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Environmental Impact Assessment of Product Lifespan: The Role of Consumer’s Repair Behavior and Critical Components Deterioration

[+] Author Affiliations
Mostafa Sabbaghi, Sara Behdad

University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY

Paper No. DETC2016-59321, pp. V02AT03A037; 10 pages
doi:10.1115/DETC2016-59321
From:
  • ASME 2016 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 2A: 42nd Design Automation Conference
  • Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, August 21–24, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5010-7
  • Copyright © 2016 by ASME

abstract

Consumers might be willing to repair their broken devices as long as the associated repair costs do not exceed an undesirable threshold. However, in many cases the technological obsolescence actuates consumers to retire old devices and replace them with new ones rather than extending the product lifecycle through repair. In this paper, we aim to investigate the impact of components’ deterioration profiles and consumers’ repair decisions on the lifespan of devices, and then assesse the anticipated life cycle environmental impacts. A Monte Carlo simulation is developed to estimate the life cycle characteristics such as the average lifespan, the number of failed components’ replacement, and the total repair cost per cycle for a laptop computer. The lifecycle characteristics estimated from simulation model further have been used in a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study to quantify the environmental impact associated with different design scenarios. The results reveal the impact of product design as well as consumers’ repair decisions on the product lifespan and the corresponding environmental impacts.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME
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