Design for disassembly in the framework of life-cycle-design
Recycling technical consumer products after usage is a subject of rising importance. The lack of natural ressources, the necessity to save energy and the reduced permission for landfill areas or burning facilities (reflected in the steeply rising cost for waste disposal) have increased the awareness that components and/or materials of used products have to be regained and reused. Current recycling technologies (shredding / milling) allow an almost complete automatic regaining of ferrous metals, whereas nonferrous metals usually have to be sorted out by hand. The rising fraction of plastic materials, rubber, glass and textiles can not be regained and has to be deposited. Disassembly of the product prior to shredding allows to increase the share of materials to be regained for further use. Furthermore, ease of disassembly is also an important factor for reducing maintanance and repair costs. In order to minimize disassembly costs, the ease of disassembly has to be considered during the d esign process. However, design for disassembly is only one factor amongst many in the scope of Life Cycle Design (LCD). In order to weigh its importance, common evaluation criteria and a common measuring unit is needed for all "costs" and "benefits" during all stages of the Life Cycle.