Electrical Product Design Review: Washing Machines

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 washing machine

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

~ £250,000 per annum

~ 472 tonnes of material

~ 554 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.

Consider improving the top cover assembly to only require one fixing to join the board within the frame and pre-application; vent adhesive wastage during application.

2.

Consider redesigning the main PCB and housing so that can be easily removed from the washing machine if it fails.

3.

Explore the possibility of rerouting the water inlet and wastewater pipes so that they are securely fixed to the main chassis with a pipe clip and screw.

4.

Consider relocating screws away from the edge of the panels to prevent deflection and wear in the steel.

5.

Consider introducing recycled content to internal polymer components that have no cosmetic requirements.

Download the full review >>

Two own-brand washing machines: A comparative study

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

~ £250,000 per annum

~ 472 tonnes of material

~ 554 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.

Standardise the design of the top cover, and make improvements to the ABS edging to eliminate the visible join.

2.

Introduce a standard design for the detergent drawer with minimal parts.

3.

Ensure that conformal coated PCBs can be removed from their housing.

4.

Consider introducing recycled content to internal polymer components that have no cosmetic requirements.

5.

Consider the pros and cons of rear access panels versus closed back models.

Download the full review >>

Washer-dryer

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

~ £135,770 per annum

~ 506 tonnes of CO2e per annum

~ 112 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.

Consider redesigning some of the internal braces used to reduce material usage.

2.

Consider redesigning the main PCB and LCD screen housings to simplify assembly / disassembly and reduce material use.

3.

Consider simplifying the design of the detergent drawer to reduce assembly time.

4.

Explore the possibility of incorporating recycled polymers into internal components that have no cosmetic requirements.

5.

Investigate the possibilities to change the packaging materials used.

Download the full review >>

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 >>