Is gear getting less reliable?

  bemuzed 21:38 20 Feb 2006
Locked

mnay years ago people made a good living out of repairing TVs, audio equipment, vacuum cleaners etc. Then goods got cheaper and far mroe reliable. But stuff I buy now (widescreen TV tube, DVD player, Dyson hoover) all broke earlier than previous experience suggested they would. Is the chase for cheap manufacturing in China etc degrading quality?

  SG Atlantis® 22:15 20 Feb 2006

Things are becomming more and more complex in design. The more complex it is the more chances of failure.

A TV that was made 20 years ago will be a lot less sophisticated than the ones we buy nowadays.

  Stuartli 22:26 20 Feb 2006

My best mate runs an independent audio/visual/appliances retail outlet and the repair workshop is now virtually non-existant.

Part of the reason is that people want to buy goods at the lowest possible price yet, if they go wrong, are astonished to find that repair costs are such that it is more economically sensible to buy a new product of the same type.

Repair workshops are expensive to equip, run and maintain and costs and overheads are pretty similar week by week, whether there's only a handful of repairs or many.

In any case a large range of electrical products are very much more reliable than in the past, as a glance at the reliability of various product types revealed by a well known consumer magazine demonstrate.

  spuds 00:04 21 Feb 2006

Years ago, it was a case of belts and braces. Nearly everything was made to last, nowadays it is a throw-away society, all plastic and very little steel.

I was visiting the local recycling depot (tip) the other day. In a container wagon there was a large amount of washing machines and general household implements. On the vacuum cleaner side there was quite a number of Dyson's looking very sorry for themselves. Whether these were the UK build or the foreign build, I didn't bother to check.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 00:32 21 Feb 2006

'On the vacuum cleaner side there was quite a number of Dyson's looking very sorry for themselves. Whether these were the UK build or the foreign build, I didn't bother to check' for the record, all Dyson cleaners are made in Malaysia, production shifted from Blighty 3+ years ago

G

  spuds 11:02 21 Feb 2006

"I didn't bother to check" ;o)

  Forum Editor 12:17 21 Feb 2006

are far more reliable than those of even a few years back. Steel isn't necessary, or even desirable in such products - it increases cost and weight - modern plastics are often as strong, and certainly lighter.

Almost all the world's laptops are manufactured in South East Asia, because the factories there lead the world in micro-electronics manufacture and assembly. Go to Malaysia and you'll see factories with some of the world's brand leading names on them - Dyson being one.

  Stuartli 13:07 21 Feb 2006

>>On the vacuum cleaner side there was quite a number of Dyson's looking very sorry for themselves.>>

I'm not surprised in the very slightest...:-)

Compare one build wise with a Sebo.

  oresome 14:16 21 Feb 2006

A television made twenty years or more ago would have looked very much more complex inside if you'd taken the back off.

The designs are now much more sophisticated, but achieved using large scale integration of components into single chips. Fewer overall components improves the reliability and brings the cost of manufacture down.

I think if you look at the cheap end of the consumer market, reliability has suffered. The £20 DVD player was never designed to last much past the check-out till.

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