Extending the Life Cycle of EEE - Findings from a Repair Study in Germany : Repair Challenges and Recommendations for Action
The increasing amount of waste from electrical and electronic equipment and the resulting environmental issues are challenging, since product life cycles are too short, and companies continue to rely on linear (business) models. The Circular Economy is an approach to meet these challenges by extending the product lifetime. One way to extend the product lifetime is to repair them. However, since there has been no detailed research on the repair sector yet, this article aims at conducting a repair study in Germany to understand the repair process and get insights into typical failure patterns. Therefore, we analyze the repair sector’s current barriers from different perspectives, especially of customers and businesses. We discuss the results of the repair study, where 382 repair attempts were conducted, with a total success rate of 55%. Moreover, the participants were interviewed to understand their barriers and motivation for repair. Based on the study’s interim findings, recommendations for action are given to make the repair services more attractive for the repairer and customer. Based on the findings, an interdisciplinary approach to improve repair processes by using a digital repair portal is derived.