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Towards facilitating circular product life-cycle information flow via remanufacturing
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2552-3636
2015 (English)In: Procedia CIRP, ISSN 2212-8271, E-ISSN 2212-8271, Vol. 29, p. 780-785Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In order to achieve a sustainable development, circular economy approaches and circular material flows are explored in industry. However, circular information flows remain essentially unestablished. The aim of this paper is to: 1) explore categories and types of product life-cycle information available for remanufacturing; 2) identify constraints for efficient product life-cycle information flow via remanufacturing; and 3) propose initiatives to facilitate product life-cycle information flow via remanufacturing.

Data was collected through workshops and interviews at five remanufacturing companies. An accumulated Sankey diagram illustrates product life-cycle information flow, losses and bottleneck. Based on the analysis, possible initiatives to facilitate efficient product life-cycle information flow via remanufacturing are presented.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2015. Vol. 29, p. 780-785
Keywords [en]
Remanufacturing; Product life-cycle stackeholder; Feedback; Feed forward; Sankey diagram
National Category
Other Civil Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-120761DOI: 10.1016/j.procir.2015.02.162ISI: 000356146100132OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-120761DiVA, id: diva2:848175
Conference
22nd CIRP Conference on Life Cycle Engineering (LCE), Univ New S Wales, Sydney, AUSTRALIA, April 7-9, 2015
Projects
Återprodukt, KEAP2
Funder
VINNOVAAvailable from: 2015-08-24 Created: 2015-08-24 Last updated: 2020-03-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Lean Remanufacturing: Reducing Process Lead Time
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Lean Remanufacturing: Reducing Process Lead Time
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Remanufacturing is a product recovery option in which used products are brought back into useful life. While the remanufacturing industry stretches from heavy machinery to automotive parts, furniture, and IT sectors, it faces challenges. A majority of these challenges originate from the remanufacturing characteristics of having little control over the core (the used product or its part), high product variation, low product volumes, and a high proportion of manual work, when compared to manufacturing. Some remanufacturing challenges appear to be process challenges that prolong process lead time, making remanufacturing process inefficient.

Lean is an improvement strategy with roots in the manufacturing industry. Lean helps to increase customer satisfaction, reduce costs, and improve company’s performance in delivery, quality, inventory, morale, safety, and other areas. Lean encompasses principles, tools and practices to deal with e.g. inefficient processes and long process lead times. Therefore, in this thesis lean has been selected as an improvement strategy to deal with long remanufacturing process lead times.

The objective of this thesis is to expand knowledge on how lean can reduce remanufacturing process lead time. This objective is approached through literature studies and a case study conducted at four remanufacturing companies. There are five challenges that contribute to long process lead time: unpredictable core quality, quantity, and timing; weak collaboration, information exchange, and miscommunication; high inventory levels; unknown number of required operations in process and process sequence; and insufficient employee skills for process and product upgrade. When analysing the case companies’ process lead times it was found that there is a need to reduce waiting times, which account for 95 to 99 per cent of process lead times at three of the four companies.

To improve remanufacturing process efficiency and reduce remanufacturing process lead time six lean practices are suggested: product families; kanban; layout for continuous flow; cross functional teams; standard operating procedures; and supplier partnerships. The suggested lean practices have a key focus on reducing waiting time since it prolongs the process lead time. This thesis contributes to lean remanufacturing research with the case study findings on lean practices to reduce remanufacturing process lead time and increase process efficiency.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2018. p. 70
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1938
Keywords
Circular Economy, Lean Production, Toyota Production System, Value Stream Mapping, Remanufacturing Process Challenges and Improvements, Process Efficiency
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics Reliability and Maintenance
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-147875 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-147875 (DOI)9789176853030 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-06-14, ACAS, A building, Campus Valla, Linköping, 09:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-05-17 Created: 2018-05-17 Last updated: 2019-09-30Bibliographically approved
2. Improving Design for Remanufacturing Though Feedback from Remanufacturing to Design
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Improving Design for Remanufacturing Though Feedback from Remanufacturing to Design
2020 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The high demand for products in our society makes manufacturing, and the treatment of products throughout the product life cycle, crucial as it adds to the total environmental impact of a product. Initiatives such as the circular economy promote economic growth while not increasing environmental impacts. The circular economy can also be viewed as a system where the use, maintenance, reuse, remanufacturing, and recycling of materials are optimised to capture the embedded value of products. This doctoral thesis focuses on remanufacturing in particular as an environmentally preferred way to treat products that have reached their end of use. Remanufacturing is an industrial process whereby a used product is restored to its next full life cycle, and thus energy and materials can be saved compared to new production.

A product that is intended for remanufacturing ought to have certain qualities such as ease of cleaning, ease of separation, and ease of reassembly in order to achieve efficient product remanufacturing. By applying design for remanufacturing (DfRem), costs can be saved as the remanufacturing operation time is reduced. Further, integrating DfRem in the design process is essential in order to achieve a more efficient and effective remanufacturing process. However, the current status in industry is that DfRem is not widely applied, and thus, products are not designed to facilitate remanufacturing. Since DfRem requires knowledge about remanufacturing, feedback from remanufacturing to design is needed for making the correct design considerations. The aim of this doctoral thesis is to expand current knowledge on feedback from remanufacturing to design and how it can be used to improve DfRem.

Hence, in order to meet the aim of this thesis, both literature studies and multiple case studies were conducted. The case studies include three companies that design, manufacture, and remanufacture their products. The data collection within the case studies was predominantly conducted through semistructured interviews. The results from the case studies have been further explored in a cross-case analysis.

