Waste Not — LCD Repair Is Green And Growing
3M offers reasons why VARs should consider providing LCD repair services.
It’s a fact — mobile computing is hard on electronic displays. Our road warrior lifestyles subject our laptops, PDAs, smart phones, and even MP3 players to hazards ranging from scratches and scuffs on the display to cracked displays and broken panels. We often tolerate surface damage to a laptop display that could be repaired by a simple and quick process — restoring the look of the display to new. Worse yet, we may dump the damaged device into a landfill, adding potentially harmful heavy metals to our environment. Why purchase a new device when repair could be a viable alternative?
Capitalize On LCD Repair Services
Ten years ago, it was a struggle to find companies that provide high quality, reasonable cost alternatives to full device replacement. During the last decade, there has been significant growth in VARs that offer LCD repair options. With this growth, the options for display repair and service have expanded to include front surface films that protect displays, films that heal many of the scuffs and scratches on a display, and do-it-yourself mail order LCD panel replacement kits. These options can extend the lifetime of a laptop, thus improving the total return on investment.
The range of services available in LCD repair is extensive. A full-service facility will offer repairs such as the replacement of the front surface polarizer, backlight repair, and full panel replacement. A new option growing in popularity in the laptop display repair business is the lamination of a healing film to the front surface polarizer instead of removing the damaged polarizer and replacing it. One significant benefit of the healing film is when the display leaves the repair center it has an added layer of protection to help reduce front surface damage, keeping the display looking like new much longer. These healing films may also provide additional value in higher durability, an easier to clean surface, and even allow an upgrade to a glossy look on the laptop display. Because there are fewer process steps involved when applying the healing film compared to replacing a polarizer, there can be less equipment downtime and there won’t be a polarizer (with its inherent dyes) added to the waste stream. The customer’s bottom line may also benefit, since a repair can be accounted for as an expense, as opposed to a replacement device that is capitalized.
Offer Repair Versus Replacement
Of course, healing films won’t heal or prevent all kinds of display damage — a cracked or broken panel will have to be replaced. The important factor to keep in mind is that there is now the option to actually have the LCD panel replaced rather than having to dump the entire laptop and buy a new one. This means you don’t have to worry about data transfer from one device to another, saving the customer money. You can also consider adding a protection film to the display to help prevent any future damage.
VARs can promote the repair versus replace options for customers with mobile phones, PDAs, and other electronic displays. There are mobile phone repair centers, often associated with service providers, which can help VARs seeking to offer this service. Also, most LCD repair centers now service LCD TVs, PDAs, and portable DVD players, in addition to laptops.
VARs may want to consider selling a protection film as a preventative measure from the start of ownership, thus reducing the risk to the fragile display by minimizing damage from scratches and scuffs. This is a value-add service available upon purchase and is a small price to pay for some added peace of mind in protecting device investments.
If a mobile device isn’t nearing end-of-life, repairing it is a good business option to consider. It helps the environment and helps us comply with RoHS (Restriction of certain Hazardous Substances Directive) and WEEE (Directive 2002/96/EC on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) regulations. VARs can help customers become “green” companies by protecting and repairing mobile devices instead of replacing them.