to maximize any financial benefits, but that to minimize environmental impact considerations additional to Design for Disassembly should be taken into account. Criteria to determine the point at which disassembly should cease are discussed
Article
A review is made of design for assembly (DFA) methods developed over the last fifteen years. It is found that implementation of DFA at the early conceptual stage of design has led to enormous benefits including simplification of products, lower assembly and manufacturing costs, reduced overheads, improved quality and reduced time to market. DFA is now being broadened to include consideration of the difficulty of manufacture of the individual parts to be assembled and is providing the necessary basis for teamwork and simultaneous engineering.More recently, environmental concerns are requiring that disassembly for service and recycling be considered during product design - in fact, total life cycle costs for a product are becoming an essential part of simultaneous engineering. This keynote paper concludes with a discussion of current developments of design for disassembly (DFD).
Conference Paper
This paper presents a new model for understanding human behavior. In this model (FBM), behavior is a product of three factors: motivation, ability, and triggers, each of which has subcomponents. The FBM asserts that for a person to perform a target behavior, he or she must (1) be sufficiently motivated, (2) have the ability to perform the behavior, and (3) be triggered to perform the behavior. These three factors must occur at the same moment, else the behavior will not happen. The FBM is useful in analysis and design of persuasive technologies. The FBM also helps teams work together efficiently because this model gives people a shared way of thinking about behavior change.
Article
This article investigates the possibility of influencing product lifetime through product design. First, the results of a literature study on consumer behavior are presented. These show that surprisingly few researchers have focused specifically on the arousal of the need to replace a product. Therefore, empirical data about motives for product replacement were acquired through a combination of qualitative investigation and a quantitative survey. This resulted in a model of factors influencing the replacement decision and in a replacement typology. Finally, possible design directions for longer lasting products were explored. It was concluded that despite the variety of replacement motivations people basically want a well functioning and up to date product that meets their altering needs. This requires the development of dynamic and flexible products, which implies designing for variability and product attachment and preparing the product for future repair or upgrading. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.
State-ofthe-Art in Product-Service Systems
  • Tim S Baines
  • W Howard
  • Steve Lightfoot
  • Andy Evans
  • Richard Neely
  • Joe Greenough
  • Roy Peppard
  • Rajkumar
Baines, Tim S., Howard W. Lightfoot, Steve Evans, Andy Neely, Richard Greenough, Joe Peppard, Roy Rajkumar, et al. 2007. "State-ofthe-Art in Product-Service Systems." Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture 221 (10): 1543-1552.
Longer Lasting Products: Alternatives to the Throwaway Society
  • Tim Cooper
Cooper, Tim, ed. 2010. Longer Lasting Products: Alternatives to the Throwaway Society. Surrey: Gower Publishing.
Towards the Circular Economy: Economic and Business Rationale for an Accelerated Transition
  • Ellen Macarthur Foundation
Ellen MacArthur Foundation. 2013. "Towards the Circular Economy: Economic and Business Rationale for an Accelerated Transition." https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/assets/downloads/publications/Ellen-MacArthur-Foundation-Towards-the-Circular-Economy-vol.1.pdf
Product Lifetimes through the Various Legal Approaches within the EU Context: Recent Initiatives against Planned Obsolescence
  • Anaïs Michel
Michel, Anaïs. 2017. "Product Lifetimes through the Various Legal Approaches within the EU Context: Recent Initiatives against Planned Obsolescence." In PLATE: Product Lifetimes and the Environment, edited by Conny A. Bakker and Ruth Mugge, 266-270. Amsterdam: IOS Press.