ASU Center for Organization Research and Design

Mitigating E-Waste: A Product Service System (PSS) Based Design Approach to Create Obsolescence Resistant Products

by Carson Schafer; Janis Terpenny; Peter Sandborn; Rahul Rai; Uriel Tekunoff

Aug 18, 2010

Consumers of electronic products (e-products) increasingly purchase new product and dispose of the last-generation of fully functional product for the sake of newer models with added functionality brought on by advances in technology. This consumer behavior is referred to as technological obsolescence, rendering older versions of the product obsolete and creating e-waste. The phenomenon of technological product obsolescence and e-waste is especially prevalent in electronic products such as cell phones and video games. E-waste is very costly for the environment, as well as for electronics product manufacturers. This paper investigates the use of a Product Service System (PSS) based model to design obsolescence resistance product, hence mitigating the impact of e-waste. The approach is derived from the results of an empirical study of multiple high e-waste generating products. As part of the study, various products are analyzed and guidelines for designs are derived from the empirical data. The utility of the proposed approach is demonstrated via the conceptual design of a novel smart phone based on the PSS framework.

Mitigating E-Waste: A Product Service System (PSS) Based Design Approach to Create Obsolescence Resistant Products