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Product End of Life - Sustainability Matrix

Guest post by
Vikas Jhamb, Lead Consultant, Infosys


Product categories and decision to extend product life or to buy new based on some of the considerations discussed in earlier part may be evaluated within the sustainability matrices mentioned below.

Technology and Consumer Involvement Matrix

Vikas 1.jpgThe level of consumer involvement can be key to decision making for new product purchase / upgrades or extension of life cycles. Functional and non-functional usages, which sometimes are related to enhancement in products due to technological advances, can be key considerations.

Product categories with lower consumer involvement and comparatively large technology life cycles may be candidates for remanufacturing and reconditioning. Categories with higher consumer involvement and shorter technology life cycle may be considered candidate for upgrades / new purchases.

Resource, Energy Consumption and Process Cycle Matrix

Vikas 2.jpgProcess cycle time and Energy / Resource Consumption between new and remanufactured products may play a role for the manufacturer and service providers in the supply chain to take recycle versus recondition decisions.

Product categories that have large difference in energy and virgin material consumption between recycle and recondition offer more environmental and economic sense to recycle. Product categories with complex remanufacturing process and comparatively less environmental impact can be considered for repair or re-use.

The choice to recycle or recondition / remanufacture is dependent on the nature of products and processes in the product category. The level of consumer involvement and total cost of ownership also influence decision making.

It's evident from the discussion that some categories of product like Industrial Equipments, Engines and Electric Motors are suitable for remanufacturing rather that for recycling or disposal. The energy and resource implications of remanufacture / recondition of these products are also high, making them the right candidates from an environmental implication. Products like Personal entertainment systems and communication devices may be considered candidates for repair / re-use.

Note: I would like to thank Supratik Ray (Principal Consultant, Infosys) for his inputs in this blog. ___________________________________________________________________________________________

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