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What are the types of planned obsolescence?

The planned obsolescence refers to the time when in product, usually technological, electronic or appliance type, stop working by being intentionally manufactured to have or lifetime or concrete usability. It is not that defects have arisen due to use, those faults that arise are known in advance by the manufacturer, of the device or of any part of it. In addition to ensuring that the failure occurs after a time or number of uses, planned obsolescence also takes into account that there are no replacement parts, or that the repair is more expensive than a new appliance. With all this, what is intended is that we have to renew from time to time, a controlled and programmed time, almost any device that we buy.

Planned obsolescence can include both the hardware of the device (component, chips, mechanical systems) and the software. Many Smartphone or tablet users know that there comes a time when the device can no longer update an operating system and stops being functional or begins to fail.

Planned obsolescence is a procedure considered unethical, because externally it may appear to be of good quality despite having, already from the factory, that “programming” to fail, usually an irreplaceable or repairable component. On the other hand, it is also true that the lowering of the production costs of certain goods and their low sale prices have made the user accept the fact that, so to speak, what they have just bought has the days counted; although this is valid only for small appliances. In fact, according to 2019 data from the Eurobarometer, about 80% of the European population believes that technology manufacturers should be required to be able to repair devices and have spare parts for it.

To this we have to add environmental awareness. The fact that both socially and politically worries global warming and we are aware of the direct effect that our linear way of consuming (manufacture-consume-throw away) has on the emission of greenhouse gases. This has led to initiatives to create regulations that address planned obsolescence. From the European Parliament, proposals have been initiated to legislate on the obligation of manufacturers to have spare parts and that the manufacturing process allows the repair of electronic devices. This initiative has been called “Right to repair”. It is proposed to include a label with the repairability index on electronic devices; it may be similar to the energy label.

This way of producing-using-repairing is more in line with the new circular economy models based on the design of the product to be manufactured is made in such a way that it can be reused, repaired and that all its parts can be recycled . It is a procedure that aims to reduce the input of raw materials in the production system, reducing costs (energy, water, etc.) and promoting a more sustainable industry.

At Eurotransis, we have been fulfilling the commitments with our clients for years, adjusting to the requirements, verifying the production process and following strict quality control. For this reason, together with our values of experience, innovation… it makes us position ourselves totally against planned obsolescence.

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