Analysis and optimization of IKEA’s test methods for kitchen articles
IKEA offer a 25 year warranty with most of their kitchen articles, which has led to more extensive testing conducted according to current European and international standards. An assembled kitchen unit is used in all the tests but a translation into the effect on the individual parts of the unit is needed. The aim of this thesis is to analyze the test methods, to prioritize which kitchen units to test and to find a test closer to the manufacturing process of particle boards for the over-opening test of pivoting doors. A way to prioritize in the range was made possible by creating risk factors based on usage frequency in combination with mechanical calculations on load cases of doors and drawers. User behavior in the kitchen was studied in contextual interviews and these showed that most behavior is tested by IKEA with the most important exception of forces applied to knobs and handles. An analysis of usage frequency and test methods showed that the amount of cycles in the durability tests of doors and drawers could be revised. The technical properties of particle boards were compared to test results from over-opening tests, without finding any correlations. This lead to experiments on the break-off scenario of hinges with the result that a correlation was found between the deformation of the holes used for attaching the hinges and the over opening break-off load. Since the experiments were made on a small scale it is recommended that the correlation is investigated on a larger scale. Optimally a correlation could be found between hole deformation and a technical property of the particle board. the consequence would be that the over-opening test could be replaced or supported by a demand on the technical property of the particle board.
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