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Planned obsolescence

I have watched a couple of documentaries on this recently. The light bulb conspiracy being the last one, one of those things which really annoy me.

The technology exists for things not to break every 5 mins but for the sake of economic growth and to to support the consumerist society we have created the manufacturers, through sheer greed, have made sure that it isn't so.
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Is it built in or do these things only last 5 min because the component parts are farmed out to the lowest bidder? If you buy a kettle from tesco for £5 you can't expect it to last 20 years.
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It's built in, in the 20's & 30's it all started with light bulbs, hence the lightbulb conspiracy. The companies were selling based on how long the bulbs lasted, 2000 hours 2500 hours plus, the worlds first known cartel was formed and decided that there should be a cap, meaning they could sell more and make more money. The cap was at 1000 hours.

Printers are one of the biggest things built and designed to break, on a laser printer the toner is designed with a sheet counter and it will stop working once it gets to the pre determined limit regardless of how much ink it has left. You can reset the counter 2 more times before it actually runs out of ink.



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Interesting. Computers must be the same. They are fine one day and the next after looking at pòrn too long they refuse to work properly.
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Originally Posted by Greener123 View Post
It's built in, in the 20's & 30's it all started with light bulbs, hence the lightbulb conspiracy. The companies were selling based on how long the bulbs lasted, 2000 hours 2500 hours plus, the worlds first known cartel was formed and decided that there should be a cap, meaning they could sell more and make more money. The cap was at 1000 hours.

Printers are one of the biggest things built and designed to break, on a laser printer the toner is designed with a sheet counter and it will stop working once it gets to the pre determined limit regardless of how much ink it has left. You can reset the counter 2 more times before it actually runs out of ink.
I think that will depend on the printer, largely your talking about small home or workgroup mfp devices where the toner cartridge is also a fuser unit.

Some of the more premium printer manufacturers provide toner in a powder or solid form that is ingested directly by the printer, the toner bottles are emptied into it in some cases so there's no designed obsolescence there, also most of the internal gear assemblies are plastic so the gears fail before more expensive components.

hp laserjet 4200 series printers are bombproof, i've seen these things do 2 million prints plus and keep on going with the occasional change of maintenance kit. Doesnt seem to be any planned obsolescence there just rock solid build.

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I think that will depend on the printer, largely your talking about small home or workgroup mfp devices where the toner cartridge is also a fuser unit.

Some of the more premium printer manufacturers provide toner in a powder or solid form that is ingested directly by the printer, the toner bottles are emptied into it in some cases so there's no designed obsolescence there, also most of the internal gear assemblies are plastic so the gears fail before more expensive components.

hp laserjet 4200 series printers are bombproof, i've seen these things do 2 million prints plus and keep on going with the occasional change of maintenance kit. Doesnt seem to be any planned obsolescence there just rock solid build.
Thats what I've got, I bought a recon unit off Amazon and it looks brand new. Its already done 1.2 million prints though!
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Kettles don't last more than 2 years
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Kettles don't last more than 2 years
We've had our Morphy Richards for 6 years so far.

*touches wood *









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We've had our Morphy Richards for 6 years so far.

*touches wood *









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Bast !
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Kettles don't last more than 2 years
We had a £5 Asda kettle that lasted for 7 years.

They don't make them like they used to.
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We've had our Morphy Richards for 6 years so far.



*touches wood *



















(Snigger)

Our kettles a Morphy Richards, must be 12 years old at least, still looks new.
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A bit of limescale remover in them every now and again keeps them running like a dream.
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The market can catch the planned obsolescence guys out. The most famous marketing study is with the Razor Blade - until Wilkinson Sword launched the Stainless Steel blade everybody had been pretty well forced to use the Carbon steel blade which would often blunt in one day and rapidly corroded. When Wilkinson Sword launched their blade it lasted at least 7 times longer (though it cost more) and they rapidly stole share from the old blades. In a relatively short period of time the market for razor blades had decreased by a factor of 7 times by volume and the whole market shifted to Stainless - to the benefit of the consumer.

Same thing is happening now with LED lighting, so the light bulb comparison is apposite.

Planned obsolescence is all very well, but there is always the opportunity for the manufacturer to have sales stolen by a longer life alternative. The sad truth is that for most white goods planned obsolescence is what most people buy. There are long life high quality products there, but few people buy them.
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We had a £5 Asda kettle that lasted for 7 years.

