FYI, electrolytic capacitors aren't so much bad capacitors as capacitors that are currently one of few technologies that provide high capacitance at medium to high voltages in an acceptable volume. Typical mains voltage capacitor vaues are 470uF to 2500uF at 400V. There is no other technology viable currently for those specs, limiting life by design :-(.
BTW, I've repaired cars, mains equipment and CRT based TV's and the CRT based TV's are in my opinion the most dangerous to repair. You can only fault-find them while they're running with voltages up to 27.5kV floating around. I have had numurous high voltage burns and shocks and well scarred hands from where things have gone wrong.
in general people haven't been willing to pay 2x for high reliability devices. But maybe they're willing to pay 1.2x for machines that are very easy to repair.
If people would like it, this should cover good capacitors.
Another option for good long term serviceability might be open sourcing and circuit sharing to increase controller availbility. It seems that could be solutions for long term availabilty.
Yes mains rated could be a problem, but people have been fixing computers and even cars - which are much more dangerous - on their own. So maybe there's a solution here. And many of the problems in machines are mechanical, so solving them doesn't need to deal with electric power, just easy access, simple fault detection and simple video instructions.
And the most important thing is: nobody is offering it("this machine can be repaired by anyone") , so it might be a good place for a new business.
@Alex My experience has been that electronics is cheap to manufacture but as a spare part they are 10 x the manufactured cost. Add to that, stocking the parts for 10 years because your spares have to be made on a viable production run and then every electrolytic capacitor used deteriorates while it's on the shelf make me think that's utopia. A mechanical part can sit on the shelf for decades with only amortisation costs to consider. Yes it's possible to use polymer and tantalum caps in a lot of situations but it costs another 10 or 20 cents that the manufacturer doesn't care to spend. I experienced a situation where a safety component worth 50 cents was eliminated by a competitor to win a multimillion dollar contract. High volumes have the costers turning every cent over twice.
I like your idea of user replaced parts but a lot of the stuff is mains rated and it is well beyond the average person to deal with the safety issues involved. Additional thought as to making things user serviceable adds cost again also.
I think the idea is also that they want a turnover of the stuff out there because the world population isn't growing fast enough for them.
A solution would be that government mandates lifespans for goods. The Europeans would be on board but most other countries, the US in particular don't like any form of regyulation even for the greater good.
IOT devices needs better interoperability defined so that different players can sell their devices together as a solution. This is going to take some time till some one defines the right solutions and right way of information exchanges.
@etmax: I do wonder why nobody offers highly reliable white goods at a decent price ?
There's one company that offer such goods with a 10 year warrante. But it's much more expensive so price per year(over 10 years) comes similar to the other cheap junk price(over 3 years). But maybe calculation should be over more than 10 years.
Also , it's not just electronics, it's shitty materials, etc.But really i don't see a big problem with the eletronics not lasting long - electronics are cheap to replace, and could be designed to be easy to replace by layman. And electronics can offer some benefits , among them power savings - which over time might save quite a money.
Thanks for your feedback, I'm interested in how it pans out. I'll be watching that space.
Yeah I'm an electronics design engineer so I buy things that are as unelectronic as possible :-) That's why they last so long. Amazing how reliable 2 bi-metal switches an electromechanical selector switch a polyurethane drive belt and an AC brushless motor can be.
I have a fridge that's 32 years old too where the traditional thermostat sensor tube leaked due to corrosion after 19 years only because it was assembled wrong in the plant. The new one I put in will out-live the compressor.
Our hotplate is electric with bimetal thermostats so after 12 years in this house it's still going.
Pity the Chinese don't know how to make oven elements or I wouldn't have had to change 2 in 12 years in our oven. Our old one made it to 30 years when we moved and was still going.
Most stuff I design has a 30-40 year lifespan but redesigning controllers for all the new products I buy is obviously not an option so low tech it is (where possible).
Yep they sure don't make stuff the way they used to.
One guy that works on automation of cooking is a very famous product design expert(forgot his name). So it could be a great popular product. It's too early to tell how future kitchen will look.
> Fitness we already have the ability to download the data to a PC. an IoT version will not have the battery life of current devices.
People preferer that stuff done automatically - the data automatically downloaded to net, automatically analyzed, possibley with automatic relevant notifications. And as for the complexity of charging - there's wireless power. Just put the watch in intel's wireless power bowl.
> Predictive maintenence
You're lucky to have a dryer that lasts 30 years. Most of the stuff sold is not very reliable. And most control boards are electronic.
As we unveil EE Times’ 2015 Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. Panelists Dan Armbrust (investment firm Silicon Catalyst), Andrew Kau (venture capital firm Walden International), and Stan Boland (successful serial entrepreneur, former CEO of Neul, Icera) join in the live debate.