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Coffee maker

Product definition

Coffee makers have evolved significantly over time and over the technology used. There are several types of coffee maker: the most common products are filter coffee machines (Figure 1) and espresso machines (Figure 2). Besides, the principle of operation, these products are differentiated mainly by their constituent materials.

The filter coffee machines usually have a glass bowl, while the espresso machines contains a larger amount of ferrous materials.

On the other hand, in both types of products, we found an electrical system for heating water, a pump, a housing (typically including the water tank) and the percolation system.

Figure 1: Filter coffee Figure 2: Espresso coffee

The automatic coffee maker combines the two aspects of brewing and percolating with a compartment where water is heated by electric heaters. The coffee is kept warm in a bowl.

Figure 3: Exploded view of the electrical system Figure 4: Exploded view of the hydraulic system
Figure 5: Housing and Support Figure 6: Exploded view of the brewing unit

Composition of an espresso machine

Figure 7: Composition of an espresso machine for the different materials (study by the Arts et Métiers)

Current fleet

The graph below shows the total sales of coffee makers from 1999 to 2010 for filter coffee machines and espresso machines.

Figure 8: Growth in sales of coffee in France in thousands of units between 1999 and 2010 (source: Gifam)
The coffee market has a certain stability compared to other SHA: in this context eco-design is a solution to differentiate a new product against the competition.

Depollution and recycling of the product

Depollution / pre-treatment

The coffee machine, like all Small Household Appliances, undergoes a depollution step, usually manually, to remove the power cord and printed circuit boards if easily accessible. These will be treated in their own sectors.

Treatment / Recycling

The coffee machine will then be crushed to separate / sort the materials.

Components / materialsTreatment system
ABSExtrusion, Plastics industries
PPExtrusion, Plastics industries
PAExtrusion, Plastics industries
Others plasticsCIW
Ferrous metalsSteelworks
Non ferrous metalsMetals recycler
ElectronicPrecious metals recovery

Table 2: Treatment system of the materials of a coffee maker.

Proposed improvement plan

The table below provides some ideas to improve the recycling of WEEE. These ideas are from studies on the recycling of some products and difficulties encountered by treatment operators responsible for the treatment of WEEE. These areas for improvement can initiate a deeper reflection from producers. However, each product has its specificities and a number of other constraints to fulfill.

Encountered difficultiesImpact for recyclingEco design opportunities
For depollution and pre-treatment
Diversity of screws and fasteners used.Dismantling and depollution time is longer.Streamline and standardize the fastening elements.
Plastic parts containing brominated flame retardants.Requirement to remove these parts before recycling.Substitution of brominated flame retardants.
Where applicable, clearly identify and facilitate the extraction of these parts for the depollution phase.
For recycling
Wide variety of plastics.Problem of sorting and compatibility of plastics for recycling.Standardize the selection of plastics and choose plastic easily recyclable (see sheet plastic).
Presence of dark or colored plastic.Dark or colored plastics are difficult to identify by optical sorting systems.Avoid using colored or dark plastics.
Prefer plastics dyied in mass.
Inserts made of two different materials : plastic / metal or plastic / plastic.Incomplete separation of materials during grinding.Avoid multi-material inserts.
Presence of labels glued on plastic.The paper is not tolerated for plastic recycling.Promote printing on plastic.
Reduce the size of labels if necessary.
For reuse, remploy
No compatibility of components between models and brands for reuse.Repair of EEE difficult.Standardize the weakest components.



– Preparatory Studies for Ecodesign Requirements of EuPs (III) Task 2: Economic and market analysis April 2011 Bio Intelligence Service, ARTS

– ADEME. Annual report « Electrical and electronic equipment ». Data 2011

Updated on novembre 27, 2016

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