They don't make them like they used to.
Same here, wife just changed it, its my garage kettle now.
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Same here, wife just changed it, its my garage kettle now.
I have a nice new garage kettle. My old garage kettle is now the "warming up cans of waxoyl in winter" kettle
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I have a nice new garage kettle. My old garage kettle is now the "warming up cans of waxoyl in winter" kettle
Dont get them mixed up
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According to my wife my in built obsolescence should move further away if I stop drinking wine and eating cheese. Hopefully she has nothing planned for me like a trip to Dignitas!
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The market can catch the planned obsolescence guys out. The most famous marketing study is with the Razor Blade - until Wilkinson Sword launched the Stainless Steel blade everybody had been pretty well forced to use the Carbon steel blade which would often blunt in one day and rapidly corroded. When Wilkinson Sword launched their blade it lasted at least 7 times longer (though it cost more) and they rapidly stole share from the old blades. In a relatively short period of time the market for razor blades had decreased by a factor of 7 times by volume and the whole market shifted to Stainless - to the benefit of the consumer.

Same thing is happening now with LED lighting, so the light bulb comparison is apposite.

Planned obsolescence is all very well, but there is always the opportunity for the manufacturer to have sales stolen by a longer life alternative. The sad truth is that for most white goods planned obsolescence is what most people buy. There are long life high quality products there, but few people buy them.
I'm not buying the lightbulb thing, I have a 5 bulb chandelier which, since the legislated removal of incandescent bulbs, has gone through more halogen candle bulbs in a year than the previous 5 years of incandescent, it seems that the halogen candle bulbs are very susceptible to failure through vibration, and don't I know it, once the last one has gone I'm moving to rough service incandescent frosted candle bulbs.

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This is one thing that frustrates the hell out of me - Seeing things designed to break.

If you are going to go to all of the trouble of designing, making the machining and then adding delivery\fuel costs, labour costs, marketing - why not just design it to last.

We see it most with the laptops:

The same manufacturer HP for example can make a fan in a corporate laptop run 8 hours a day for 5 years whereas in a retail laptop the bearings will fail and the fan will seize after 1 year.
They know how to make it reliable but choose not to to make the customer go out and buy a new laptop every year.

Its the same with everything new at the lower end of the range, washing machines, toasters, cheap things are all designed with built in obsolescence.

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This is one thing that frustrates the hell out of me - Seeing things designed to break.

If you are going to go to all of the trouble of designing, making the machining and then adding delivery\fuel costs, labour costs, marketing - why not just design it to last.

We see it most with the laptops:

The same manufacturer HP for example can make a fan in a corporate laptop run 8 hours a day for 5 years whereas in a retail laptop the bearings will fail and the fan will seize after 1 year.
They know how to make it reliable but choose not to to make the customer go out and buy a new laptop every year.

Its the same with everything new at the lower end of the range, washing machines, toasters, cheap things are all designed with built in obsolescence.

Erm, it's not designed obsolescence it's use of poorer quality components to reduce costs and provide a budget appliance.
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We have a Beko washing machine here.

We bought it for £200 back in 2007, it was the cheapest we could find at the time.

It is still going strong, although I wouldn't say it gets heavy use. Probably about 3-4 loads a week if we are lucky.

I think even the expensive stuff these days is built with a certain life, so you may as well save money at the outset and get a cheaper one.

We did have a Matsui Freezer though, and that lasted 13 months, which was just outside of the 12 month warranty period. But them Matsui stuff has always been pretty poor IMO.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GhostyDog View Post

hp laserjet 4200 series printers are bombproof, i've seen these things do 2 million prints plus and keep on going with the occasional change of maintenance kit. Doesnt seem to be any planned obsolescence there just rock solid build.

We've got one of those at work. Used to be a main printer but was relegated to back-up
after Richohs were introduced corp-wide. Still prints.


Quote:
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Kettles don't last more than 2 years
Bought one for the office when we moved in 2004(?): Still working although it's showing
signs of switch problems now....

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Would it be true to say that a great deal of the problems with planned obsolescence could be solved by the relatively simple expedient of paying more in the first place for a longer life, higher quality product? It's certainly true in our marketplace.
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