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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    90

    built-in obsolescence

    Hi all,

    I was wondering what you guys think about built-in obsolescence in hvac? I ran so many calls that right after the warranty expired, things break. Not just HVAC, but everything else. My microwave broke about 6 months after warranty expired. My car has problem right after the three years. My hard drive (computer) died 4 months after warranty. My TV is showing problems after the warranty. Is this true or is it my bad luck?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    NE wisconsin
    Posts
    404
    Manufacturers pay someone a lot of money to figure out how long their stuff will last. You don't think they just pick a number at random and say Thats how long the warrenty should be. So no its not just your bad luck, we live in a throw away society, get the cheapest thing you can and then just replace it every few years. Its easier then maintaining something.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by kingkaiko2002 View Post
    Hi all,

    I was wondering what you guys think about built-in obsolescence in hvac? I ran so many calls that right after the warranty expired, things break. Not just HVAC, but everything else. My microwave broke about 6 months after warranty expired. My car has problem right after the three years. My hard drive (computer) died 4 months after warranty. My TV is showing problems after the warranty. Is this true or is it my bad luck?
    It is true but it is the Genie that greedy Wall Street let out of the bottle by pushing our manufacturing might to China.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,592
    Personally I'd say it is cheap consumers that pushed manufacturing to China. We shop til we find the cheapest TV. How did it become the cheapest? China. Our homeowners push us for the lowest price, we push our suppliers, they push the factory, the factory makes its products in Mexico, buys compressors from Korea, coils from China, or in the case of Ameristar or Heat Controller, the whole outdoor unit from China. Until Americans are willing to pay fellow American workers for a better product, this will happen.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    18,208
    My Dad was an executive at Chrysler and worked there 47 years before he retired. He was in charge of vehicle safety systems/quality and productivity....he had the authority to shut down entire plants.

    He would go to scheduled meetings with Ford and GM regarding this very topic. All 3 companies collaborate and know how long parts will last, even down to the nuts and bolts. They produce products in a accordance to each other and agree upon specific tolerances with as you mentioned...planned obsolescence.

    It boils down to Capitalism and the all (once) mighty dollar. The days of pride in craftsmanship are gone as well as loyalty and security....all that matters is money, even at the cost of human life.

    Dad had a funny slogan he liked to say..."We have upped our standards, now up yours".

    He retired when Lee Iacocca left.
    To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must cultivate our personal life; and to cultivate our personal life, we must first set our hearts right.
    -- Confucius

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    2,743
    You can make a car undestructable with todays' technology but it will cost millions because the company will go out of business. What good is a product if you don't have a company to back it?
    My name is TooCoolforschool and I am a chronic over charger.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
    Posts
    1,151
    Quote Originally Posted by toocoolforschool View Post
    You can make a car undestructable with todays' technology but it will cost millions because the company will go out of business. What good is a product if you don't have a company to back it?
    No you can't. It'll be too heavy too pass obama's fuel efficiency standards.

    Our economy works entirely based upon a quick turnover of goods. This is compounded by technology advancing so quickly that "new" stuff cannot be made to be foreward-compatible with the stuff coming out in a couple years.

    Remember why Maytag went out of business and was bought by whirlpool?
    Their stuff was TOO good. It never broke and Maytag couldn't sell enough product.
    Do you know how many old washer/dryers I see from the 70s and 80s on res calls? It's astounding!

    Why make a relay that can switch 100,000 times when you can make one that'll go after 50,000 for half the cost, so you can sell 2 of them or more?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    2,743
    Quote Originally Posted by syndicated View Post
    No you can't. It'll be too heavy too pass obama's fuel efficiency standards.

    Our economy works entirely based upon a quick turnover of goods. This is compounded by technology advancing so quickly that "new" stuff cannot be made to be foreward-compatible with the stuff coming out in a couple years.

    Remember why Maytag went out of business and was bought by whirlpool?
    Their stuff was TOO good. It never broke and Maytag couldn't sell enough product.
    Do you know how many old washer/dryers I see from the 70s and 80s on res calls? It's astounding!

    Why make a relay that can switch 100,000 times when you can make one that'll go after 50,000 for half the cost, so you can sell 2 of them or more?
    Totally agreed.
    My name is TooCoolforschool and I am a chronic over charger.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Glendale, AZ
    Posts
    30
    I've got a mechanic friend who swears that GM has got plastic that will start failing (guaranteed failing) at 6 months past the warranty. He says it is not just the painted bumpers, but the door handles, armrest pulls, seat adjusters, and all the black plastic in the engine compartment... tho that stuff will likely just break when you apply a wrench or try to unlock the wire connectors.
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit." -Aristotle

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    2,743
    Replacement market huge on auto parts.
    My name is TooCoolforschool and I am a chronic over charger.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    529
    Quote Originally Posted by benatwhodotnet View Post
    I've got a mechanic friend who swears that GM has got plastic that will start failing (guaranteed failing) at 6 months past the warranty. He says it is not just the painted bumpers, but the door handles, armrest pulls, seat adjusters, and all the black plastic in the engine compartment... tho that stuff will likely just break when you apply a wrench or try to unlock the wire connectors.
    I hate automotive connections. Seems like no two are alike and each one is a secret puzzle to unlock. Then after a couple of times they are used they break and wind up with a zip tie.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Eugene, Oregon
    Posts
    1,018
    I think cars are much better today than 30 years ago. Cars will last for a couple hundred thousand miles. Cars built in the 70's were lucky to last one hundred thousand. Difference is cars were much simpler back then and could be rebuilt. Todays cars are disposable because cost to repair is more than the value of the car.
    Toyota became the biggest auto manufacture in the world because of the reliability of their vehicles. So if manufactures make a poor quality product they will get a bad reputation and people will buy the products with a reputation for reliability. The problem is when all manufactures adopt the same business model and they all make poor quality products.
    GE used to make the best compressor ever. It was the orange compressor that looked like a H bomb. Trane bought the patent and tooling and used them in their equipment for a while. But I guess they stopped using them because the marketing behind the scroll and lower cost, made it more profitable to use the scroll instead. I don't care what the marketing says, the older compressors were better. Maybe a little less efficient, but cost of ownership would be less since it would last longer.
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten". --Benjamin Franklin
    "Don't argue with an idiot, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience". --Mark Twain
    http://www.campbellmechanical.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    529
    Quote Originally Posted by air1 View Post
    I think cars are much better today than 30 years ago. Cars will last for a couple hundred thousand miles. Cars built in the 70's were lucky to last one hundred thousand. Difference is cars were much simpler back then and could be rebuilt. Todays cars are disposable because cost to repair is more than the value of the car.
    Toyota became the biggest auto manufacture in the world because of the reliability of their vehicles. So if manufactures make a poor quality product they will get a bad reputation and people will buy the products with a reputation for reliability. The problem is when all manufactures adopt the same business model and they all make poor quality products.
    GE used to make the best compressor ever. It was the orange compressor that looked like a H bomb. Trane bought the patent and tooling and used them in their equipment for a while. But I guess they stopped using them because the marketing behind the scroll and lower cost, made it more profitable to use the scroll instead. I don't care what the marketing says, the older compressors were better. Maybe a little less efficient, but cost of ownership would be less since it would last longer.
    Seems many throw quality out for efficiency. "this gizmo will save you thousands in efficiency" what they fail to mention is it's payoff would take ten years and it has to be in perfect conditions. In real world applications it's a miserable failure.

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