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Design for Ease-of-Repair: Insights From Consumers’ Repair Experiences

[+] Author Affiliations
Jida Huang, Sara Behdad

University at Buffalo, Amherst, NY

Behzad Esmaeilian

Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL

Paper No. DETC2016-59685, pp. V004T05A017; 7 pages
  • ASME 2016 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 4: 21st Design for Manufacturing and the Life Cycle Conference; 10th International Conference on Micro- and Nanosystems
  • Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, August 21–24, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5014-5
  • Copyright © 2016 by ASME


With the increasing attention on the role of consumer behavior in sustainable development, consideration of consumer’s product repair and reuse behavior is becoming more and more important in the product design domain. In order to investigate the product ease-of-repair and its effect on future product purchase and recommendation decisions made by consumers, this paper studies the main reasons that consumers were not able to repair a product based on a survey data collected by a wiki-based website that offers repair manuals for consumer electronics. Two main questions have been asked in the survey: what is the last thing you personally fixed? And why did you not succeed in fixing it. The information of these questions and the available response options have been used to compared eleven types of electronics in terms of their ease-of-repair. A list of design features (e.g. openability, accessibility, standardization, and modularity) that may increase the repair adoption by individual consumers has been discussed. In addition, a Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) method was introduced to compare different categories of products in terms of reparability efficiency. The findings on how repair experiences or efficiency of repair for different categories of devices influence consumers’ future purchase and recommendation decisions have been presented.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME
Topics: Maintenance , Design



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