Developing a Reparability Indicator for Electronic Products

Bas Flipsen, Conny Bakker, G.L.A. van Bohemen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientific


Repair is a way to extend the life of a product. In a circular economy where resource loops are closed to a maximum extent, repair belongs to the ‘inner loops’. Repairing a product is a way to preserve value by slowing down the product’s economic devaluation. The aim of the paper is the development of a reparability indicator: a measure to determine the ease of repair of a product. The indicator is developed for self-repair: repair done in a noncommercial context, by laypersons who lack access to a specialized workshop. Given the large diversity of products on the market, it was decided to focus on consumer electronic products. The paper consists of two parts. The first part is a review of the literature on (design for) reparability of electronic products, and on the development of repair indicators. A commonly used reparability indicator was empirically tested with 25 Dutch participants.
This part concludes that the currently available guidelines, criteria and indicators provide a valuable starting point, but tend to lack structure, clarity and organization. The second part of the paper highlights the development of an improved reparability indicator. The first step for this was to ‘crowdsource’ repair criteria from the MOOC Circular Economy: an Introduction, which ran from October – December on the edX platform. One of the assignments in the MOOC was the development of repair criteria. Almost 2000 discrete entries were analysed, grouped and structured into 26 repair criteria. These have been tested for consistency with a group of 46 students of TU Delft in March 2016. The paper will present the results of this test as well as the improved reparability indicator.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of Electronic Goes Green 2016+
Subtitle of host publicationInventing shades of green
PublisherFraunhofer IZM Berlin
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)978-3-00-053763-9
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventElectronics Goes Green 2016+: Inventing shades of green - Berlin, Germany
Duration: 7 Sep 20169 Sep 2016


ConferenceElectronics Goes Green 2016+


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