The literature studies show the potential feedback from remanufacturing to design can be divided into three main categories: from the remanufacturing personnel, related to the process of remanufacturing, or related to the core to be remanufactured. Further, potential feedback at the case companies was found. However, currently, the potential feedback remains unsought for at the case companies. Indeed, there are barriers for feedback from remanufacturing to design, such as lack of knowledge, lack of incentives, and organisational barriers. However, there are also enablers, such as business opportunities to be gained, increased customer willingness, and laws, regulations, and standards encouraging more sustainable products.

In this doctoral thesis, a framework for improving implementation of DfRem is presented, as the use of DfRem and feedback from remanufacturing to design was found to be scarce in the case companies. The developed Remanufacturing Information Feedback Framework (RIFF) focuses on breaching the barriers for feedback from remanufacturing to design. Further, the application of the RIFF promotes the implementation of DfRem methods and tools, which, when applied, could make remanufacturing more efficient and effective. Consequently, the increased application of DfRem will contribute to the overall growth of the remanufacturing market, which will also reduce the negative environmental impact and promote, in turn a more circular economy.

Abstract [sv]

Den höga efterfrågan på produkter i vårt samhälle innebär att tillverkning av produkter och hur de behandlas under hela deras livscykel är betydande för miljöpåverkan. Detta eftersom allt ifrån tillverkning till hur en produkt tas om hand när den är förbrukad, bidrar till produktens totala miljöpåverkan. Initiativ såsom införandet av cirkulär ekonomi är tänkt att främja ekonomisk tillväxt utan att påverka miljön negativt. Cirkulär ekonomi kan också ses som ett system där användning, underhåll, återanvändning, återtillverkning och återvinning av produkter och material optimeras för att tillvarata och göra det mesta av den energi och det material som använts för att tillverka produkten. Denna doktorsavhandling fokuserar på återtillverkning, såsom ett hållbart sätt att behandla produkter som inte längre används. Återtillverkning är en industriell process där en begagnad produkt återställs till nyskick och på så sätt sparas energi och material, jämfört med nytillverkning.

En produkt som är avsedd för återtillverkning bör ha vissa egenskaper såsom att vara enkel att rengöra, enkel att demontera och enkel att montera. Genom att tillämpa konstruktion för återtillverkning (eng. design for remanufacturing (DfRem)) kan kostnader inom återtillverkning sparas eftersom tidsåtgången reduceras. Integrering av DfRem i produktutvecklingsprocessen är därför viktigt för att uppnå en effektivare återtillverkningsprocess. I nuläget används dock inte DfRem i någon större utsträckning inom industrin. DfRem kräver kunskap om återtillverkning, både i allmänhet, och om den specifika återtillverkningsprocessen för den aktuella produkten i synnerhet. Därför behövs feedback från återtillverkning till produktutveckling för att konstruktörer ska kunna göra korrekta konstruktionsöverväganden. Syftet med denna doktorsavhandling är att utöka aktuell kunskap om feedback från återtillverkning till produktutveckling och hur den kan användas för att förbättra DfRem.

För att uppnå syftet genomfördes både litteraturstudier och flera fallstudier. Fallstudierna inkluderar tre företag som konstruerar, tillverkar och återtillverkar sina produkter. Datainsamlingen genomfördes främst genom semistrukturerade intervjuer. Resultaten från de tre fallstudierna har även undersökts i en syntes från de olika fallstudierna.

Litteraturstudierna visade att den potentiella feedbacken från återtillverkning till produktutveckling kan delas in i tre huvudkategorier; från återtillverkningspersonalen, relaterad till processen för återtillverkning eller relaterad till komponenten som ska återtillverkas. Vidare hittades potentiell feedback hos fallföretagen. För närvarande förblir emellertid den potentiella feedbacken outnyttjad vid de fallföretag som presenteras i denna avhandling. Fallstudierna visade att det finns hinder för feedback från återtillverkning till produktutveckling; såsom brist på kunskap, brist på incitament och organisatoriska hinder. Det finns emellertid också möjliggörare såsom; potentiella affärsmöjligheter, ökad kundvilja, och lagar, regler och standarder som uppmuntrar till mer hållbara produkter.

I denna doktorsavhandling presenteras ett ramverk för att förbättra implementering av DfRem, eftersom användningen av DfRem och feedback från återtillverkning till produktutveckling är bristfällig i de fall som studerats. Ramverket (eng. the Remanufacturing Information Feedback Framework (RIFF)) fokuserar på att överbrygga hinder för feedback från återtillverkning till produktutveckling. Vidare främjar tillämpningen av RIFF implementeringen av DfRem-metoder och -verktyg, som, när de tillämpas, skulle kunna göra återtillverkning mer effektiv. Följaktligen kan ökad tillämpning av DfRem att bidra till den totala tillväxten av återtillverkningsmarknaden, vilket skulle innebära minskad negativ miljöpåverkan och även gynna en mer cirkulär ekonomi

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2020. p. 92
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 2034
Keywords
Circular Economy, Remanufacturing, Design for remanufacturing, Feedback
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-164111 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-164111 (DOI)9789179299521 (ISBN)
Public defence
2020-03-20, C3, C Building, Campus Valla, Linköping, 09:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2020-03-05 Created: 2020-03-05 Last updated: 2020-03-05Bibliographically approved

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