Design for automatic end-of-life processes
2012 (English)In: Assembly Automation, ISSN 0144-5154, E-ISSN 1758-4078, Vol. 32, no 4, 389-398 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore how manufacturers can develop automatic end-of-life processes facilitated by product design methods, e.g. design for disassembly, recycling and remanufacturing. Also to illustrate this kind of product and end-of-life process development while maintaining economic and environmental values. Here, the cases of toner cartridges and liquid crystal displays are the focus.
Design/methodology/approach – The research methodology for this paper began with a literature study within the fields of design for automatic recycling and remanufacturing. It also includes the research performed at two different industrial companies using automation in their end-of-life processes. These companies were visited and interviewed several times, in order to understand their processes and what current problems they have in automation and product design.
Findings – Design implications on the end-of-life have been explored, and in particular, three general product trends are in conflict with automatic disassembly: products are getting more complex and more heterogeneous; products are getting sleeker; and products are using more proprietary joints. In addition, the three industrial cases describe different problems in industry and how they can be tackled. Although many manufacturers have adapted the design principles of DFM and DFE, there is still much to improve when it comes to designing for the product's end-of-life processes. These kinds of adaptations should increase in importance over time as more and more products and components are remanufactured and/or material recycled. These kinds of adaptations will also encourage an increase of products passing through more resource efficient end-of-life options.
Practical implications – Manufacturers reading what design problems other companies are experiencing and what solutions can be found would facilitate their own businesses and willingness to start their own and/or improve their existing manufacturing business. This could then be in shape developing products for end-of-life processes which also would encourage them to start their own end-of-life process facilities.
Social implications – From a societal perspective, an increase in remanufactured products being placed on the market can increase the awareness and confidence of the consumers in non-new products made from non-virgin materials. This will increase the market for second-life products and bring about economics of scale, which in turn will alleviate the problem of depletion of resources.
Originality/value – Most previous research in this area treats the different end-of-life processes separately; material recycling and product remanufacturing are but two examples. However, in this paper the focus is more on the overall view of end-of-life processes, along with examples of more specific and detailed end-of-life processes, such as disassembly and cleaning.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2012. Vol. 32, no 4, 389-398 p.
Assembly, Cleaning, Design for disassembly, Disassembly, Industrial robotics, Product design, Recycling, Refurbisment, Snap-fit
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-82652DOI: 10.1108/01445151211262447ISI: 000311268500010OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-82652DiVA: diva2:558127
funding agencies|Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems (VINNOVA)||Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF)||2012-10-022012-10-022016-04-12