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Lean improvements in remanufacturing: solving information flow challenges
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
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Logistics & Quality Management. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4040-8302
2017 (English)In: QMOD proceedings, 2017Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Purpose - One efficient way to prolong the functional life of used products is remanufacturing. Compared to manufacturing, remanufacturing is a complex industrial process due to among other things high product variability, low production volumes and uncertain quality of returned used products. Remanufacturers are dependent on product information from Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), but that information is often not shared. Remanufacturers struggle to access or develop lacking product information and need a strategy to address information flow challenges. Lean could be a suitable strategy to improve the information flow. Therefore, the purpose of the paper is to identify and suggest Lean improvements to address remanufacturer’s information flow challenges.

Methodology/Approach - Based on a case study of a filling machine remanufacturer, this paper discusses the information flow challenges and Lean-based solutions. The data was collected through a three-hour focus group interview combined with a Value Stream Mapping (VSM) method with the participation of seven company employees representing sales, logistics, quality, maintenance and production departments.

Findings - Two key information flow challenges were identified at the company: a lack of available product data and miscommunication with the OEM, and poor internal information sharing. The analysis of the identified challenges and improvement ideas created a platform for developing Lean-based solutions:1) developing standard operations through instruction checklists and kitting areas;2) boosting supplier and customer relations through six best partnering practices; and3) developing people and teams through teamwork and training.

Originality/Value of paper – All industries have their own specific challenges and development needs. This paper focuses on information flow challenges in remanufacturing. Original product information is often not shared, even when the remanufacturer has a contract with the OEM. Only few remanufacturers work with Lean today, but Lean could be a strategy to address the information flow challenges. This paper contributes to the knowledge on how Lean could be applied in the remanufacturing context.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keyword [en]
Lean remanufacturing, Information flow, Challenges, Improvements
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-142344OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-142344DiVA: diva2:1153029
Conference
20th QMOD conference, Copenhagen/Elsinore, Denmark and Helsingborg, Sweden, 5-7 August, 2017
Available from: 2017-10-27 Created: 2017-10-27 Last updated: 2017-11-22Bibliographically approved

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Kurilova-Palisaitiene, JelenaSundin, ErikPoksińska, Bonnie

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Kurilova-Palisaitiene, JelenaSundin, ErikPoksińska, Bonnie
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