Design life is the forecast life expectancy of buildings, infrastructure, facilities, equipment and products. As the term suggests, design life is estimated by designers such as engineers or architects based on expected uses and the properties of the design, materials and parts. The following are common categories of design life.
Long-lived DesignsDurability is often a key operational and financial requirement with maximum durability at reasonable cost being the target. For example, if solar panels are financed on a 25 year basis, it is important to customers that they last 25 years. Durability is often considered with respect to the purpose of an item. For example, things that are intended to be used once such as tissue paper need not be durable.
Safety by DesignDurability is often used to improve safety. For example, the durability of a jet engine is a factor in the safety of an aircraft over time.
BiodegradableIn many cases, durability can be an environmental problem. For example, fishing equipment that is lost at sea contributes to pollution and often poses a threat to wildlife. As such, things may be designed to decompose quickly into food as a sustainability strategy.
Planned ObsolescenceIn some cases, firms design things to wear down in order to increase sales. If a razor blade lasts forever, customers won't purchase replacements. Planned obsolescence is highly unpopular with customers. As such, it can backfire as competitors may offer more durable products that customer prefer.
This is the complete list of articles we have written about reliability engineering.
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