Designing for Reuse

Xerox maximizes the end-of-life potential of products and components by considering reuse in the design process. Machines are designed for easy disassembly and contain fewer parts. Parts are durable – designed for multiple product life cycles. Coded with instructions on how to dispose, the parts are also easy to reuse or recycle. As a result, equipment returned to Xerox at end of life can be rebuilt to as-new performance specifications, reusing 70–90% of machine components (by weight), while meeting performance specifications for equipment with parts that are all new.

Xerox also designs product families around modular product architectures and a common set of core components. These advances offer us many options for breathing new life into old equipment. A returned machine can be rebuilt as the same model through remanufacture, converted to a new model within the same product family, or used as a source of parts for next-generation models.

A Xerox product whose designs are based on previous models may have 60% of its parts by weight in common with previous equipment. The practice of reusing parts reduces the amount of raw material needed to manufacture new parts, which generates several hundred million dollars in cost savings each year, in addition to energy savings.

Ensuring Product Quality

Xerox has developed unique processes and technologies to ensure that all Xerox products, regardless of their reused or recycled part content, meet the same specifications for performance, appearance, quality and reliability. Machines with reused/recycled parts are built on the same manufacturing lines as newly manufactured equipment, and they undergo the same rigorous tests for quality assurance. As a result, products with reused/recycled parts carry the same Xerox guarantees, warranties and service agreements as Xerox equipment made from all-new parts.

Meeting Customer Requirements

Customer acceptance of reused/recycled parts was a significant challenge for Xerox’s program throughout the 1990s. Today, with more than a decade of proof, we find that far fewer customers share the misperception that products with reused/recycled parts are inferior to those built from all-new parts. Nonetheless, we continue to educate customers about the quality and reliability of reused parts and, whenever necessary, we promote environmentally responsible purchasing policies and practices. Focusing on the quality and performance of products, regardless of recycled content, eliminates barriers to reuse.