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Lifetime extension by design and a fab lab level digital manufacturing strategy: tablet case study

Ospina, Jose; Maher, Paul; Galligan, Anne; Gallagher, John; O'Donovan, Dermot; Schischke, Karsten; Knorr, Stefan

MicroPro Computers, an Irish SME working in the design and manufacture of computer equipment based on circular economy principles over the past 20 years, is successfully manufacturing a long-life miniature computer (the iameco D4R tablet), which addresses the three key areas of product design, manufacturability and sustainable business model. These factors are interlinked, and all are crucial to bringing the product to the market: A major barrier for local production of sustainable IT is the inherent complexity of mobile electronics, so innovative approaches are required to enable small-scale production. As part of the SustainablySMART Project, (H2020 – FoF) MicroPro is working with GMIT Letterfrack and Designing Berlin, to adapt the design of a green tablet, the iameco D4R tablet, for digital design and manufacture, using equipment typically found in a FabLab or similar non-commercial manufacturing environment. Combining a localized smart design and manufacturing approach with robust green credentials will allow for higher margins, as well as flexibility in terms of production numbers and costs, and provide a replicable production and business model for the green electronics sector.
Published in: PLATE – Product lifetimes and the environment : 3rd PLATE Conference, September 18–20, 2019 Berlin, Germany, Universitätsverlag der TU Berlin
Published by ISBN 978-3-7983-3125-9