Electrical Product Design Review: Fridge Freezers

1st January 2013

Through product-breakdown, WRAP has identified a number of cost savings and design improvements that can increase durability, reduce return rates and prolong product lifespan.

Overview

Overview

The case studies below describe how simple design changes and better customer information can achieve a net-positive result for businesses bottom-line.

Own-brand fridge freezer

Based on 100,000 unit sales per annum, and a reduction of 0.5% in returns under warranty, the savings were estimated to be:

~ £125,000 per annum

~ 162 tonnes of CO2e per annum

Improvements Identified

During the teardown the following key areas were identified that would benefit from design and/or manufacturing changes: 

1.

Use removable door seals to enable regular cleaning and replacement.

2.

Design the door handle fixings so that the door can be hung on either side opening from the left or the right.

3.

Ensure that the internal door plastic panels are well adhered to the door to reduce the chance of cracking in use.

4.

Ensure that the wheels are of adequate quality and robustness to support moving the product when fully loaded.

5.

Replace the internal tungsten light with an LED bulb

6.

Provide users with advice on how to get the most out of their appliance by maintaining energy efficiency and preventing food waste. 

 

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Tall fridge freezer

Based on 100,000 unit sales per annum, the savings were estimated to be: 

~ £4,100 per annum in materials

~ 162 tonnes of CO2e per annum

~ 1.8 tonnes of material per annum

Improvements Identified

During the teardown the following key areas were identified that would benefit from design and/or manufacturing changes: 

1.

Introduce a secondary fixing to secure the top and bottom door sections, such as screws or glue.

2.

Improve the quality of the door seals to reduce product returns and facilitate replacement.

3.

If cost effective redesign the door switch assembly to reduce or eliminate the HIPS moulding

4.

Improve the clarity of temperature control

5.

Introduce recycled plastics for the drip tray and wire box

6.

Provide users with advice on how to get the most out of their appliance by maintaining energy efficiency and preventing food waste.

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Side-by-side fridge freezer

Based on 100,000 unit sales per annum, the savings were estimated to be:

~ £140,000 per annum

~ 207.8 tonnes of CO2e per annum

~ 111.3 tonnes of material per annum

Improvements Identified

During the teardown the following key areas were identified that would benefit from design and/or manufacturing changes: 

1.

Improve the water inlet cable routing to reduce risk of broken water supplies.

2.

Eliminate the foam strip on condenser to encourage air flow and enable access to the condenser so that the user can keep it clean to maintain efficiency.

3.

Ensure the foam has fully insulated the copper pipes leading to or from the compressor to reduce heat gain and loss from the surrounding area

4.

Consider alternative packaging solutions.

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Further information

For further information on this Electrical Product Design visit WRAPs Better Appliances website at: http://eproducttechguide.wrap.org.uk/ or click the button below:

Go to Better Appliances website >>

Where next?

Want to know more about product durability in sustainable electricals? Take a look at our reports, guides, tools and case studies for further information:

Reports >>
Guides >>
Tools >>
Case studies >>